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Benjamin "Ben" Michael Seewald (born May 19, 1995) is the first child and first son of Michael Seewald and Guinn Seewald.

He is the brother of Jessica Lester, Danielle Seewald, Michelle Barger, Ethan Seewald, Faith Seewald, and Thomas Seewald.

He is the husband of Jessa Seewald and the father of their children, Spurgeon, Henry, Ivy, and Fern.

Early life

Benjamin Michael Seewald was born on May 19, 1995, to Michael Seewald and Guinn Seewald. He was the couple's first child, and they went on to have six more children after him.

Along with his siblings, Ben was homeschooled growing up. When he was a child, he wanted to be a paleontologist and often pretended to dig up fossils in his driveway.

As a teenager, Ben had a job working at a country club.

Personal life

Courting

Courtship

Ben first met his future wife, Jessa Duggar, when he was seventeen years old, while attending church on vacation in Jessa's hometown. He grew facial hair in an attempt to look older in hopes of impressing her. He soon befriended two of Jessa's brothers, Joseph and Josiah. He began working overtime to try to earn extra money to go visit the Duggar family under the guise of visiting Josiah, but would always ask if "the whole family" would be there before visiting. After attending church with the family many times, Ben asked Jessa's father, Jim Bob, for her phone number, and began getting to know her both in person and through text.

On September 9, 2013, Ben asked Jim Bob Duggar for permission to court his daughter, Jessa. Jim Bob gave his permission, and immediately brought Jessa into the room so Ben could ask her too. This courtship proposal, which was featured in the 19 Kids and Counting episode "Flea Market Finale", gained some national attention - being mocked on some late night talk shows and internet gossip sites for its awkwardness.

Ben and Jessa set high standards for themselves during their courtship, allowing themselves only limited physical contact. "Jessa and Ben have said that was the only contact they would have," Jessa's mother, Michelle, said of their rules, "when they initially greet each other, when he comes to visit for their first hello, they have a quick 30-second-or-less side hug and a goodbye side hug, and they agreed that would be the only contact they should have.". During their courtship, Ben moved into the guest house on the Duggar family's property to be closer to Jessa and avoid the 3 ½ hour drive between them. Ben also worked for Jim Bob during this time doing various jobs at Jim Bob's multiple properties.

Engaged

Engagement

On August 13, 2014, Ben and Jessa went out to dinner with their parents, Michael and Guinn and Jim Bob and Michelle, at Marketplace Grill, where the two went on their first date. At this dinner, Ben gave Jessa a gift with the instructions not to open it until the next day. When she opened the gift on August 14, 2014, she found a tablet with a prerecorded message from Ben instructing Jessa to head to the plane hanger where her older brother, John-David, would take her on a flight. After a day-long scavenger hunt, Jessa and her sister, Jinger, headed to Thorncrown Chapel, where Ben had set up candles and rose petals. At this chapel, Ben proposed to Jessa, and she said yes. Their engagement was featured on the 19 Kids and Counting episode "Jessa's Engagement".

Just married

Marriage

On November 1, 2014, Ben married Jessa Lauren Duggar at First Baptist Church in Bentonville, Arkansas. Although Jessa expressed interest in getting married at Thorncrown Chapel, the location was deemed too small for the more than 1,000 guests invited to the wedding. The wedding was officiated by Mike Schadt. Ben's best man was his friend Dylan McMahan. His groomsmen were his brother Ethan, his cousin Russ Seewald, Jessa's brothers Joseph and Josiah, and his friends Daniel Robinson, Kolton Kulis, Ryan Schofield, Jake Hendrix, and Rob Flowers. The ring bearer was Ben's brother Thomas. Jessa's maid of honor was her sister Jinger. Her bridesmaids were her sisters Jana, Jill, and Joy-Anna, Ben's sisters Jessica, Danielle, and Michelle, and her friends Amara Query, Anna Hackel, Peyton Weiss, and Jennifer Hartono. The flower girls were Jessa's sister Jordyn and Ben's sister Faith.

The couple elected not to share their first kiss in front of the crowds, instead allowing it to be a private moment in an undisclosed room in the church. Their wedding was featured on the 19 Kids and Counting episode "Jessa's Wedding".

For their honeymoon, Ben and Jessa went to Paris, France, Rome, Italy, and Venice, Italy. Their honeymoon was featured on the 19 Kids and Counting episode "European Honeymoon".

Baby Spurgeon

Fatherhood

Ben and Jessa have publicly expressed a desire to adopt children on many occasions, and have looked into the possibility of fostering children as well.

On April 21, 2015, Jessa announced via Twitter that she and Ben were expecting their first child, who was due on November 1, 2015, their first wedding anniversary. After 27 hours of labor, Jessa gave birth to the couple's first son, Spurgeon Elliot, on November 5, 2015, in the couple's home. This birth was featured on the Counting On episode "Counting One More".

Baby Henry

Baby Ivy

On August 23, 2016, the couple announced that they were expecting their second child, who was due in February 2017. On February 6, 2017, Jessa gave birth to the couple's second son, Henry Wilberforce, in the couple's home. This birth was featured on the Counting On episode "A New Baby".

Baby Fern

On January 9, 2019, they announced that they were expecting their third child, with a due date in late Spring. Their daughter, Ivy Jane, was born on May 26, 2019, in the couple's home. This birth was featured on the Counting On episode "A Surprise Delivery".

The couple suffered a miscarriage in 2020, but chose not to publicly speak about it at that time. They mentioned it while announcing their pregnancy with Fern, calling the child a "rainbow baby".

On February 18, 2021, they announced that they were expecting their fourth child, due in Summer 2021. Their fourth child, another daughter, Fern Elliana, was born on July 18, 2021. This birth was featured on Jessa's YouTube channel.

Career

Education

On May 16, 2015, Ben graduated from National Park College with an Associate's degree in Political Science. After graduating, Ben began studying with the intention of going to Seminary.

Pastor

In January 2021, Ben was officially ordained as a pastor at his church.

Wedding involvement

Ben was a groomsman at his sister-in-law Jinger's wedding to Jeremy Vuolo on November 5, 2016.

He was a groomsman at his sister Jessica's wedding to Phillips Lester on May 18, 2019.

He was a groomsman at his sister Michelle's wedding to Elijah Barger on October 10, 2020.

Gallery

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