21 February, 2024

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

by | 26 May, 2020 | 0 comments

(Top photo) The Powell quintuplets — Jacob, Jackson, Chloe, Samuel, and Ella — were born at 30 weeks. (Photo courtesy of the Powell family.)
(Second photo) The grown-up quintuplets — Jacob, Chloe, Jackson, Ella, and Samuel — graduated from homeschool and plan to attend Bellarmine University. (Stephen Powell, the Southeast Outlook.)

_ _ _

(This article originally appeared in the Southeast Outlook, a newspaper ministry of Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Ky. We are posting it here with their permission.)

By Ruth Schenk, contributing writer

Headlines and news stories were not how Steve and Stephanie Powell planned to celebrate the birth of their quintuplets Oct. 28, 2001.

But that’s what happened.

It was impossible to keep the arrival of the first surviving quintuplets in Kentucky a secret. People wanted to know about Jacob, Chloe, Ella, Samuel and Jackson. The Commonwealth celebrated as well as members of Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members.

Eighteen years later, the Powell quints are graduating from homeschool. All five already are taking college courses.

Like thousands of other students across the country, the Powells will graduate without the usual fanfare due to COVID-19—no big parties or ceremonies. They might have a gathering of family and friends in June or July.

In the fall, the Powells are headed to Bellarmine University where Ella and Jackson will study nursing and Jacob, Samuel and Chloe will study business.

It’s almost impossible to get this crew to complain.

“We like being quints,” Samuel said. “We were never bored growing up. We always had each other; always something to do.”

Favorite childhood memories include afternoons in the backyard, which they called Woodland Creek, archery on the basement wall, sliding down the stairs in life jackets “just because it seemed cooler that way,” playing dodgeball and rock climbing and competitive soccer when they were older.

There was never a lot of “stuff.” Not much television or electronics, toys or activities besides Bible Bowl and Speech and Debate competitions. Chloe said they are grateful that they learned to speak in front of a group.

Bible Bowl participants for seven years, the Powells memorized more than 6,000 Bible verses.

The Powell kids are one of only 100 sets of quintuplets in the U.S.

There’s no script for raising quintuplets. Steve and Stephanie did it the “old-fashioned” way: kids worked for what they wanted, no one was allowed to whine or complain, they prayed together, attended church together and served at nonprofits around Kentucky.

Jacob said they watched their parents model authentic faith.

Younger brother Henry was born when the quints were 8. He came into an almost perfect world where five older siblings clamored for time with him.

All five land on the single hardest time in their lives as July 6, 2014, when Jacob was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He endured chemotherapy, complications and more than 100 transfusions without complaining or asking why.

“That wasn’t the mindset we were raised in,” he said. “I remember thinking I was glad it was me and not Ella. I had to swallow 20 pills a day. She can’t swallow pills.”

He’s now been cancer free for five years.

The quints got jobs at 15 and opened savings accounts. Now the Powell driveway is filled with used cars they bought with their own money. They also bought their own cellphones.

Over the years, people are curious. Just how do you raise five babies at once? It’s hard to imagine dealing with multiple strollers, five high chairs, five bikes and cribs, homeschool and activities.

The thought terrifies most mortals. Truth is, it terrified Steve and Stephanie, too. But it was never the work. The biggest challenge was meeting the needs of each one.

“Each child is unique, so meeting each child’s needs was a challenge that required diligence,” Stephanie said. “They each have different gifts and struggles, so no two conversations were identical.”

Now that the quints are adults, the Powells could breathe a sigh of relief, relax and do some things they’ve always wanted to do. That’s not the plan.

After a family mission trip, Steve and Stephanie applied to adopt a child or sibling group from Haiti.

“Even though we are far from perfect parents, we do think that God has taught us a lot about children and parenting and so why not choose to serve the Lord through adoption,” Stephanie said. “We know parenting is challenging but also so unbelievably rewarding. What a blessing it is to be able to provide a loving, stable home for an orphan.”

Looking back, the quints are most grateful for their parents.

“They raised us to know the Lord and put us in programs that challenged us to understand for ourselves to believe what we believe,” Chloe said.

And Steve? He has just one regret.

“I can’t believe how fast these 18 years have gone by,” he said. “I’d give anything to have a week back to experience it all again.”

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

Hundreds of Guests Blessed at Ohio Church’s ‘Night to Shine’

Christ’s Church in Mason, Ohio, hosted “Night to Shine” for the 10th consecutive year on Feb. 9. Story pastor Dale Reeves writes, “After Christmas Eve, this is my second favorite night of the year!” Among the special guests this year were Tim Tebow and his wife, Demi. . . .

Christian Ham Radio: More Than Just a Hobby

The Christian Amateur Radio Fellowship (CARF) formed at the North American Christian Convention during the summer of 1966 as a way to promote fellowship among Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, our Christian colleges, and as a service to missionaries. CARF has a website but no headquarters. The fellowship has hundreds of members in North America and around the world. . . .

Ministry Help Wanted

Summit Christian College (Gering, Neb.) is accepting applications for the position of academic dean. Mulberry International is seeking a mission-minded marketing professional. Milligan University is accepting applications for assistant professor of worship leadership. Plus other listings. . . .

Lessons Learned on a Cruise Ship

Building community is essential to our spiritual journey in the church. We are called to be “family to each other.” On a recent cruise, I found hundreds of crew members from more than 75 nationalities building community and becoming family to one another. . . .

THROWBACK THURSDAY: ‘The Future of Johnson Bible College—Will It Survive Its Founders?’ (1924)

In 1924, Ashley Johnson, the founder of what is now Johnson University, wrote: “Nine years ago I broke down completely and was under the care of a physician. While I waited in bed for two months, Mrs. Johnson kept the work going and came nearer freeing it from debt than ever before. During these nine years I have fought for my life and the work which God gave me to do with all my heart.” . . .

Follow Us