student Life doubly sweet at Central baptist college

By Donna Lampkin Stephens

Twins are everywhere, so it seems, at Central Baptist College.

Six sets are enrolled this fall at the Conway institution — identical girls, identical boys, fraternal sets and even a set of mirror twins, whose features are asymmetrical. According, when those twins face each other, they seem to be looking in a mirror.

Back row, from left: freshmen Wade and Allen Farish (fraternal twins from Hector, Ark.); juniors Ethan and Bella York (fraternal twins from Mayflower); juniors Christa and Emily Owen (identical twins from Conway); and, freshmen Kane and Kimbrow Harrell (mirror/identical twins from Conway). Front row: juniors Brianna and Alexandria Irons (Identical twins from Conway); and, seniors Andrew and Austen Krisell (identical twins from Greenbrier).

Kane and Kimbrow Harrell are freshmen mirror twins from Conway, grandsons of CBC President Terry Kimbrow. Kane is left-handed; Kimbrow is right-handed. Moles on the right side of one’s face are reflected on the left side of the other.

“There have been multiple times in high school when our teachers would stop us in the hallway and say, ‘You should be in my class,’ and it was the other one,” Kimbrow said.

Kane admitted to pranking a CBC teacher by saying he was Kimbrow.

“It wasn’t until halfway through class that he figured out I was Kane,” he said, chuckling.

The two say Kimbrow is the better athlete. He plays baseball for the Mustangs, but Kane was better at football. Kane is about 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds; Kimbrow is 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. Kane is older by two minutes.

They still share clothes and a bedroom at home, but not a car since Kimbrow has baseball responsibilities and Kane has a job schedule.

Their personalities, though, are different.

“Kimbrow is more the person who messes around with people,” Kane said. “He always likes to joke and give them a hard time. I like to be a little nicer. I’m a little more caring.”

Kimbrow agreed with that assessment.

Alexandria and Brianna Irons are identical juniors from Conway. Their mother, Kayla, said one her childhood Sunday School teachers told her during their baby shower that she “vividly remembered me stating I wanted 10 children and had been praying for the Lord to give me at least one set of twins.”

“They are an answer to a little second- or third-grade girl’s prayer,” Kayla Irons said.

She remembered Alexandria and Brianna holding hands in their car seats.

“They are alike in kindness and manners, work ethic and selflessness, but oh so very different in personalities,” she said. “Truly a beautiful balance the Lord has gifted them in one another. They argue and squabble and frustrate one another, just like all siblings, but will passionately defend and support one another at every opportunity.”

Austen and Andrew Krisell are seniors from Greenbrier.

“We’ve never had a formal test to determine if they’re identical, but according to doctors, their eye prescriptions were the same, their inner ears are identical, and they were serviced for the same speech impairments in elementary school,” their mother, Becky Krisell, said. “To this day, there are still family members who can’t tell them apart.”

She remembered that Austen and Andrew were on different teams during a game of charades but both acted out the same words the same way, even falling to the ground at the same time. When they play rock-paper-scissors, they go numerous rounds before either wins.

Kane Harrell met Austen Krisell at CBC and didn’t realize he was a twin.

“Then Andrew walked up to the pool table (a few days later) and I said, ‘For some reason, you look different today,’” Kane remembered. “He said, ‘That’s because it wasn’t me.’” So even twins can be tricked.

The best part of being a twin? A built-in study partner, Kimbrow Harrell said. Kane Harrell added: “You always have that person you know is going to be there, like a built-in friend. Me and Kimbrow get mad at each other, but give it a few minutes and we’re good. We’ll argue and stuff, but give us a few minutes and it’ll be like nothing’s happened.”

The worst part? “It really gets annoying getting called ‘Kane’ all the time,” Kimbrow said. Added Kane, “I just got my hair cut, and everybody’s been coming up and talking to me about baseball. I tell them, ‘I’m sorry, but you’ve got the wrong twin.’”

According to the college’s website, since 2012, CBC has offered a Multiples Grant available to students whose twin, triplet, etc., also attends the school. The award is a percentage of tuition, from 25 to 50 percent, based on how many siblings are currently enrolled.

Despite the occasional instance of confusion, and double the number of skinned knees and teenage heartbreak over the years, twins provide their families twice the love.

“Twinning has been a doubly fun portion of parenting, and we are thankful the Lord has allowed us to witness His vast personal creativity even in people who look very similar,” Kayla Irons said.

Donna Stephens