The Salim triplets became a part of Prestonwood Baptist Church almost as soon as they were born. But they didn’t wait even that long to enroll at Prestonwood Christian Academy.
The triplets—Jacob, Joshua and Jordan—were PCA Lions even before birth.
“We’ve literally been there for life,” Joshua said.
Their mom, Laurie Salim, remembers hearing Pastor Jack Graham talk about the planned school, “and I think we had just found out we were pregnant … and we made the decision to go ahead and prepay even before they were born.”
Pastor Jack Graham with Laurie and Mike Salim and triplets during baby dedication, 1997
“I think they went on the roll as ‘Baby A,’ ‘Baby B’ and ‘Baby C,’” she said.
That predates the arrival of Dr. Larry Taylor as Head of School at PCA, but he heard all about it when he moved to North Texas.
“Maybe 20 or 30 people signed up” to lock in tuition costs, Dr. Taylor said, “but the Salims’ kids weren’t even born yet. They didn’t even have names!
“It’s one of the greatest stories in the PCA archives.”
Babies A, B and C are all grown up now: May graduates of PCA, members of the school’s first state champion baseball team and following their own individual paths now that they’re college freshmen.
But while looking forward, the Salims look back, too, at how PCA and Prestonwood Baptist Church have helped shape their lives, preparing them for the next chapter.
Jacob had an early taste of what college would be like. He spent his junior year of high school at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, which combines top-tier sports training—baseball in Jacob’s case—and academics.
“It was definitely eye-opening, it’s just like college,” said Jacob, now at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. on a baseball scholarship. “I was on my own and I had to keep myself responsible for everything.”
He planned to stay at IMG for his senior year, but besides his yearning to play for a state title, there was another reason to return home.
“I wanted to play with my brothers and my dad told me that Jordan (who hadn’t played in two years) was going to play again, so that was a big incentive for me,” Jacob said.
Returning to PCA reminded him what a special place it is.
“Aside from being with my brothers, the thing I always like best (about PCA) is the sense of community,” Jacob said. “Everyone is encouraged to succeed.”
Joshua almost followed Jacob to IMG—he’s playing college baseball, too, at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark.—“but I felt God was calling me to stay.”
Pastor Jack Graham with Joshua, Jacob and Jordan Salim at Senior Breakfast
“The thing that stands out to me (at PCA) is how the teachers, whether the subject is math, science or something else, are so good about connecting everything back to a Christian aspect. That’s very important,” he said. “When you have the Bible taught in any and every class, that’s very helpful.”
Like PCA, Prestonwood Baptist Church has been a constant in his life, he said.
“The first thing you notice is how big it is,” Joshua said, “but then you see how welcoming it is. And the Student Ministry is great—a Christian, Christ-centered environment.”
Of the three Salim boys, Jordan is the only one who doesn’t plan to play college baseball. Given his aspirations, there simply isn’t time.
“Jacob is dedicated to baseball. Josh really likes people,” he said. “I’m dedicated to school.”
Days after graduation from PCA, Jordan was back in the classroom, this time as part of the BBA Scholars Program at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. By attending school year-round, Jordan hopes to complete his degree in three years, spend two or three years working on Wall Street, then return to Texas to work in the private equity world with his dad, Michael.
Along with his brothers, Jordan accepted Christ when they were 6 years old, and they were baptized at 7, he said. And PCA helped him continue to grow in his faith.
“I learned my faith through the school,” Jordan said, “and I practiced my faith through the ministries of the church.”
The Salims weren’t the first set of triplets at PCA, Dr. Taylor said, but they were certainly unique.
“When you have three brothers in the same class in a small school, it adds a real special flavor. They were triplets, but they looked different, acted different and had different personalities,” he said. “And they brought a real closeness regarding family to everyone in their class.”
Laurie Salim said both the church and the school had a huge impact on her family.
“First of all, we couldn’t have raised the boys without PBC and PCA,” she said. “And from Sondra Saunders at the church to Larry at the school, we couldn’t have found better people to surround our kids with.
“I can imagine maybe trying to do it without them around us, but it would have been hard.”