Feel Good

When Their Teacher Was Diagnosed With Cancer, These 400 Students Came Through in a Big Way

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Too often, the stories coming out of America’s schools are full of bad news. The good stories get let ink fro the press. Yet there are still stories worth telling, and some of them are so heartwarming that they can renew your faith in the younger generation. And this is one of those. A teacher in Nashville is battling cancer, and the entire student body of his school showed up to sing to him.


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The students are from Christ Presbyterian Academy, a high school in Nashville, Tennessee. And when they heard their teacher, Ben Ellis, wasn’t able to leave home to go to school, the kids went to him.

The high school students sang the song Holy Spirit as all 400 of them gathered beneath his window.


Leslie Ponder, an English teacher  that works with Ellis, said the act was “spur of the moment.”  They interrupted lessons and classes, and bussed over to Ellis’s house.

The inspiring moment has gone viral after country singer Tim McGraw picked up the video and shared it on his Facebook page. “A friend sent this to me today,” McGraw wrote. “Ben Ellis is a Nashville area high school teacher battling cancer.”


‘The entire student body (400+ students plus HS faculty) drove to his house to worship with him. Our thoughts and Prayers are with him and his family….. So precious and kind.”

Shannon Lee Seibert, a parent of one student, said this was a way for the kids to give Ellis “some of the love he has given to them.”


“He is the definition of a teacher, a role model, a servant. He wrote the kids a letter telling them he is even more certain now that God is Good and with us.”


A letter from the principal explained the decision to go and sing.

“Over the course of last night and into this morning, three separate and unrelated people approached me saying that while praying they received a vision of the high school students and faculty singing praises on the front lawn of the home of Ben Ellis, our Latin teacher who is battling cancer and who loves a good hymn sing,” the letter read.


“So, we loaded the buses and cars and went. It was a powerful and moving outpouring of love that our students were able to bestow upon a man who loves us well. We returned to campus and went straight into chapel, where we prayed and praised God. It was broken and beautiful.”

Broken, yes. But Beautiful.