The students were heartbroken after learning that their teacher had stopped treatment. However, they ensured he knew the loving impact he left on them.
Students and teachers share a formal and professional bond, but sometimes, some teachers touch the students' hearts and become the beacon of light they never knew they needed. Some teachers influence their students with more than their lessons, as they leave a life-long impact on their bond with students and the love they share. TODAY shared the heart-melting story of Bible and Latin teacher Ben Ellis from the Christ Presbyterian Academy and the students who poured their hearts out in a painstaking yet beautiful moment. Ben Ellis, who was a victim of cancer seemed to have taken a special spot in the hearts of his students.
When they heard of the heartbreaking news, they immediately sent out prayers and wishes but wanted to extend the gesture. While the teacher may have had to quit due to health conditions and treatments, the students decided to ensure their teacher knew how much he meant to them and that his hard work and efforts had truly made a difference. About 400 students packed up their emotions and love, hopped onto a bus and went straight to Ellis' house, where they stood beneath his window and began singing. The students, with their hearts overwhelmed, sang hymns for their teacher, whose wife was with him by the window as he was taken aback. "Last Wednesday, the entire CPA high school came and sang songs of praise and worship under my bedroom window. It was beautiful and unforgettable," the teacher described the experience in his blog on his CaringBridge page.
Ben Ellis, a dedicated educator at Christ Presbyterian Academy, was facing a challenging battle with cancer that had confined him to his home. In a demonstration of genuine love and compassion, the students and staff organised a surprise visit to uplift their teacher’s spirits in… pic.twitter.com/1mvWwPbxql— TIME STORY (@xTIMExSTORYx) January 26, 2024
The gush of love was beyond explanation and it was loud and clear how much Ellis' students loved him. Nate Marrow, the principal of the school, said, "It was a place where the veil between heaven and Earth felt very thin." Ellis assured the students that he loved them and gave them the message to continue loving each other. Sharing more about Ellis, it was revealed that the teacher has esophageal cancer and was undergoing treatment. His family stopped his treatment before the students could surprise him, as the cancer had spread far too much. "It's beautifully ironic that a man who has spent his life pursuing people so that they feel seen and known is now being seen and known for his story,'' Morrow said.
400 Students Gather Outside Cancer-Stricken Teacher's Home to SingOn Sept. 7, 400 students of Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, stood outside the home of teacher Ben Ellis, who is battling an aggressive form of cancer pic.twitter.com/reErX1e4X7— Sharma Jee (@Nikloshabash) January 25, 2024
"If Ben were on the phone with you, no one would be more excited that this gospel message is being shared,” he added. The video went viral and prayers and more were serenading Ellis and his family. Country singer Tim McGraw reposted the video on Facebook to spread the heartwarming story. However, it was revealed that Ellis unfortunately passed away a few days after his students showered him with love. Though a tragic and heartbreaking incident, the internet learned of Ellis’ love-filled life and principles and is filled with renewed hope of spreading the same to others.
"He is the definition of a teacher, a role model, a servant,'' wrote Shannon Lee Seibert, who has two children in the school. "The kids were giving back to him some of the love he has given them.” "The visual just hits something very deep in people and to watch this picture of love in action has been absolutely beautiful,'' Morrow said.
More than 400 students from Nashville’s Christ Presbyterian Academy showed up outside the home of their beloved teacher to sing songs of worship when he could no longer teach.— Pleasedontinfringe (@noinfringing) January 24, 2024
Ben Ellis, who taught Latin and Bible studies at the school, battled an aggressive form of cancer and… pic.twitter.com/9E4MSvRKL6