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The incredibly touching moment 400 students serenaded a cancer-stricken teacher with hymns

Posted September 28

A cancer-stricken teacher died just days after hundreds of students showed up outside of his home to serenade him with Christian worship music.

The incredibly touching impromptu performance has gone viral since it was posted on Facebook on Sept. 10 by country singer Tim McGraw, amassing more than 32 million views, 48,000 comments and 600,000 shares.

And the act of kindness just keeps spreading.

"Ben Ellis is a Nashville area high school teacher battling cancer," McGraw wrote. "The entire student body (400+ students plus HS faculty) drove to his house to worship with him."

He concluded, "Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family ... So precious and kind."

Ellis underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments and remained in his position teaching Latin and Bible studies at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, until earlier this month when his illness intensified.

When Ellis could no longer work, faculty and students decided to load up buses and head to his home, where more than 400 students sang to him as he watched from a bedroom window. Ellis smiled as he sang along from inside.

Nate Morrow, headmaster of Christ Presbyterian Academy, told CNN that the school decided to visit the home after Ellis, who taught at the school for the past eight years, received bad news about his treatment options a few weeks back.

"The high school principal said, 'Ben has loved us well. Stop what you're doing, load up the buses. We're going to his house to worship with him,'" Morrow told the outlet.

While at the home, a statement that Ellis wrote to the students was read aloud; in it, the sick teacher told the students how much he loved them and expressed the depths of his faith amid such dire health struggles.

"He said, 'I love you. I believe now more than ever that God is good, and that he is with us. I am full of hope, peace and joy. I wish all this for you. Look to Jesus to know, to believe and to be filled,'" Morrow told CNN.

Ellis also penned other words to describe the touching moment, writing that he "felt unity" and that he wasn't alone; he said he "felt very loved," adding that he cried during the students' visit to his home.

"I already felt loved by God, but it was extra meaningful that God poured his love out to me through 500 people who loved me so well," he wrote.

Ellis, who left behind a wife and five children, passed away on Friday, with Morrow sending an email to students that read, in part, "Ben entered heaven fully healed; he is home," according to the Tennessean.

Email: bhallowell@deseretnews.com Twitter: billyhallowell Facebook: facebook.com/billyhallowell

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