Cancer-Stricken Teacher Serenaded by 400 Students Dies

Ben Ellis, the cancer-stricken teacher who was serenaded by hundreds of his students, has died, school officials said today.

The Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, where Ellis worked, told ABC News that Ellis died in the early morning hours today.

"Ben was a gift to us all in the most unassuming and life-giving way," headmaster Nate Morrow said in a statement.

"He left these words for us, spoken over the students at his house, and I share them with you to guide us now,” Morrow said. “He [Ellis] 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.’”

400 Students Gather Outside Cancer-Stricken Teacher’s Home to Sing

Ellis taught Latin and the Bible since 2008. Last year, Ellis was diagnosed with cancer and began chemotherapy treatments, but that didn't stop him from showing up for his students.

He is survived by his wife Shelley and his five children, who all attend Christ Presbyterian Academy.

On Sept. 7, more than 400 faculty members and students, grades 9 through 12, sang outside the home of Ellis to show support during his year-long fight with an aggressive cancer.


400 Students Gather Outside Cancer-Stricken Teacher’s Home to Sing
Courtesy Drew Maddux

For 30 minutes, they played instruments and sang.

On Sept. 13, Ellis, his students, his daughter and headmaster Morrow appeared on ABC News' "Good Morning America" to share the story.

Ellis revealed how grateful he was for his students' serenade surprise.

"In that moment, I felt like I was not alone," he said.

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