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Dr L. Nelson Bell
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Birth: Jul. 30, 1894
Longdale
Alleghany County
Virginia, USA
Death: Aug., 1973
Montreat
Buncombe County
North Carolina, USA

Medical Doctor, Surgeon, Medical Missionary to China, Christian Layman, Author, Co-founder of Christianity Today magazine, confidant and father-in-law to Dr. Billy Graham. Dr. Lemuel Nelson Bell was born in the Virginia Mountains near Waynesboro. He attended Washington and Lee University where he earned distinction as a baseball player. He would give up a career in professional baseball to become a medical doctor and missionary. He graduated from the Medical College of Virginia June 13,1916 at age twenty-one. Three weeks later he married Virginia Myers Leftwhich, a childhood friend. By December, Dr. and Mrs. Bell had arrived in China, a mission which would last for nearly 25 years. Dr. Bell became the Chief surgeon at the Love and Mercy Mission Hospital at Tsingkiangpu, Jiangisu province. The hospital had been founded in 1878 by Dr. Andrew Sydenstricker, father of Pearl S. Buck. The hospital would become the largest Presbyterian Hospital in the World. Their time in China would end with the Japanese occupation of China prior to World War II. The story of Dr. Bell's time in China was told in the book, A Foreign Devil in China. Four children would be born to Dr. and Mrs. Bell during their time in China, Rosa (Mrs. Donald Montgomery), Lemuel Nelson Bell,Jr., Ruth Bell Graham (Mrs. Billy Graham), Virginia (Mrs. John Somerville), and Dr. Benjamin Clayton Bell. The summer before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the advent of American's involvement in World War II, the Bell family had to leave China. They settled in Montreat, North Carolina, Conference Center of the Presbyterian Church U.S. (Southern) and home to many missionaries. Dr. Bell resumed his medical career at Memorial Mission Hospital in nearby Asheville, North Carolina. After his daughter Ruth married Rev. Billy Graham he became one of the most influential advisers to and defenders of the world renowned evangelist. He was the Speaker for the Montreat Bible Class, broadcast on radio station WMIT in Black Mountain, NC. In addition to being the founder to Christianity Today Magazine he founded The Presbyterian Journal in 1942. In 1972, at age 77, Dr. Bell was elected moderator of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. The Library at Montreat College is named The L. Nelson Bell Library in recognition of his accomplishments.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  James Harvey Bell (1854 - 1937)
  Ruth McCue Bell (1862 - 1953)
 
 Spouse:
  Virginia Myers Leftwich Bell (1892 - 1974)*
 
 Children:
  Rosa Wentenbaker Bell Montgomery (1918 - 2013)*
  Ruth McCue Bell Graham (1920 - 2007)*
  Lemuel Nelson Bell (1924 - 1925)*
  Virginia Bell Somerville (1927 - 2006)*
  Benjamin Clayton Bell (1932 - 2000)*
 
 Sibling:
  James McKim Bell (1888 - 1966)*
  L. Nelson Bell (1894 - 1973)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
We know that when Christ shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.
 
Burial:
Piney Grove Cemetery
Swannanoa
Buncombe County
North Carolina, USA
 
Created by: Robert C. Peurifoy
Record added: Oct 14, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 43094604
Dr L. Nelson Bell
Added by: Debra Polly
 
Dr L. Nelson Bell
Added by: Robert C. Peurifoy
 
Dr L. Nelson Bell
Added by: Robert C. Peurifoy
 
 
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- Cmarshall
 Added: Mar. 1, 2015
God Bless You (G B Y) and all who do as well the ones which come to view here too! Thank you !
- Jonathan Robert De Mallie
 Added: May. 15, 2014
Thank you Dr. Bell. You were the surgeon at the old Staunton hospital in Staunton, Va. My mother was 2 years old in 1927 and lived near Lexington, VA. She sustained a skull fracture from falling off the roof of the chicken coop. Her father borrowed a Mod...(Read more)
- Theresa Bryant
 Added: Apr. 7, 2014
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