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Dr L. Nelson Bell

Dr L. Nelson Bell

Birth
Longdale, Alleghany County, Virginia, USA
Death 2 Aug 1973 (aged 79)
Montreat, Buncombe County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Swannanoa, Buncombe County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 43094604 · View Source
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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.


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Inscription

We know that when Christ shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.

Gravesite Details Dr. Bell's first name is Lemuel, but he went by his middle name "Nelson". Most people searching for his grave would not find him trying to use his full first name.

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  • Created by: Robert C. Peurifoy
  • Added: 14 Oct 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 43094604
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr L. Nelson Bell (30 Jul 1894–2 Aug 1973), Find A Grave Memorial no. 43094604, citing Piney Grove Cemetery, Swannanoa, Buncombe County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Robert C. Peurifoy (contributor 46928811) .