Nashville teacher featured in viral video dies after battling cancer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Nashville teacher who was featured in a video viewed more than 20 million times died Friday morning after battling cancer.

Ben Ellis taught Latin and Bible classes at Christ Presbyterian Academy. He joined the staff in 2008.

On the same day that he decided not to continue his cancer treatment, a group of 400-plus students and faculty members came to his home to sing a worship song.

Country music star Tim McGraw posted a video of the emotional visit, which he said was sent to him by a friend. Since then, the video has been viewed over 20 million times.

Ellis leaves behind his wife, Shelley, and five children, who are all students at CPA.

CPA headmaster Nate Morrow issued a statement.

“Ben was a gift to us all in the most unassuming and life-giving way. Even in the process of his death, he selflessly encouraged and empowered individuals to find life in Jesus. Now Ben and his Lord are fully together, yet we remain; his family and his students remain and we grieve deeply.

And though it is a time to grieve, we are not without hope. We proclaim a God who sent his own Son to the cross to show us there is no fear in death. We will all be together again; this separation is temporary. One day we will spend our eternity with Jesus, with Ben, and the many saints who have gone before us.

He left these words for us, spoken over the students at his house, and I share them with you to guide us now. 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.’