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A medical missionary in China, Dr. L. Nelson Bell is the father-in-law of famous evangelist Rev. Billy Graham. Few people had more influence on Billy Graham than Dr. Bell.The Billy Graham Museum; Wheaton, Illinois Lemuel Nelson Bell and his wife, Virginia McCue Bell, served as Presbyterian medical missionaries in China from 1916-1941 with the American Southern Presbyterian Mission. They lived on the compound of Love and Mercy Hospital in Qingjiangpu, China in the eastern Chinese province of Northern Jiangsu, 300 miles north of Shanghai. They had four children: Ruth, Rosa, Virginia, and Clayton. Dr. Bell kept a busy schedule as surgical chief and administrative superintendent at the hospital. Although the hospital had a pastor on staff, Bell made the healing of souls a priority in his work, gently explaining the Gospel to his patients.Decision Today - Special Commemorative Issue - Ruth Bell Graham, 2007, p.6. He never minimized the importance of addressing the spiritual needs of the people as well as their physical needs.The Bell's returned to the United States after the Communist takeover of China in 1949 and retired in Montreat, North Carolina, across the street from their daughter Ruth and Billy Graham. Dr. Bell was the one who suggested to Billy Graham the idea of the periodical that would eventually be named "Christianity Today." He became its executive editor, commuting regularly to Washington from his home in Montreat and writing "A Layman and His Faith," a regular column in the magazine.Graham, B., Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham, 1997, p.288, HarperCollins Worldwide, ISBN 0-06-063387-5 Bell received seven awards from the conservative Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania for articles and editorials.http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/GUIDES/318.htm Dr. Bell's biography is entitled, "A Foreign Devil in China: The Story of Dr. L. Nelson Bell," by John Charles Pollock.Pollock, John Charles. A Foreign Devil in China: The Story of Dr. L. Nelson Bell. (World Wide Publications, 1989.)
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