Hundreds of students serenade beloved teacher battling cancer

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (KTVU/AP) — This slideshow requires JavaScript.

More than 400 students and faculty from a Tennessee school walked out of their classrooms and showed up outside a teacher’s home where they broke out in song in a show of support.

Christ Presbyterian Academy teacher Ben Ellis was battling an aggressive form of cancer and recently decided to stop treatment. 

When students learned of this latest update, that’s when they were moved to do something to express their support. 

Classes were canceled and students boarded a bus to the teacher’s home. 

Video of the moving tribute shows the 50-year-old Ellis watching the group from a window and singing along.

The images went on social media and quickly went viral after after country star Tim McGraw shared it on his Facebook page Saturday.

The video has been viewed more than 24 million times, since McGraw’s post.

A spokeswoman for Christ Presbyterian Academy said the outpouring of support and the response to the video has been incredible.

She added that besides McGraw’s ties to the area, she does know of any connections he has with the school.  

The teacher and father of five described the moment as amazing. He told a local television station that it made him feel like he “was not alone.”

Sadly, Mr. Ellis died early Friday morning. 

The school released the following 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.”
 

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