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Lemuel Nelson Bell

(Zong Aihua)
1894 ~ 1973

Born in Longsdale, Virginia, Bell initially intended to pursue a career in law but switched to medicine in response to a call to overseas mission. Graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at 21, in December 1916 he arrived at Tsingkiangpu (now Huaiyin), almost 300 miles north of Shanghai, to serve at Love and Mercy Hospital. The hospital expanded under Bell's leadership and became the largest of the Southern Presbyterian overseas medical missions.

After three years under Japanese occupation, the family returned to the United States in May 1941, where Bell took up a medical practice in Asheville, North Carolina. His concern for the theological integrity of his church prompted him to launch the Southern Presbyterian Journal (renamed The Presbyterian Journal in 1959). In 1955 and 1956 he and his son-in-law, Billy Graham, founded Christianity Today; Bell became executive editor and contributed the column "A Layman and His Faith" until his death, In 1972 he was elected moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.

About the Author

By Robert T. Coote

Editor, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

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