The Archive Collection

Framed Medical Prescription written by Dr. L. Nelson Bell

March 13, 2017

Ruth Bell Graham’s father, Dr. L. Nelson Bell, began his medical mission work in China in 1916 and spent 25 years serving in the country before moving to Montreat, North Carolina. Dr. Bell wrote this prescription to a patient in the late 1940s. The prescription reads, “Go to church every Sunday.” According to her son, the patient kept the prescription in her bible and that’s where it was found after her death.

Ruth admired her father and his intelligence, but was influenced most by his passion to serve God. He showed his children how to walk humbly in the Lord’s will.

Dr. L Nelson Bell, 1972

“My father – a skilled surgeon – did everything…from removing cataracts, to filling teeth, to amputations…creating prosthetics out of beams of wood,” Ruth wrote in Footprints of a Pilgrim. “He even made house calls on a black Harley-Davidson. He’d ride fifty miles into the country-side with a sidecar to boot. And though he cared for people’s physical health, what mattered most to him was their spiritual health. He wrote himself a reminder…on a ragged slip of paper (Daddy was a scribbler, too) and kept it under the glass on his roll-top desk…Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control.




What Do You Think?