History of the Restoration Movement

Thomas Ralph Snell


Life Of Ralph Snell

Ralph Snell was a quiet, gentle giant whose footprints made a great impression on the sands of time. Through his love for God, his successful family, and his work of teaching God's Word to others, especially to children, he demonstrated what it means to be a Christian.

Born in 1911 and reared in Bedford County, Tennessee, he and his future wife, Ruby Lee Eley, were influenced to attend David Lipscomb College by the late Andy T. Richie, Sr., who held gospel mettings in their area. They entered college where he graduated in 1932. With the Great Depression in full force, Ruby had to drop out after one year due to an appendectomy as well as inadequate funds.

In his high School days, Ralph suffered a broken hip while playing basevall. This fracture was not treated properly and left him to walk with a decided limp.

A new Christian school was being established in Florence, alabama, on the campus of the former Mars Hill academy, a preacher-training school founded by T. B. Larimore. Ralph came to serve as teacher and later on as elementary school principal. In later years, he served as president of the school. Mars Hill Bible School was blessed to have his leadership for more than three decades. 

Perhaps one of the greatest contributions Ralph Snell made to Mars Hill was his leading of daily chapel. He led the children in Bible drills, teaching even the youngest students to recite the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the books of the Bible, the judges of Israel, the Ten Commandments, and writer of the Old and New Testaments, the plagues of Egypt, the days of creation, the apostles, and the Beatitudes.

In addition to his work with Mars Hill Bible School, Ralph Snell was a preacher of the gospel, preaching for various congregations of the Church of Christ in the Shoals area as well as holding many Gospel meetings throughout the region.

A firm believer in spreading the gospel, Snell stressed the importance of supporting foreign missions and teaching children. Many of the little church buildings had only the auditorium; the first thing he encouraged the congregation to do was to partition a corner in the auditorium for a children's class until classrooms could be built.

Considering his faith and dedication to Christian education we would all do well to walk like Bro. Snell, "Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you, and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith" Heb. 13:7

-by Milton Sewell, Chancellor of Freed-Hardeman University, as reported on Find-A-Grave

Ralph & Ruby Snell

Directions To The Grave of T. Ralph Snell

T. Ralph Snell is buried in Greenview Memorial Gardens in north Florence, Alabama. It is located on Old Chisholm Hwy. The address is: 3657 Old Chisholm Road, Forest Hills, Lauderdale County, Alabama USA, 35633. Also buried in this cemetery is another preacher, Charles C. Burnsl.

GPS Location
34.856158, -87.678709

T. Ralph
April 13, 1911
April 2, 1982

Photos Taken by Tom L. Childers & Larry Miles
Webpage produced 10.09.2014
Courtesy of Scott Harp

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