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REMEMBERING LEONARD BELL: A personal tribute by Yulanda Bradshaw

Bro. Leonard Bell, a Columbia resident for the last seven years, was killed in an automobile accident in Lincoln County, Sunday morning, September 11, 2005, while on his way to First Baptist Church, Second and Walnut, in Danville, KY according to reports. Yulanda Bradshaw remembers how Leonard Bell touched her life, as he did so many in his all too brief stay among us, and she has graciously and beautifully shared those memories with us. - Ed.
By Yulanda Bradshaw

Bro. Leonard Bell was a well known Minister of Music in many communities around here and far away, even as far as North and South Carolina, I've heard.

He lived to serve the Lord.This man knew so much about God that you could just listen to him talk about how he was blessed throughout his life and feel his closeness to Jesus.

Leonard Bell played for and conducted many choirs locally and in several of the surrounding counties. He shared his talents by playing forover 10 years for the Adair Community Workshop Choir. This choir came together for the first time in 1992, to prepare for a Black History Program which was held at Lindsey Wilson College. Bro. Bell organized and conducted the choir.

Bro. Bell played numerous times for the Summit Manor Nursing Home, bringing joy and smiles to the residents there. He played and sang for the Old Home Place. He was a member of the Bowling League with Payless. He sang for Christmas on the square, he was requested several times (too many to count), to sing and play at funerals both all over this part of Kentucky.

Bro. Bell started men's group in Hodgenville, KY, which deliveres songs that are awesome to hear

He just recently started a new men's group in Hodgenville KY. The group was just awesome to hear. He would often be asked to headup programs for churches. When he accepted, which he did whenever he could, youwould always know that it would bedone right.

There was no corner-cutting, no half-stepping, with Bro. Bell

There was no corner-cutting or half-stepping, because he made sure that whatever he was in chargeof wasalways done to the best of his ability. If anyone in the choir he was conducting was not doing their best, he would tell them in his gentle, Christian way and they would know that they could do and would do better. He gave each of us that confidence.

Leonard Bell was a very good person. He took on so many tasks without ever complaining. He would play for any and everyone regardless of race, religion or background, treating everyone the same.

He could bring out the best in everyone

Leonard felt that everyone was talented and special in their own right. Hegave voice lessons to many people who would never think to get upin front of a crowd and sing. I'm one example. Istill rememberto this day the fear that I had but I haveovercome,thanks to Bro. Bell, who always toldme to let the Lord guide me. He would often tell his students who were a little nervous to remember that they were singing for theLord andnot man. He a gave piano lessonsto people in several local and surrounding counties.

He will be truly missed by all that knew him.

He was also a very big U of L Cardinal fan taking pride in lettingpeople know just that.

Hemarried a Columbian, Phyllis Winfrey,on November 7, 1998 and has resided in Columbia ever since.

He was an Army Veteran.

I will never forget the best advice Bro. Bell ever gave to me. He said, "Everything you are is because of God and everything you're not is because of you."
Related photo:

Black and white photo from early print edition of Columbia! Magazine taken at a local arts festival of The Adair County Community Workshop Choir under the direction of Leonard Bell
Related stories:

  • Check here for Obituary, Funeral Details: Leonard Thomas Bell

  • This story was posted on 2005-09-12 22:09:06
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