1862 penny

A little girl named Hattie May Wiatt stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was ‘too crowded.’

‘I can’t go to Sunday School,’ she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.

Hattie May Wiatt 1882Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings having contracted diphtheria. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements and gave him all the money she had been saving to help build a new church. The total was only fifty-seven cents.

The pastor knew instantly what he would do. He related the story from the pulpit to the congregation and told of Hattie’s unselfish love and devotion.

He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.

But the story does not end there….

A newspaper learned of the story and it was published. The article was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.

Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide.

Within five years the little girl’s gift had increased to $250,000.00–a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church with a seating capacity of 3,300. Be sure to visit Temple University where thousands of students are educated. Don’t forget to take a look at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.

Temple University 1900 & 2010

In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, ‘Acres of Diamonds‘.

Miracles can happen with just 57 cents.

Amazon.com: Acres of Diamonds
Based on a true story


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 PJ January 11, 2010 at 2:56 am

Hey Gal!

I loved your post. I really enjoy stories like that.

Where do you find the time to write 2 posts?

I so admire your stick-to-it-tive-ness. You rock!

I will definitely take your advice on the other matter also.

Love ya!



2 Oh Sew Good January 11, 2010 at 10:43 am

Beautiful story. I love that it's based on a true story.


3 Teresha@Marlie and Me January 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm

wow! I love these kinds of stories…reminds me to count my blessings and to strive to help no matter how small my contribution may seem


Leave a Comment

"How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment
when we realize we have discovered a friend."

~William E. Rothschild~

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I respond back to all comments.


Previous post:

Next post: