Wiatt stood sobbing near a small church. When the pastor walked past, she told
him that she had been turned away because the church "was too crowded." Seeing 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
Hattie was so touched by that experience that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who had no place to worship Jesus.
Just a few weeks later, Hattie got sick and died. At the funeral, Hattie’s father told the pastor of how his little girl had been saved money for a building fund. He handed the pastor what she had saved–just fifty-seven
The pastor shared that story with the church trustees, one of whom suggested
the purchase of a nearby lot. The owner of the property was approached, listened
to the story of the 57 cents, and agreed to sell the lot to the church for $10,000. He accepted a first payment of 57 cents.
One individual was so touched by this that he made a single donation of $10,000–enough to pay off the mortgage.
Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00, a huge sum for that day.
Today, when you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist
Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300, and Temple University, where thousands
of students have been educated. Take a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital
(now the Temple University Hospital) and at a Sunday school building which houses hundreds of Sunday scholars, so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.
In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of Hattie May Wiatt, whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Beside it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, Acres of Diamonds, in which this story is
What can God do with your 57 cents?
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com