By Jack Jodell, Mar. 25, 2012

Here is an amazing and endearing little story sent to me by my cousin Patty in Philadelphia. It is a bit of a departure from that which I usually run here, but I hope you will nonetheless enjoy it as much as I did, regardless of your position on religion. This is a tale of innocence and beauty, and stands as a testament of the good which can come from turning that innocence into solid action!


A little girl, 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.
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 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. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.
As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to ha ve been rummaged from some trash dump.
Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: “This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.”
For two years she had saved for this offering of love.
When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her 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 published It. It 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 last 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.



And be sure to visit TEM{LE UNIVERSITY, where thousands of students are educated. 

Have a look, too, 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.

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”.
This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS!

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
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9 Responses to THE 57 CENT CHURCH

  1. That is a precious story and a wonderful post. Nice break from some of the depressing and deeply disturbing news of the day. Bravo.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thank you, S.W. I think it’s healthy for all of us to take a break now and then and leave the groove we often find ourselves stuck in. A little inspiration is good for the mind…and the soul.

  2. SR says:

    I loved this. Makes one kind of tear up doesn’t it? Isn’t it amazing what God can do with a little girl, a coin purse and 57 cents!!! Great one and God Bless, SR

    • jackjodell53 says:

      I’m glad you liked this, as I thought you would. It is incredible to think of what can come from such a seemingly small amount of input. All it really takes for good things to occur is the combined action of all good people. That is why inaction or complacency can be so detrimental. God Bless, and keep up the good work, SR!

  3. Hello Jack,
    This is off topic and I apologize but I had to pass this on because it is just TOOO RICH!!
    I heard an interesting bit of information on NPR.

    The “Individual Mandate,” Health Care that is on trial in the Supreme Court today, which requires virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a fine, was the brainchild of conservative economists and embraced by some of the nation’s most prominent Republicans for nearly two decades. This was the counter proposal against the Hillary Clinton’s proposal in the early 1990’s where employers would have to provide health care for their workers.

    Yet today, many of those champions, including presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, are among the mandate’s most vocal critics.

    So to reiterate and restate for clarity, what we are now hearing being called Obama Care Socialized Medicine, was really the CONSERVATIVE REPUBICAN’S Health Care Plan in the early 1990’s.

    When we hear the Pavloved programmed, non-critical thinking people, mindlessly repeating the rhetoric being propagated by Conservative Talk Radio, and Fox Programming, would be surprised and disbelieving that the Obama Health Care they are so against today….started out as the CONSERVATIVE REPUBICAN’S Health Care Plan in the early 1990’s.

  4. Tom Harper says:

    That’s a very nice story. This is what Christianity is supposed to mean, not the money-grubbing and hate-mongering that so many “Christians” have devolved into.

  5. It is a heartwarming tale that contains truth mixed with embellishment. While I hesitate to share this, I’m compelled by the truth to seek the truth in all matters. Fiction mixed with truth defiles the truth and renders it to be less than true. Cromwell shares the story in his book entitled Acres of Diamonds. But his telling of it does not match the email version that has been circulating since the late 1990’s. See:

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thank you for stopping by and for giving us this new insight, Pastor John. May the Lord be with you!

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