Russell H. Conwell was pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia in the early 1900’s. On December 1, 1912, he told a story about a little girl that inspired the purchase of property for a new church and eventually the building of Temple University. I encourage you to go to the website and read the account firsthand. It gives an awesome picture of faith. They literally started with the 57 cents and built a building that would have been totally impossible except for the help of God.
But isn’t that what God wants? A person who will trust Him enough to completely step out on faith for something that will totally fail unless God is in it!
Read about this fascinating story below:
A first-hand account of it is in a sermon delivered December 1, 1912 by Russell H. Conwell, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia.
Rev. Conwell said the little girl’s name was Hattie May Wiatt. She lived near a church where the Sunday School was very crowded and he told her that one day they would have buildings big enough to allow every one to attend who wanted to. Later, Hattie May Wiatt became sick and died. Rev. Conwell was asked to do the funeral and the girl’s mother told him that Hattie May had been saving money to help build a bigger church and gave him the little purse in which she had saved 57 cents.
Rev. Conwell had the 57 cents turned into 57 pennies, told the congregation the story of little Hattie May and sold the pennies for a return of about $250. In addition, 54 of the original 57 pennies were returned to Rev. Conwell and he later put them up on display. This was in 1886 when 57 cents was no small savings account for a little girl from a poor family.
Some of the members of the church formed what they called the Wiatt Mite Society which was dedicated to making Hattie May’s 57 cents grow as much as possible and to buy the property for the Primary Department of the Sunday school. A house nearby was purchased with the $250 that Hattie May’s 57 cents had produced and the rest is history.
The first classes of Temple College, later Temple University, were held in that house. It was later sold to allow Temple College to move and the growth of Temple, along with the founding of the Good Samaritan Hospital (Now the Temple University Hospital) have been powerful testimonies to Hattie May Wiatt’s dream.
Click on the link below to read the full text of Dr. Conwell’s sermon.
This post written by Cathy Deaton.
Please check out my other sites:
How To Deal With A Selfish Person
Handbook for Victorious Christian Living
Blueprint for Victorious Christian Living
Amazon Kindle Author Page
Powered By WP Footer