A little girl 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 have 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
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 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 Temple
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
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.