Generosity starts with 57c.

Several years ago Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia had to turn away a little girl named Hattie May Wiatt from children’s ministry because of overcrowding. That day Hattie May Wiatt started saving her pennies to help the church make more room in their children’s ministry. Two years later, Hattie May tragically died. In her pocketbook next to her bed her parents found 57 pennies and a piece of paper with a note saying that the money was to help the church build a bigger children’s ministry. At Hattie May’s funeral, her mother gave that 57 cents and the note to Pastor Russell Conwell, the pastor of Grace Baptist Church. That Sunday, Pastor Conwell shared Hattie May’s story with his congregation. People’s hearts were touched; a realtor give the church a piece of land to expand the children’s ministry, asking for 57 cents for a down payment. A local newspaper carried the story, and soon news about Hattie May Wiatt’s 57 cents spread across the country. The pennies grew far beyond Hattie May’s initial 57 pennies. Grace Baptist Church not only built a new children’s ministry wing, but also a new ministry center, today seating over 3,000 people. Out of that movement of generosity from Hattie May’s example the church built Temple University in Philadelphia, and Good Samaritan Hospital. In fact, you can visit Temple University today and find a picture on the wall of Hattie May Wiatt, a little girl who’s 57 pennies were used by God far beyond the limits of her life.