The “Million Dollar Sermon” Story

Here’s an interesting story extracted from “Think & Grow Rich”. It’s about noted preacher, educator, and pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, the late Frank W. Gunsaulus who delivered the “Million Dollar Sermon” to create money (in a creative manner) in order to make a difference in his society.

The late
Frank W. Gunsaulus was a beloved educator and clergyman who began his preaching career in the stockyards region of Chicago.

While Dr. Gunsaulus was going through college, he observed many defects in the educational system, defects which he believed he could correct, if he were the head of a college.

He made up his mind to organise a new college in which he could carry out his ideas, without being handicapped by orthodox methods of education. But he needed a million dollars to put this project across!

He didn’t have that large sum of money. And could not make any real progress for almost two years.

One day while in his room thinking ways and means to raise the money to carry out his plans, he daunted on him that he had done nothing but think. He finally resolved that the time had come to take action!

He made up his mind, then and there, that he could get the necessary million dollars within a week.

What happened next was he called the newspaper and announced he would preach a sermon the following morning, entitled- “What I would do if I had a million dollars.”

The next morning he rose early, went into the bathroom, read his sermon, then knelt on his knees and asked that his sermon might grab the attention of someone who would supply the needed money.

At the pulpit where he begin his sermon to the audience, he spoke with all his heart and soul of his dreams. He shared what he would do with a million dollars if that amount was placed in his hands. He described his plans in organising a great educational institution where young people would learn to do practical things, and at the same time develop their minds.

When he had finished and sat down, a man alowly arose from his seat and made his way toward the pulpit. That man approached Dr. Gunsaulus with an extended hand and said, “Reverend, I liked your sermon. I believe you can do everything you said you would, if you had a million dollars. My name is Phillip D. Armour.”

Next, Dr. Gunsaulus went to Mr. Armour’s office and the million dollars was presented to him. With that money he founded the Armour Institute of Technology, now known as Illinois Institute of Technology which has been a existing legacy till today.