In Church's Hour of Need, Rare Coin Comes to the Rescue

'In God We Trust' has new meaning at GracePoint Church
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2017 7:07 AM CDT
Woman Donates Rare $300K Coin to Indiana Church
Only 30 Double Eagle $20 coins were struck in 1866.   (Heritage Auctions )

When Ben Lamb put out the call for funds for a new home for his Indiana church, the pastor hoped congregants would to show their generosity. But as time ticked away to secure a bank loan for a permanent building for GracePoint Church, Lamb began to lose hope. One man donated $150,000, but the church needed twice that to meet the bank's terms, the Chicago Tribune reports. Then a woman offered up a gold $20 Double Eagle coin. The rare piece stamped 1866 was in the first series stamped with "In God We Trust." The coin, one of 30, was never put in circulation. There are believed to be only 10 left, a rep for Heritage Auctions tells NBC Chicago. She estimates the coin could sell for more than $300,000 at an auction later this month. "Honestly, we were completely stunned by the value of the coin," Lamb says.

The donor, who requested anonymity, tells CBS Chicago she has all she needs. "I can get by just fine. I’m not looking for wealth." But Lamb tells NBC the coin, which was purchased by her late husband, a collector, has been something of a "thorn in her side" since four assailants broke into her house a few years ago and tried to steal it. A neighbor intervened and they failed. For Lamb, the "incredible gift" that will allow GracePoint to move into a converted furniture store has restored his faith. "It’s ironic that the last few hours before our financial deadline, the congregation had to do exactly what the coin’s motto said over a hundred years ago: trust God.” (President Trump's Ferrari didn't pull in as much as expected at auction.)

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