Waffle House waitress receives $12K in donations after encounter with local pastor

Waffle House
A Waffle House in Fort Worth, Texas. |

A pregnant waitress working at a Waffle House restaurant in Georgia has expressed a desire to start going to church again after receiving more than $12,000 in donations following an encounter with a local pastor.

In an interview with WXIA-TV last week, Bishop Eusebio Phelps, the pastor of New Faith Christian Church in the Atlanta suburb of Stockbridge, recalled a conversation he had with Waffle House waitress Hannah Hill over the phone when he recently placed an order. 

“She was so nice over the telephone, and when I got there I paid for my food and I told her to keep the change,” the bishop was quoted as saying. 

Bishop Eusebio Phelps and Hannah Hill
Bishop Eusebio Phelps, pastor of New Faith Christian Church in Stockbridge, Ga., pictured with Hannah Hill, the Waffle House waitress he raised over ,000 in donations for. |

Upon meeting her in person, Phelps realized that Hill was pregnant.

“I was just really urged to give her the rest of the money that I had in my wallet, which was around $40,” he said. “And so I gave her the $40 and I told her that I just wanted to be able to bless her so she could buy something for the baby.”

After giving Hill a $40 tip, Phelps’ conversation with her continued. Hill explained to Phelps that she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant and was planning to name her son Samuel.

“Well, we lost our son Samuel seven years ago in Atlanta,” Phelps explained. “It’s coming up on the anniversary. I went home, I told my wife what happened. … My wife and I were talking. I was like ‘Listen, I wanna raise $1,000 to give to Hannah so she can buy whatever she needs for the baby.”

Phelps took to Facebook and informed his friends and followers of his encounter with Hill. He shared his goal of raising $1,000 for her. By the time he woke up the next morning, Phelps had exceeded his expectations.

By the end of the following day, Phelps had raised $6,500 for Hill. He had planned to surprise her with the money at Waffle House. But, it ended up being her night off. 

Since Phelps had gathered an audience on Facebook Live for the surprise, the participants began working to get a hold of her.

Eventually, they were able to reach Hill’s roommate, who woke up the sleeping waitress. Hill and her roommate began to embark on the 40-minute drive to Waffle House.

In that time, donations for Hill surpassed $12,000. 

When Hill arrived at Waffle House, Phelps threw her a “surprise baby shower.” 

Hill told the news outlet that she was living with her mom and trying to make ends meet. She is currently living apart from her baby’s father at the moment. 

“I had a lot going on, and I don’t really pray that often,” Hill proclaimed. “I’m not necessarily that religious. I wasn’t raised in the Church, don’t go to church a lot, haven’t opened a Bible in forever.”

“But lately I’ve been praying,” she added. 

After expressing her gratitude to Phelps and the people who donated to her, Hill proclaims that the generosity she has received makes her eager to “get back in church.”

According to Hill, the donations came even though she never told anyone, including Phelps, about the depths of her struggles. 

“God knew. He felt it on his heart,” she stressed.

Hill plans on using the money she has received to get a car and move into a place with her roommate as well as her child’s father. 

According to a post on the New Faith Christian Church’s Facebook page Friday, the church will also provide Hill with child care services for a year for both of her children at the New Faith Early Learning Center.

“Hannah’s life will never be the same again,” the Facebook post reads.

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