Free spirited ex-G.I. and unemployed construction worker Homer Smith stops at a remote farm in the Arizona desert to get water when his car overheats. The farm is being worked by a group of German refugee Catholic nuns, headed by the strict Mother Maria, who believes that Homer has been sent by God to build a much-needed church in the desert.
Homer Smith (Sidney Poitier), an itinerant handyman, is driving through the desert when he meets five nuns. Stopping to fix their leaky farmhouse roof, Homer discovers the Mother Superior also wants him to build their chapel - for free! Hesitant at first, Homer soon finds himself single-handedly raising the chapel and the financing. But although he will not receive a monetary reward, Homer knows that when his work is done, he'll leave the desert town...