RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – A church in Russellville is giving back in a huge way. City Church paid off more than $3 million worth of medical debt, for more than a thousand people in the River Valley area.
A few years ago City Church paid off its building debt and has been saving up money since.
David Howell, the campus pastor, found out they could take $26,000 and pay off that $3 million to people who need it the most.
The church decided to do just that for people in Pope County, Johnson County, and Conway County.
“Once we know it was legit and once we found out it was a real concern almost impacting 1,600 people in our community, we said, yeah, we’ll take advantage of it quick,” City Church senior leader Chris Abington said.
David Howell reached out to the non-profit RIP Medical Debt based out of New York. Its mission is to abolish destructive medical debt for those who need it the most.
“It models what the gospel of Jesus is. I will pay your debt. Before he even chooses him, he chooses us,” Abington said.
Since Easter the church has been working with the non-profit. RIP Medical Debt buys the credit from collectors and resolves it for pennies on the dollar It gives the patients with piling bills freedom.
“We just know it was 1,589 accounts,” Howell said. “They told us our cost would be $26,000 to eliminate that.”
This week those who are benefiting from this are learning they have received this gift through a letter.
They don’t know who they helped, but City Church hopes they see the work of Christ through them
“You have a debt, you will never be able to pay. I had a debt I couldn’t pay, and God stepped in and said, I’ll pay that debt,” Howell said.
For those who had their medical debts paid off, the church is also offering financial counseling classes.
Visit RIP Medical Debt to learn more about the non-profit.