Church pays off $3 million in medical debt, helping nearly 1,600 people

Church pays off $3 million in medical debt, helping nearly 1,600 people
A church in Russellville has recently paid $3 million in medical bills for people in need. (Source: KARK-TV)

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KAIT/KARK) - A church in the Arkansas River Valley has been working to help people in its community by paying off much-needed medical debt.

According to a report from KARK, City Church paid off its building debt several years ago and began saving money.

The goal was to help people in Pope, Johnson and Conway counties, with church leaders working with a New York-based non-profit, RIP Medical Debt, on the issue.

“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,” church senior leader Chris Abington told KARK.

The non-profit buys the credit from collectors and resolves it for pennies on the dollar, KARK reported.

However, campus pastor David Howell said the opportunity to help is an opportunity to serve Christ.

“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.

The church also offers financial counseling classes to people as well.

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