City Church in Arkansas Pays Off Over $3 Million of Medical Debt for 1,589 Families

A church in central Arkansas has just paid off more than $3 million of medical debt for 1,589 of its neighbors.

“It’s one thing to communicate to you ‘we love you’ to a community. It’s another to demonstrate,” Chris Abington, senior pastor at City Church in Russellville, told CBS affiliate KTHV on Monday. “And Jesus always demonstrated it first.”

The City Church pastors say they borrowed an idea from a church in Kansas that paid off medical debts for those least able to afford their bills.

They worked with RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit based in Rye, New York, that specializes in finding people who need the most help and paying collection agencies to forgive their debt.

On average, RIP Medical Debt buys its debt for one percent of its value because the collection agencies are willing to take whatever compensation they can get.

To cover the 1,398 people in Pope County who met its criteria, RIP Medical Debt said City Church would need to pay $26,000.

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