Access Church in Lakeland, Florida is helping their community reach financial freedom by paying off more than $1.6 million in medical debt.
Pastor Jason Burns told CBN News that 1,315 families received letters in the mail saying that their medical debt had been paid.
"This is the first time the church has paid off medical debt. Every year we receive a special offering that allows us to be proactive throughout the year. A few months ago we got the idea to do medical debt. The letters went out to recipients two to three weeks ago."
Access Church partnered with an organization who buys the debt in bulk, then dissolves it.
The recipients were people whose household income is less than half of the federal poverty line - leaving them crippled by medical debt.
"Our church partnered with an organization who was able to pinpoint people in Lakeland who were in extreme need of medical debt relief – people who were financially insolvent or whose income is less than half of the federal poverty line. Then, the organization bought large amounts of debt in bulk and our giving eliminated the debt immediately."
Goodbye, medical debt! This week, Access Church paid for $1,620,799.58 of deeply deferred medical debt in Lakeland to be COMPLETELY ELIMINATED! pic.twitter.com/GXCTJQlJFD
— Access Church (@Access) November 19, 2019
Pastor Burns explained that the church doesn't know who the recipients are, but hopes that the effort will bring them closer to Jesus.
"We thought about a practical need in our city where we could lift burdens and lift the spirits our the people. I really hope that it inspires more generosity," he said.
"I hope this helps us spread the gospel. We want to reach people. Our real hope is that this opens the door for one person to hear Jesus."
Burns said the letters should be hitting mailboxes any day now and the church expects to hear from a lot of people in the coming weeks.
The goal was to provide financial relief to families and help give them a fresh start.
"The response from our church has been overwhelming. Thank you members of Access Church for your generosity. You're making a difference in our city and in the world!"