HealthcareLocal NewsGreen Acres Baptist Church Pays Off Millions in Medical Debt for Thousands in Smith County

The donations will reportedly amount to $918 in medical debt forgiveness per family.
December 30, 2019
Christmas came a day early for many in Tyler this year. Green Acres Baptist Church announced its congregants had raised enough money to pay off about $9 million in medical debt.

The congregants donated a little over $45,000 earlier this year to an organization called RIP Medical Debt which abolishes medical debt by purchasing large portfolios of it for cents on the dollar. The conversion, RIP Medical Debt says, amounts to one dollar in donation equals $100 in debt abolished.

On Christmas Eve, the church announced it would be purchasing medical debt for about 5,000 additional Smith County residents. This, plus a previous donation, puts the abolished debt total around $9 million.

According to RIP Medical Debt, there is close to $1 trillion in outstanding medical debt that will likely never be paid off. So, lenders are willing to take a loss on the total amount outstanding in order to retrieve some return on the investment — selling large quantities at discounted rates (similar to wholesalers like Costco and Sam’s Club). 

This is how RIP Medical Debt turns one dollar into $100.

The Texan Tumbler

Green Acres Baptist Church launched its KINDNESS25:40 in September when it made the first donation to RIP Medical Debt. The latest donation is also part of that initiative.

Pastor David O. Dykes

David Dykes, Green Acres Church pastor, told KLTV, “[T]he reason we do this is to show God’s love to people.”

“Because He has been so generous to forgive us, this idea of forgiving unpaid debt is just a reflection of God’s love for us,” he added.

A yellow envelope in the mail from Green Acres Baptist Church indicates those receiving it have been chosen to receive the relief — so don’t throw them away, the church warned.

Donations to Green Acres Baptist Church are still open for its “2019 End of Year Giving” until 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night.

To donate to RIP Medical Debt in Texas, visit here.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.