A church in southeast Missouri held a one-day missions event earlier this month with hopes to raise $24,000 to help pay off the medical debt for people in the community. But Cape First Church, instead, brought in more than $61,000.
The money will wipe out about $6 million in medical debt for individuals in Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky, Pastor Gary Brothers announced in a Facebook video.
The $61,388 brought in during just one Sunday will reach a wider range of people than originally planned, Brothers said.
The church partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a New York-based charity organization, that “locates, buys, and forgives medical debt on behalf of individual donors, philanthropists, and organizations who step up to provide financial relief for people burdened by unpaid and unpayable medical bills.”
“I have some friends who had done this before elsewhere and loved the results, so I brought it to our team and asked what they thought,” Cape First communications director David Urzi told the Southeast Missourian.
“We prayed on it and decided our church could raise $24,000. Obviously, God exceeded our expectations, and the people showed how much they care about their community and neighbors,” he said.
It will be up to RIP Medical Debt — not the church — to decide who receives the donation, but recipients will be notified their debts were taken care of by Cape First Church.
As Faithwire previously reported, the trend of churches raising money to eliminate medical debt swept the nation this summer. A Kansas church covered more than $2 million in medical debt for 1,600 families in April; a Michigan church helped nearly 1,900 families with medical debt in July.
Cape First Church has multiple locations in southeast Missouri, with the original in Cape Girardeau.