Texas megachurch pays off over R120m in medical debt for 4 229 Families this Easter

Pastor Stephen Hayes of Covenant Church in Carrollton, Texas reveals during Easter service on April 1 2018 that the congregation has helped relieve over 4 000 local families of medical debt. (PHOTO: Screenshot Covenant Church via The Christian Post)

Originally published in The Christian Post

A Texas megachurch has blessed more than 4,000 families within a 20-mile radius of each of its five campuses this Easter by paying off their medical debt totaling more than $10.5 million.

Stephen Hayes, senior pastor of Covenant Church based in Carrollton, announced during his Easter Sunday sermon that thanks to generous giving by church members, the church had enough extra funds to donate $100 000 (R1 203 240) to an organization that purchases medical debt for pennies on the dollar and forgives individuals and families of their debt.

Hayes explained that in years past, the church had spent upwards of $100 000 to promote Easter services through radio, TV commercials, billboards and mailers. The pastor said that a billboard alone costs about $20 000 to $30 000 per month.

However, this year Covenant Church took a different approach to how it spent the $100 000 it would normally spend on Easter advertisements.

What if we bought up some of this medical debt and write on the letters, ‘We are Covenant Church and we are local in this area and we can serve you in any way and we would love to be your church. But even if we don’t get to meet you, just know that God loves you,'” Hayes said.

Hayes said that the church donated $100 000 to an organisation called RIP Medical Debt.

Initially, the church wanted to designate $50 000 (R601 574) to veterans with medical debt within a 32km radius of each of the campuses and $50 000 to families with medical debt within 32km.

However, there weren’t enough veterans in the area to use up the entire $50,000.

“Right now, there is no veteran in our radius where we minister that will have [medical] debt from this day forward,” Hayes said, adding that many of them suffered injuries caused by war. “It is already paid. Really cool.”

Hayes said 4 229 families in the area will receive letters informing them that their medical debt has been paid off.

“We decided to put up $100,000. Man, can I tell you it is the easiest decision we have ever made,” Hayes told his congregation. “[I]t ended up paying off $10 551 618 (R127-million) in total debt that is paid and gone forever.”

Hayes reminded the crowd that they, too, have received similar letters, referring to what is written in John 19:30 when Jesus was on the cross and said, ‘It is finished.'”

“That is your letter in the mail,” Hayes said. “If you can imagine what those people this week will be feeling when they receive the letter you sent them saying their debt is paid. I prayed 100-fold that [is how] you would feel in reading the letter He wrote to you in the book of John 19:30. … Hey, your debt of sin is paid. You are covered. He wrote a letter to us too. How do we not respond when we see the letter and understand what it means? How do I not want to send letters to others and say, ‘Guess what? I received it, would you consider receiving it?'”

Hayes knows firsthand what it’s like to be riddled with medical debt. According to NBC-DFW, Hayes was hit by a car when he was 17, and spent 12 days in intensive care. His family was aided in paying off the medical bills by his church family.

One Comment

  1. It is really heart warming to see how the church of God can make a difference in the live of the less fortunate people in our society. If I may add, or rather ask. When are we as the body of Christ, start to use the correct terms (names ) for this days. Like Pass over and not Easter? Come on TCN and ACM. I want to change my generation, but need your help to do it right. Thank you for your help and understanding. We can not claim to serve a Holy GOD , give Him praise for his mercy and grace and His death on the cross , Then celebrate in a worldly manner.Feel free to communicate with me in this regard as I feel the Lord want us to be sensitive to this celebrations and what we do with it. Always praying for you all. May the Lord bless you in all the work you are doing.