Flint church raises more than $157,000 to pay off medical debt for Genesee County residents

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - It’s one of the most overwhelming areas of debt for many.

According to a recent study, 28% of people with an outstanding medical balance owe more than $10,000. Those are troubling numbers for Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church Pastor Rabon Turner.

“When you when you look at what America is going to get worse and deal with the pandemic has had a major effect and then on top of that you have people who are unable to meet their obligations with their medical debt,” Turner said.

The Flint pastor said after talking with a fellow pastor about his church’s efforts to help offer relief to people saddled with medical debt, Turner decided to do the same in his community.

“It’s been important for us to just kind of take the blessings that God has given us to be blessing other people,” he said.

So Grace Emmanuel partnered with RIP Medical to help pay off medical debt for people living in Genesee County. The church started collecting donations on the second Sunday in March with a modest goal to reach by the last Sunday in April. In that short period of time, they raised over $157,000.

“My goal was to get about $50,000. And as you can see we were able to do substantially more than that, so we are grateful for that,” Turner said.

The money was used to anonymously help 118 people with an average of about $1,333 medical debt paid. Turner said they’re just getting started.

“Money is still coming in,” he said. “This is not the final number so we are still going to be able to make some substantive contributions to those who are standing in need.”

“It is a privilege and an honor just to know that they care so much about their fellow man, and that’s what the church is supposed to be, to be a blessing to other people as God has blessed us,” he said.

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