Mounting medical debt is a real issue for East Texas families and one generous East Texas church is paying it forward by helping to pay off portions of medical debt for some East Texans.

Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler is reaching out to nearly 5,000 Smith County families and offering to clear millions of dollars in debt through RIP Medical Debt. Beginning in August church members began contributing to the non-profit organization that collects generous donations from donors and organizations to erase the debt of those whose lives have been destroyed due to medical debt.

Pastor David Dykes says,

I know that there are many families in Smith County who are struggling under staggering medical debt. Our members generously donated money to allow us to bless them through RIP Medical Debt. The reason we did this is to communicate to these families that they are deeply loved by God."

KLTV 7 reports the church congregation has generously donated more than $45,000 through their community outreach program KINDNESS25:40. East Texas Matters says RIP Medical Debt randomly buys up medical debt of those who meet the following criteria:

  • two times or below the federal poverty level
  • insolvent and/or with debts that are 5% or more of their gross annual income

The non-profit organization does not help specific people. On average, every dollar that comes into the non-profit organization helps to eliminate $100 in medical debt. Dr. Dykes says yellow branded envelopes will be sent out to Smith County residents beginning today, September 6th.