Church helps wipe out $2.6M in medical debt for community members: ‘God has taught us’

A church in Georgia is helping thousands of people pay off their medical debt. (Source: Atlanta News First)
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 4:16 PM CDT
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CUMMING, Ga. (WANF/Gray News) - Preaching the word of God is one way Cross Atlanta Church is impacting the community, but lead pastor Josh Mayo and his congregation say they want to do more.

And they have found a way to do that while making a big difference in the lives of thousands of people.

“We’ve all been at the place where you just couldn’t pay for that bill, you just couldn’t pay for that unexpected situation,” Mayo said. “But then someone, an answer to a prayer, comes out of left field and says, ‘Hey, your debt has been erased.’ There’s nothing more like Jesus than that.”

During the past 10 years, the church’s mission has been to serve those in need.

Now, the church is relieving medical debt owed by more than 2,400 people living in Fulton and Forsyth counties

“We want to move outside the walls of this place and not just think of ministry as some service,” Mayo said.

Through a third party, church leaders said they were able to negotiate about $2.6 million in debt relief for community members.

“It’s about $10,000 per family. My wife and I had been under medical debt,” said church member Wayne Craig. “Our children had deficiencies in their immune system and we’ve been under medical debt. It can be a crushing burden for people.”

Another church member, Kim Craig, added, “God has taught us that we should love our neighbors and love others. That’s what we try to do and when he tells us to do something we try and listen.”

To commemorate the special occasion, the church has scheduled a debt-relief ceremony with its congregation for later this month.

“I think there’s not a better metaphor for the church and what Christians are supposed to be than individuals who relieve debt,” Mayo said. “Christ was a debt forgiver, and this is kind of the way we want to model our lives as well.”

Mayo said they are working with the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt to provide financial relief. They will randomly select recipients and notify them by letter next week.