A megachurch in Cincinnati announced Sunday that it is paying off $46.5 million in medical debt for more than 45,000 families.
Crossroads Church partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a medical debt relief nonprofit, to wipe out debts for people in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. They will receive bright yellow envelopes this week letting them know the good news.
"Churches are at our best when we are a blessing to real people in our communities," Senior Pastor Brian Tome told Fox News Thursday. "We're not here to just have big Sunday meetings."
Tome told his congregation about the "opportunity to multiply our impact" during a Nov. 23 sermon, "They'll get a letter that says, 'Congratulations, your debt has been paid because someone loves you and there is a God that has not forgotten about you.'"
On Sunday, the pastor read aloud a message from one of the lucky beneficiaries.
"I received this piece of mail in this bright yellow envelope and started to throw it away," the pastor read. "But when I saw that it said your medical debt has been paid, I thought, 'seriously, wait a minute.' When I read it I got emotional – the person continued – because I have been so needing a break with getting my credit together. I really appreciate the gift."
The church wiped out debt for 41,233 households in Ohio for a total of $42.8 million, 2,974 Kentucky households abolishing $1.9 million in debt, 503 Tennessee households for $1.5 million, and 136 Indiana homes for $200,000, FOX 19 reports.
For every $100 donated to RIP Medical Debt, $10,000 in medical debt is wiped out, according to the New York-based organization.
Crossroads Church's recent deed constitutes the largest amount of medical debt eliminated in the nonprofit's history.