Lakeland church pays $1.6 million in community medical debt

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)- Access Church lead pastor, Jason Burns, is still brimming with excitement after his monumental announcement to his congregation this past Sunday. 

“We paid $1.62 million in medical debt,” said Burns. 

The Lakeland house of worship was able to raise enough money to pay over 1.6 million dollars of medical debt in the community. 

“We partnered with an organization and what we were able to do was give. They combined that debt in massive bulk amounts so though the generosity of our church, we were able to pay $1.62 million dollars in debt for people we don’t even know in our community. We found out there was over 3 million dollars in deeply deferred medical debt that was owned by people who lived less than the federal poverty line,” said Burns.  

👋 Goodbye, Medical Debt!

This week, Access Church paid for $1,620,799.58 of deeply deferred medical debt in Lakeland to be COMPLETELY ELIMINATED!Our church partnered with an organization who was able to pinpoint people in Lakeland who were in extreme need of medical debt relief – people who were financially insolvent or whose income is less than half of the federal poverty line. Then, the organization bought large amounts of debt in bulk and our giving eliminated the debt immediately. That’s how it worked!Out of the $3 million+ of deeply deferred medical debt in Lakeland, we were able to eliminate over half of it! This means that 1,315 people in Lakeland received a letter this week saying that their debt was erased because of Access Church. The goal is to provide financial relief to families in our community to help give them a fresh start.Thank you members of Access Church for your generosity. You’re making a difference in our city and in the world!

Posted by Access Church on Sunday, November 17, 2019

Burns tells 8 On Your Side, his Sunday sermon, that has now been viewed thousands of times, was inspired by his own experience. 

“Six months into my marriage my wife was diagnosed with cancer and the medical bills that come in from that can be completely crushing to people,” said Burns. 

Ultimately, the church was able to eliminate a financial burden for 1,315 people.  

“The goal is to provide financial relief to families in our community to help give them a fresh start. Just love everyone where they are at. For some people a practical generous act might be the thing that they need to feel the love of God in a practical way,” said Burns. 

For more information about Access Church, visit their website here

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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