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Texas Megachurch Paid Off $10.5M In Debt for Local Families

While megachurches have been in the news for negative reasons as of late, this one has done something positively remarkable.

Pastor Stephen Hayes of Covenant Church in Carrolton, Texas, was inspired by a scripture he delivered in Easter Sunday to take the $100,000 the megachurch was to use on advertising and invest it in paying off the medical debt of the community.

“When you were in debt to someone, when you reached the end of your payment plan and paid off whatever you were in payment toward, they would write like the big red ‘paid’ stamp they would put on the invoices,” Hayes told NBCDFW during his April 1 sermon. “They would write the word, ‘tetelestai.’ Jesus in that moment was saying ‘guess what, it is finished, the debt of sin had been paid.”

By donating those funds to the debt forgiver charity RIP Medical Debt, which buys medical debt for pennies on the dollar, Covenant Chruch was able to help reduce the debut of 5,000 families across four cities to the tune of $10.5 million.

“The $100,000, you invested Covenant, paid off a total of $10,551,618! Gone, gone, gone, done!” Hayes told the congregation.

“Historically a lot of churches have done it, we’ve done it — where you spend upwards of six figures to send out a mailer in a creative way,” he told NBCDFW of their plan to send letters to family’s whose debt is paid off.. “I don’t think [it’s] a wise investment, so we decided this year for Easter to send a different kind of mail, it may not be to as many people but it will have a much great impact. An ‘it is finished’ kind of letter in the mail just like Jesus did for us. What we celebrate on Easter, these families will get to celebrate that personally in their home. The bill is finished, it’s been paid, it’s forgiven.”

Among those who were helped were all the veterans in the area, which Hayes told The Christian Post was the group he initially set out to help with $50,000 going to those within a 20-mile radius of each campus. Another $50,000 was to go toward families also within the same range.

But he realized there weren’t enough veterans for the $50,000 to stretch. So Hayes used the money he’d set aside for billboards, commercials and mailers to benefit the larger community instead.

The minister knows the impact such an investment can have, too. At 17, he spent 12 days in the intensive care unit after being struck by a car. Facing the possibility of never being able to walk again, he defied the odds and walked out of the hospital, aided by the prayers and donations of the congregation.

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