A pastor in Carrollton heard about NBC 5's medical debt initiative and wanted to get involved. He said with a problem this massive, he knew he had to do something big to help make a change.
Joined hand-in-hand, members of Covenant Church in Carrollton arrived on Resurrection Sunday anxious, eager to be uplifted by song and inspired by the word of God.
But even with all of the pomp and circumstance that occurs on Easter Sunday, the message delivered by lead pastor Stephen Hayes is one that no one in the pews was expecting, a message he said came directly from Jesus as he lie on the cross.
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"Jesus in that moment was saying, 'Guess what? All the debt to sin that has been committed and all that ever could be, it is finished. The debt to sin has been paid,'" the pastor explained.
For those who remained uncertain about this message of unpaid debts, Pastor Stephen used numbers to help drive it home.
"If you give $100, then you're paying off $10,000 of debt, right? Well, what if you gave $100,000? If you pay off $100,000, you pay off $10 million of debt that is potentially crushing and/or keeping people from taking their next step in life and fulfilling what they're called to do," he said.
The announcement that followed would surprise his congregation and make his words that more real.
"Covenant, we committed $100,000, and this week 4,229 families in our area will get a letter saying your debt is completely paid," the pastor revealed.
With the help of the non-profit organization RIP Medical Debt, Covenant made a $100,000 donation that will help thousands of families with medical debt.
"I think that is amazing. Definitely something I support 100 percent," one church member said.
A portion of the donation will go to veterans in North Texas, news that left one church member in tears.
"I have grandparents who are veterans, too. So just thinking about the hardship that would cause for someone. It wasn't their choice. They didn't go into debt because they ran up the credit card. It's because something that happened to them. So I just love that we were able to help people where it wasn't their choice. But we got to choose to help them. I just love that."
It's a problem that affects people from all walks of life: veterans, seniors and even children.
But as the communities in North Texas come together to erase debt for their neighbors, those who are struggling will begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel, one dollar at a time.
With covenant's contribution, NBC 5 viewers have donated enough money to eliminate more than $15.5 million in medical debt.
If you'd like to donate, click here.