STETSON BAPTIST CHURCH TO ABOLISH CRIPPLING MEDICAL DEBT IN FIVE CENTRAL FLA. COUNTIES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DeLand, Fla., July 8, 2019, －Stetson Baptist Church is clearing more than $7.2 million in crippling medical debt for 6,500 individuals and families at or below the poverty line in Volusia, Lake, Putnam, Marion and Flagler Counties. The effort is part of a churchwide giving initiative that happened on June 30, 2019, called “53rd Sunday” where the church raised $153,867.19 split between two causes.
“To say that we are surprised is an understatement,” said Stetson Baptist Church Senior Pastor, Dr. Dan Glenn. “Our goal was to give enough to abolish crippling medical debt in Volusia County, but God showed up through the sacrificial giving of all ages — children up to senior citizens,” he added. “This is what the love of Christ looks like in a very practical way.”
Operating on a fiscal budget year beginning July 1, the church’s budget is calculated for 52 Sundays in a calendar year. June 30 was the 53rd Sunday in the budget year. Church leadership decided that during the week of June 30 all proceeds would be evenly split to benefit RIP Medical Debt and One More Child to help local families.
Donations to RIP Medical Debt will forgive the total medical debt of those in need in the five counties previously mentioned equaling near $7.2 million. For each $1 donated, $100 in debt is forgiven. RIP Medical Debt purchases a portfolio of medical debt and forgives the debts for people who earn less than 2x the federal poverty level, where the debts are 5 percent or more of the debtor’s annual income and the person faces insolvency (debts are greater than assets). The initial goal was a donation of $24,000, forgiving all medical debt in Volusia County which meets RIP Medical Debt’s criteria. Church leadership decided that the excess raised will be applied to abolish the medical debt in Lake, Putnam, Marion and Flagler Counties as well, affecting approximately 6,500 families total.
The other half given will be sent to One More Child (OMC), also known as Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, which provides diapers for newborns, food for hungry children, safety for abused and trafficked children and foster homes to children in crisis. OMC’s mission is to “meet the immediate needs of hurting children and struggling families while building relationships that demonstrate the love of Christ.” In 2018, OMC impacted more than 249,000 children and individuals through their expert programs and creative services to offer help, healing and hope. The amount donated is enough to fund three OMC foster homes, each housing 5-8 children, for a complete year.
Stetson Baptist Church is a Southern Baptist congregation whose vision is to be a multigenerational and multicultural family of Christ followers that reach up to the Savior, reach down to the lost, reach into the truth, and reach out to a friend. For more information, visit www.stetson.church.
Contact: Robbie Harper
YouTube clip of announcement