HOUSTON – A Fort Bend County church acquired and forgave $1.9 million of medical debt for local residents.
Crossbridge Church, based in Sugar Land, canceled debt for 688 residents, averaging nearly $3,000 per person. The recipients had household incomes below twice the federal poverty level in Fort Bend County.
“Our faith is all about Jesus purchasing and forgiving the debt of our sins through his death and resurrection,” said Chuck Lands, lead pastor at Crossbridge Church in Sugar Land.
Over the last year in response to COVID-19, members of Crossbridge Church gave toward the goal of impact the county’s most vulnerable through debt forgiveness. The church partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit working to remove the burden of medical debt.
“People facing medical hardship, especially during this COVID season, have had to choose between putting food on the table, rent, or paying a medical bill,” Land said. “This was a tangible way for us to demonstrate the Gospel and point people to the hope they have in Jesus.”
Sixty-six percent of all US bankruptcies are tied to medical debt, and according to a 2021 report by the Census Bureau, medical debt is distributed disproportionately across groups based on socioeconomic status and demographic characteristics.
In recognition of this impact on the community, Fort Bend County Judge K.P. Geroge declared May 11 as “Crossbridge Church Day.”