DELAND, Fla. — A Florida church is spending more than $7 million to pay off the medical debt for 6,500 people.

The congregation at Stetson Baptist Church in DeLand took a special offering last month to help pay off medical debt for low-income residents in the area. The 2018-2019 year was 53 Sundays instead of 52 so the church already had enough to cover its annual operating expenses. 

It decided to try to raise $48,000 to split between a foster home charity and another that buys medical debt from health care providers, with the goal of paying off the debts.

Pastor Dan Glenn told the Orlando Sentinel the church raised three times its goal — enough to pay off the medical debt of every Volusia County resident living at the federal poverty level, plus those in four other counties.

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