Consumer Payment Card News

Praying Off Debt

A Bishop in the Mount Carmel church in Norfolk, Virginia has called for the end of the evils of credit cards and has held “Debt Revivals” to destroy the credit card debts of its members. During the past year, more than 1,000 church members have cut up their cards and the church has collectively paid off more than $300,000 in individual members’ card debt. The story of Bishop C. Vernie Russell Jr.’s war on credit card debt ran as a feature in this week’s Wall Street Journal. Bishop Russell’s church has 3,000 predominantly African-American members with a large percentage of military families. Russell randomly selects the members for debt liquidation at the regular revivals. Once a member’s debt has been cleared they are asked to donate $300 at subsequent revivals. The largest individual member’s debt the church has tackled so far was $21,000, raised over three consecutive days. The Church’s goal is to have the 3,000-member congregation debt-free, except for mortgages and car loans.

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