Pastor Dr. Jomo Cousins and his wife, Dr. Charmaine Cousins, are ministers who founded Love First Christian Center in 2008.

Senior Pastor Dr. Jomo Cousins is the founder of Love First Christian Center in Riverview. Several years ago, Cousins experienced a large medical debt in part from his own cancer and, in addition, his daughter had been treated for a brain condition.

One Christmas, Cousins received a letter that their medical debt had been paid. Obviously, this was a huge relief for Cousins and his family and this blessing that happened all those years ago was the inspiration for Cousins to be able to pay it forward.

A few months ago, residents in Riverview, Gibsonton and Wimauma received letters letting them know that their medical debts were paid. Love First Christian Center paid the debts through RIP Medical Debt, a company that buys large bundles of medical debt at a deeply reduced cost and then, through donations, pays off the debt.

Cousins learned that Love First Christian Center could eliminate nearly $1.3 million dollars worth of medical debt for more than 800 people in the community at a reasonably low price.

“I don’t believe in accidents and I believe you reap what you sow,” said Cousins. “And, I believe God laid it on someone’s heart to help us and we had a responsibility to help someone else.”

There was no special offering or campaign drive to raise the money to pay off the medical debts. The money came from the church’s outreach budget; however, the reward for this expense was priceless.

As word spread through the community, Cousins was pleased knowing that the church’s outreach had changed lives and blessed people by helping others through this gift.

“I heard of friends of friends that were truly blessed,” said Cousins. “We try to do things that are outside the walls and beneficial to the community.”

Love First Christian Center is located at 12847 Balm Riverview Rd. in Riverview.

The church is hosting a Good Friday Worship Service on Friday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. as well as Easter services. For other service times and events, visit or call 671-2009.

Cousins is the author of Fully Equipped: God’s Total Package and The ABC’S of Success. Cousins spiritually empowers over half a million people daily via his radio broadcast heard on Fresh Wind Radio, weekly syndicated television programming, podcasts and social media outlets.

For more information, visit

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.