Church/Strip Club Rivalry

Church/Strip Club Rivalry

Local woman intervenes in feud between church, strippers
SAN DIEGO - A feud between a strip club and a church in Ohio took an interesting twist last weekend when a San Diego woman stepped in to help.

Sheri Brown of The Rock Church in Point Loma heard that New Beginnings Ministries in Warsaw, Ohio, had been protesting The Foxhole, nearby strip club, for four years. Then the strippers turned the table and started picketing outside the church.

"My heart was just grieving for the girls, because I felt like they didn't know that Jesus loved them, and they needed to know that," said Brown.

Brown works with adult entertainers, trying to get them to embrace the teachings of her church. She has prayed with porn stars and seen strippers saved. She and a friend, a former stripper herself, felt compelled to go to Ohio and meet with the dancers.

"They were crying. They were just so appreciative, because they felt like up to that point maybe it was true -- maybe God didn't love them," said Brown. "We just brought the love of Jesus to them."

Next the strippers met with church representatives and even spoke at the Sunday service.

"(I said,) 'It's not our job to call the girls out of the club,'" Brown said. "'I would like to see you love on the girls as Jesus would love on them. If you want to change that -- if you want to do things differently -- then stand with me.' The whole congregation stood to their feet."

After the church service, the dancers were waiting outside and something miraculous happened, Brown said.

"We saw the most incredible sight you've ever seen," she said. "The church people had reached out to the girls and everybody was crying. It was so amazing."

The pastor hugged a dancer and asked for forgiveness. Dancers embraced church goers. The wide divide seemed to have been bridged.

Brown would have liked for the battle to have ended there, but it didn't. After the weekend visit, the pastor talked to a local paper.

"He said he still felt called to shut the strip club down," she said.

The strife between the club and the congregation has continued, but Brown said she believes it's not the end of the story.

"(God) can get the honor and glory in the end, when we're removed from the situation," she said.,0,3812302.story


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