Grab a box of tissue before you read this post, as your eyes will surely be moist when you learn the latest developments in last week's "Creative Counter-Protesters" post about a church that protested a strip club, which led the strip club to then protest the church. Yes, that photo to the left shows pastor Bill Dunfee, pastor of New Beginnings Ministries, hugging it out this past Sunday with a tearful Laura Meske, a stripper at the Foxhole strip club.
One of the peacemakers who made this unlikely embrace a reality is a woman named Sheri Brown. The Columbus Dispatch reports (via Consumerist) that Brown took a break from her usual job of "evangeliz[ing] to strippers in San Diego" and flew to Ohio late week after reading about "Foxhole strippers camping out in front of the church during worship services in recent weeks, many dancing in bikinis to music from George's bright-orange Dodge Challenger."
On Sunday, Brown and a "stripper-turned-Christian" named Anny Donewald were guest preachers at Dunfee's church. They urged the congregation to rethink the parking-lot protests outside the Foxhole strip club, telling the members of the church that "it's not our job to tell these women that it's time to get out of there. Just love them. Let the Holy Spirit draw them out." This led many women from the church to file out into the street, "hugging the strippers and apologizing to them."
Donewald and Brown also went to the Foxhole on Friday and Saturday to meet the strippers, and Brown reported to the congregation that "two girls accepted Jesus in their hearts." The two strippers confirmed their acceptance of Jesus to the Dispatch, but said they won't be leaving their jobs at the Foxhole anytime soon: "Our hearts are with Jesus, but our bodies are at the Foxhole," Gina Hughes said.
In addition, it should be noted that notwithstanding the numerous hugs on Sunday, this beef is not over. Dunfee told the Dispatch that he will continue his "ministries" every weekend outside the Foxhole and push for the club to close. Foxhole owner Tommy George said that so long as Dunfee's flock keeps messing with his club, he'll keep going to the church on Sundays with carloads of friends and strippers. So stay tuned.
Posted by Bruce Carton on August 17, 2010 at 12:04 PM