Beauty From Ashes Videos


Friday, August 20, 2010

Strippers Forgiven by Congregation of Church in Ohio

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.

Source: Fox 5 San Diego

Understanding may begin end of rivalry between church, Foxhole strip club

WARSAW, OHIO -- Two adversaries, who both say they don't want to be, perhaps took the first steps in ending a four-year war Sunday.

As New Beginnings Ministries of Warsaw let out of services Pastor Bill Dunfee stepped up to Thomas George, owner of the Foxhole strip club in nearby Newcastle, and shook his hand.

View a photo gallery

Both are figureheads in a dispute that has become much bigger than them and much bigger than their establishments within the past week because of widespread media exposure.

As outside forces conspired to bring them together, it was a long morning with no one knowing what it was going to bring at the start.

9:15 A.M.
Dunfee exits his office and crosses a dirt path to the church next door to teach Sunday School.

Since news of the feud between the church and club became nationwide, Dunfee said his phone has been ringing off the hook with supporters.

"It's very encouraging to know the body of Christ is standing with us and offering their support any way they can," he said.

About four years ago, members of the church started going to the Foxhole on weekend nights to talk with patrons as they entered. They also took video and photographs of license plates and posted them on a now defunct website.

Recently, dancers of the club turned to the Bible verse about an eye for an eye and now sit in front of the church every Sunday morning while worship services are conducted inside.

"It goes above and beyond just dancers. The dancers are the victims in a strip club. This establishment in New Castle is not only destroying community and marriages, it's destroying the lives of these young ladies," Dunfee said.

Dunfee said a heated exchange Friday with his group and two men outside the Foxhole brought deputies from the Coshocton County Sheriff's Office to the club at about 1 a.m.

Ohio Revised Code does not permit a sexually oriented business to operate after midnight, unless it has a liquor license, which the Foxhole does not. Coshocton County Sheriff Tim Rogers previously said his office cannot enforce the violation until a court case on a similar situation is settled.

"If there is a court order that says they cannot enforce the law or a judge has instructed them not to enforce the law, I want to see the court order," Dunfee said. "Otherwise I will not back off the phone calls. I will not back off the e-mails. I will not back off the pressure."

9:45 A.M.
A few vehicles with music blaring pull up and park at Warsaw Lumber across from the church. About 15 people set up folding chairs at the intersection of Railroad and Church streets. Everyone has signs, some with Bible verses and some asking to be left alone.

Not all present are dancers as family and friends also have come out to pledge their support.

"I think it's wrong what these people and church are doing. They're judging people and that's talked against in the Bible," George's friend Amanda Barber, of Mansfield, said. "These women are trying to support their families and make themselves better by having a job and contributing to society. If it's what makes these girls happy, then let them. It's their constitutional right to do what they want with their bodies."

10 A.M.
George emerges from the Warsaw Lumber parking lot and sits in a folding chair to have breakfast consisting of sausage gravy and biscuits from McDonald's.

George echoes Dunfee in saying his phone too has been ringing non-stop since last Monday with supporters from across the country.

"I've gotten support from many, many people that feel the same way. They feel (the church) has gone to far," George said. "(Dunfee) has made this a personal matter and I don't feel it is a personal matter."

10:10 A.M.
The dancers run to meet two women as they exit their car. Hugs and hellos are exchanged. At first glance one easily could mistake the statuesque blonde and petite brunette with their jeans and neat makeup as fellow dancers, but they're actually there to spread the gospel.

Sheri Brown represents JC Girls of San Diego, and Anny Donewald is from Grand Rapids, Mich., with Eve's Angels. Both are ministries that specifically go into strip clubs and preach to the girls there. The pair are familiar with each other and decided to team up to visit the dancers of the Foxhole after hearing of the story.

The women also met New Beginnings members and were asked to speak during worship services to give their personal stories. Brown and Donewald invite the dancers to come in to hear them. Many said they want to but are scared to enter the church.

Donewald said when she started entering strip clubs and preaching the gospel it was with fear and not faith.

"I was like 'you've got to get out of here. God loves you so much and you've got to get out of here.' It was bad," she said. "It's not our job to tell these girls it's time to get out of there. It's our job to tell them that Jesus loves them."

A few others also appear to greet the protesters, including Dave Daubenmire, of Hebron. Daubenmire shakes each girl's hand and asks their names. He makes sure to repeat the names so he doesn't forget them.

Daubenmire, a pastor and former football coach, is known for his signature ball cap with a cross on it. He decided to leave it home Sunday, thinking a "neon sign" of his faith wasn't what was needed.

"I'm not here to tell them their lifestyle is going to lead them to hell. That's not why I'm here. I'm here to ask them 'how can I help you? How can I help you to find a dignified lifestyle,'" Daubenmire said. "They certainly know this isn't a dignified lifestyle. When they were little babies laying in the cradle, they know their mom and dad didn't pick them up and say 'gee, I hope she's a stripper.'"

10:30 A.M.
More than 50 church members take their seats in the sanctuary for a half hour of prayer, song and arms raised high in praise. Dunfee then speaks briefly on how he met Donewald and Brown before turning the floor over to them.

Donewald confesses to having been a stripper and prostitute until Jesus Christ came into her life and she decided not to have an abortion. Brown never has been an exotic dancer and, in fact, said she once hated them with a passion. Through her job as a social worker, she was given clients who were strippers. She found they had a lot in common as she and many of her clients were teen mothers and had been molested.

As they gave their testimonials to the congregation, voices could be heard shouting "Amen" and "go on."

"Just love (the dancers), just let the Holy Spirit draw them out. Let Jesus draw them out, and then he gets all the glory instead of us," Donewald said to the group.

Church doors open and the congregation leaves. Many march straight to their cars with their heads down, but many more go over to where the dancers are and do something they haven't done before. They introduce themselves.

Church member Amanda Johnson is a hair stylist and gave free haircuts to children in the community Saturday for the church's annual back-to-school event. She extends the same service to the dancers and any of their children. She tells them all they can call her anytime day or night and not just for a snip and a dye job.

"God put me in my place today, and he's given me a mission. He's made it very clear what my mission is and now to go. My mission is these ladies," Johnson said.

Source:  Zanesville Times Recorder

Table Dancers Turn Tables, Show Up at Church to Protest Being Protested

The dancers at the Foxhole in Coschocton County, Ohio, are used to arriving at work to the sounds of protests from members of the nearby New Beginnings Ministries church. But the same couldn't quite be said for the churchgoers, who showed up for services on Sunday and were greeted by the sight of bikini-clad protesters.

For the last four years, the pastor at New Beginnings has led a protest outside the Foxhole every weekend. Beyond just voicing their disapproval of the strip joint, the church members also videotape the license plates of the bar's patrons and then post the info online.

So the crew at the Foxhole decided to give the churchgoers a taste of their own medicine, sitting outside the church in skimpy outfits and cooling each other down with Super Soakers as they grilled up burgers.

They also held signs with Bible quotes like:
Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing
Revelations 22:11: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still

The strip club's owner has unsuccessfully tried to sue the church for their protests, but now he's hoping that this table-flipping will help to put an end to things.

"When these morons go away, we'll go away," he said. "The great thing about this country is that everyone has a right to believe what they want."

One of the Foxhole dancers, a married mother-of-six, says the protesters outside the strip club every weekend are ill-informed:

These church people say horrible things about us... They say we're homewreckers and whores. The fact of the matter is, we're working to keep our own homes together, to give our kids what they need.”

The New Beginnings pastor counters that he and the other protesters aren't there to condemn the dancers, but to offer them a way out. "I tell them, 'I will put a roof over your heads, and your bills will be paid, and your children's bellies will be full,'" he explains.

The pastor says the protests outside his church of only served to confirm the churchgoers' feelings. "They have now seen the evil firsthand," he says. "This has just made us stronger."

The Foxhole owner sees things differently. "They're just mad," he said, "because their wives won't let them come to my club."

Source:  The Consumerist

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BFA August Strip Club OutREACH Report

"This was my 3rd outreach with Beauty from Ashes and they just keep getting better. Being enslaved in this lifestyle myself for many years I am so blessed to see how God is wooing these women back to Him.  What I have seen with my eyes leaves me literally speechless and in awe.  Only Jesus can get the glory for the things taking place.  Julie's 6 yr. faithful commitment to this club is truly reaping the most beautiful fruit.  I have seen over 8 woman make a confession of faith and last weekend the manager of the club prayed with Julie the sinners prayer right at the bar. As you can see from the pictures, this is [not] what people would say is possible.  This man's heart is being transformed by the power of God.  We must remember what it was like for all of us before we actually surrendered all to God.  Sometimes people do not just come right out [and] it could take years. Like myself, it took many years, but seeds are being planted and seeing how these women and manager receive us with arms wide open blows my mind.  To see how God has covered us with favor and peace back in that locker room all I can say is Glory to God who can do whatever He wants,  whenever He wants, however He wants.  Your prayers are so appreciated.  Thanks Beauty from Ashes." - Shelly Lantz, Beauty From Ashes OutREACH Team

‎'He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already,' John 3:18, Girls in there just needed to know that someone cares & loves them! One girl said 'you guys are real Christians, doing real things.' Another who had found new life couldn't stop bringing girls [employees & female customers] back [to the locker room] for prayer ~ they found what truly satisfied! And that is Jesus." - Katariiana Juliao, Beauty From Ashes OutREACH Team

The Beauty From Ashes OutREACH team delivered and served home cooked baked ziti, Greek salad, rolls & baklava to their "adopted" Fort Myers strip club on Saturday, August 14th.  
While praise music played in the locker room, they also ministered through foot washings and hand massages, led bible study, served communion, distributed gift bags with beauty supplies and devotionals, and gave away copies of former dancer, Julie Shematz's, DVD testimony interview with Rod Parsley.  View the "Second Chance at Success" testimony:  CLICK HERE
3 women prayed to receive Christ, as well as the club manager.  Two former dancers came in the club asking for prayer, and the team was able to pray with all the employees, offering hope, sharing truth and encouraging them that they were created for something greater.   They also distributed post cards promoting Ian McCormick's online movie/ testimony, "Down Under," to all the customers, and placed several copies at each of the tables and at the bar.  
A huge THANKS to all our partners, contributors and prayer warriors.  Together we are making a difference! 
For more information and to view outreach pictures, CLICK HERE
DONATIONS:  We need your help to continue providing awareness, advocacy and reach, rescue and restoration services to victims of commercialized sexual exploitation.  Please consider giving a tax deductible gift today.  For  $35 or more we will send you our  Child of God CD.  For secure online donations, CLICK HERE or mail your check, cash or money order to Beauty From Ashes, 5100 S. Cleveland Ave., Ste, 318-148, Fort Myers, FL 33907.
In His love & service,
Julie Shematz & the BFA FREEdom™ Team
Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries  
Where Victims Become Over-Comers
239.939.9218 | 877.4BFA SOS (877.423.2767) Toll Free Help Line
Physical Address:  12381 S. Cleveland Avenue, Suite 506-1, at the site of Barry University | Fort Myers | FL | 33907 | Monday-Friday 10-5
Mailing Address:  5100 S. Cleveland Avenue, Suite 318, PMB 148 | Fort Myers | FL | 33907 | USA