One woman at a time, Erin Stevens is determined to lead every stripper in Nashville to salvation.
The 42-year-old pastor’s wife launched Strip Church in October following a 21-day fast during which Stevens claims God spoke to her directly, telling her to reach out to those farthest from a divine lifestyle.
“I just thought that I’ve got to do something,” Stevens told FoxNews.com. “So I felt the Lord say to me, ‘Go feed the strippers.’”
Stevens, whose husband is the lead pastor at Friendship Community Church in Mount Juliet, then began taking home-cooked meals to a local strip club in Nashville, Tenn., twice a month. In addition to moral support and general counseling, Stevens provided a nondenominational, judgment-free approach, she said.
“I told these girls they may not need God right now in their lives, but they will at one point,” Stevens said. “We never go in with a Bible and we never go in with a prayer sermon. We don’t try to change them, we just love them.”
Stevens said she’s met with roughly 100 exotic dancers among Nashville’s 10-15 gentlemen clubs, many of which are dens of debauchery leading to higher rates of drug use, alcohol abuse and potentially prostitution.
“A lot of them have pasts that they can’t get over, so I just say Jesus knows all that you’ve done and still sees you as 100 percent forgivable,” Stevens said. “His love is unconditional and that seems to resonate with these girls. I tell them, ‘God sees you as valuable and I see you as valuable.’”
Stevens points to a 23-year-old mother of two who stopped working as a stripper shortly after meeting her last year as proof that the approach works. The former dancer, whose name is being withheld to protect her identity, has since quit smoking and now wants to work in law enforcement after completing her degree in criminal justice.