An ongoing battle between a strip club and church in Ohio has grown increasingly tense as strippers held a topless protest during Sunday service at the church. New Beginning Ministries in Warsaw has been feuding with Foxhole North for nearly nine years. The owner of Foxhole North, Thomas George, said he cannot understand why Bill Dunfee, pastor of the church, will not leave their club alone.
George said there is another church only 900 feet away that causes the club no problems “…but the moron who is nine miles away continues to be a headache.” The club owner just wants the church to leave his strip club alone. George has tried twice to get an injunction against New Beginnings in the form of a buffer zone but was denied both times; he feels the protest was his last resort.
I have been left no recourse by the county judge, sheriff and other people around there who have supported the church. I don’t want to use nudity, but obviously Dunfee does not understand the meaning of just go away.
This was not the first time the dancers have protested outside of this church. In 2010, their feud made headlines again when Foxhole’s dancers showed up in front of the church in bikini tops holding signs with quotes such as “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing.” Foxhole believes the leaders from the church are false prophets who preach a message of hate.
During the last protest Laura Meske, one of the club’s dancers, said she believes in Jesus but not the message New Beginnings preaches. “They promote hatred. Everyone has sinned, but that does not mean they will not go to heaven.”
The pastor admits he would like to see Foxhole North close down because he wants the strippers to stop sinning. He added, his church has worked to offer alternatives to both the employees and patrons of the club. Dunfee understands that some of the women have sought employment at the strip club out of desperation.
I told them I will put a roof over their heads, their bills will be paid and their children’s stomachs will be full.
One church member named Debi Durr said, while a fellow member of the church stood and offered food to the strippers outside, “That’s not hate, that’s love. You don’t stand up there for years because of hate.” The pastor said at least one of the club’s dancers turned to Christ and left the club as a result of their efforts. He added, “Business has also decreased at Foxhole.”
It does not appear that there will be a resolution to the feud anytime soon. Dunfee said the protest will not deter his attempts to shut the club down because it is a fight against Christianity. In addition to offering the women help, the church will continue to speak out against the strip club and its activities. The pastor said the topless protest was just another opportunity for New Beginnings Ministry to witness.
The bottom line for us is that it’s a gospel issue. When the church was born over 2,000 years ago, it was in the midst of opposition. We know what we’re doing is working.
At one point 30 dancers accompanied by at least six bare-breasted women walked to the edge of the church’s parking lot. They stayed there nearly four hours. George said he will show up at the church every Sunday until they find a new target. He called the pastor and his congregants hypocrites stating,
They come up every weekend and they are very abusive and certainly unchristian-like. They are abusive to the customers. They sit out with video cameras and take pictures of license plates, telling them they are posting them to the web.
The owner of the club cannot understand why the church continues to target them and wishes he would just leave them alone. The ongoing feud between Foxhole North and New Beginnings Ministry lead to a topless protest outside of the church’s Sunday service. The protesters faced no criminal charges because topless is legal in Ohio, state statutes do not specifically ban the baring of one’s breasts in public.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)