Stripper poles, a lingerie shop and a room called “The Dungeon” weren’t enough to keep a church in Athens, Ga. from buying a new piece of real estate.
The Athens Link Fellowship recently purchased both Chelsea’s Strip Club and The Fantasy World Lingerie Shop, looking to convert the previously salacious establishments into places for worship, television station WAGA reported Tuesday.
“When this space came up it just felt like it was a real fit and it just felt really right,” parishioner Mary Redman told the station.
Walking around the abandoned strip club with the TV crew, Pastor John Gaultney noted the “handcuffs and other items like that.”
“My mind and my heart really goes out for the men and the women that may have come into this room,” he said.
Gaultney told WAGA he wanted to purchase and revamp the buildings to positively transform the community.
One thing isn’t going, though: The pastor told the station that a red neon sign reading “V.I.P. Lounge” will remain at the ex-strip club’s entrance.
“Every person that comes in here is a Very Important Person not only to us but also to God,” Gaultney said.