Strip Club Owner Gets Baptized, Changes Lives of Dancers

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When police arrested a human trafficker at one of her "gentlemen's clubs" three years ago, Donna Holbrook began to re-evaluate her life.

She had always believed in God and wanted to help women, but her relationship with Him wasn't a close one. But after the man was arrested for sex trafficking women in one of her clubs, the Holy Spirit convicted her not only to get out of that business, but also to re-dedicate her life to the Lord.

"I have always known God, but I felt I needed a closer connection," Holbrook told The Christian Post. "Reverend [El Akuckie] from Fusion Church and I talk, and I was explaining things to him. And so, I gave my life back to God. And then, I had a baptism after that.

"After the baptism, that's what really changed my whole entire being. I just feel light, and I don't have heaviness anymore. I don't know how to explain it. It's just an amazing feeling."

Holbrook, 55, says she worked with a human trafficking task force to apprehend the perpetrator—after she and her husband came to Christ.

Holbrook was baptized at Fusion Church in Lexington, Ohio in 2019. Following her husband's death from cancer in 2020, she decided to close the doors of the two clubs after five years in business and felt convicted to sell both businesses. She now works as a real estate agent in Ohio.

Holbrook says she and her late husband, Steve, needed a church to attend and they "stumbled across Fusion Church" in Lexington.

"We love the atmosphere and the people," Holbrook told Frontlines Ohio. "Not only that, but the Holy Spirit is there and that is important to us. In April 2019, we gave our lives to the Lord. But while we were transferring an doing all these things, we still owned two gentlemen's clubs. So when we gave our lives to the Lord, our hearts changed."

Holbrook said that she once "viewed her clubs as a safe place for women to dance and for her to share the gospel with as many women as she could, and invite them to church."

She felt deep conviction that she could no longer participate in such a business.

"Prior to going to church, we were reaching out to these girls (dancers) and helping them get back into college; we found them jobs in order to get them out of the clubs," Holbrook recalled.

Frontlines Ohio reported that many of the dancers—and some of the bartenders—came to Fusion Church and were welcomed with open arms.

"Our congregation treated them just like we would have treated any other first-time guest at Fusion," says Fusion Church Lead Pastor Terry Garrett. "The last thing they needed, was to think they had a scarlet letter over their head. Our goal is to create a space for them to grow in their relationship with Christ and to let the Holy Spirit bring conviction."

Frontlines Ohio reported that a recent wave of sex businesses, including Holbrook's, have closed in North Central Ohio and are "falling like dominoes."

new cm coverimage"We bought clothing and food for the girls and had a Bible at each of our clubs," Holbrook said. "These girls (dancers) would be like, 'What are you doing with a Bible in this kind of place?' I know this is not normal, but that is what we did. We were not there to make money, we were there to save souls. This was our heart: to be inside the clubs and helping the girls get out."

And the former dancers' lives have changed dramatically. They now know Jesus, and they are grateful.

"I still have the girls coming to me—they are managers of stores and restaurants and they thank me for loving them and showing them what Jesus is all about. Some of them have even given their lives to Jesus," said Holbrook.

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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