A Huntsville church is buying a strip club

Leaders at Refuge plan to transform the property into a church building

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  A Huntsville church is buying a strip club. The leaders are Refuge Church say they plan to turn it into a church building and community center.

The now former strip club is located near Harvest on Highway 53. 

Jason Parks is the lead pastor at Refuge. He says, "even bold crazy prayers can be answered."

It was definitely a bold prayer that lead Jimmy Too's strip club into the hands of Refuge Church. "(I've) Driven by this area for years, driven by this building," says Parks. "And about four years ago I just felt that God placed it on my heart to begin to pray for this building as a church."

Neighbors say this transformation is the last thing they would have expected. Kayla Bell who works at K-May's Donuts next door says, "It's different. I'm not expecting, just I would not expect something like that. Just sitting in that church knowing it used to be a strip club would be kind of weird for me."

Kayla, sees this as a good change. "I think the church would be safer because it doesn't attract the type of people the strip clubs attract," she says. "Negative people, the people who drink."

Jason Parks is looking to make this new church building a place that does good for the community. He wants the front to be a community center and use the industrial kitchen for soup kitchen. He wants to create a more welcoming area on the back patio for events and youth bands. And wants more positive action for the newly closed club.

"I just can't stand when buildings sit empty throughout the week and are only used on Sundays," says Parks. "So this gives us the ability to really reach people all throughout the week and provide services for them."

And Jason says anyone who used to work at the strip club will be more than welcomed to join their church. He hopes to have all the paperwork finalized this summer. Once the ink is dry, he plans to transform the strip club into the church building. Refuge hopes to move into the new campus this fall. 


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