The billboard towering over a gentlemen’s club in Birmingham, Ala., reads “Strip for Me.” The quote’s attribution? Jesus.
The ROCK Church of Birmingham bought billboard space in 10 locations throughout the city in hopes of sparking people’s interest in the Bible and, ultimately, affecting change in the community.
The location that’s getting the most notice is directly over the Palace Gentleman’s Club, where the verse from Hebrews 12:1 certainly commands attention.
“With ‘Strip for Me,’ really we’re talking about Jesus,” church Pastor Mike McClure Jr., 29, told ABCNews.com, referencing the New Living Translation version of the Bible. “Strip off every weight of sin that slows you down. How many times have we said, ‘My life is moving so slow?’ Maybe there are some things that you need to strip off.”
The billboard, which went up Monday morning, was strategically placed over the club to target what McClure calls the root of the problem.
“In the African-American community, men aren’t present in the home,” said McClure, who’s African-American. “If I can get a man to go home, a man can change his house, the house changes the community, the community changes the state, and the state will change the world. It starts in the African-American community with the brother in the house.”
A man who identified himself as a manager of the Palace Gentleman’s Club declined to comment.
McClure said he understands that people might not agree with what he’s doing but that there are “too many people dying in my city right now to be politically correct.”
“People say on Twitter that I’m a pimp because I put that outside the strip club,” he said. “I must admit, I am a pimp. I am a P-I-M-P. People is my passion. I love people.”
McClure said the billboards cost the church “a couple thousand dollars.” The church has plans to roll out a new campaign once the contract with the Lamar Advertising Co., an outdoor advertising firm, is up sometime in the next six to nine months, he said.
“Jesus walked into the temple and turned over tables. He wasn’t politically correct,” he said. “I put my money where my mouth is. Now I just feel like it’s time to take things to another level.”