Strip club owner’s gift to missionary raises eyebrows
Reporter – Jason Hibbs
METROPOLIS, Ill. — Lap dances, missionaries, and feats of strength: sounds like a strange combination. But in one local city all three of them are about to work together, but unsurprisingly, not without controversy.
A Metropolis missionary whose ministry focuses on feeding hungry children and performing extreme feats of strength has decided to accept funding from an unlikely source: the Metro Pony Strip Club.
Missionary Butch Adams said he’s spiritually and physically strong.
We can attest to his physical strength. He showed us around his weight room Tuesday and even ripped a phone book in two.
Adams wanted money from the city to help feed hungry children.
He said he was surprised the city did not help but equally surprised the local strip club did.
They are admittedly an unusual duo: Adams, a world champion bodybuilder and Christian missionary, and his newest sponsor, Jerry Westlund, the owner of a nationwide chain of strip clubs with a Metropolis location known as the Metro Pony.
“Mr. Jerry Westlund? I’ve never met him before,” Adams said. “I was shocked when he come up to talk to me.”
Westlund did more than talk. After the missionary’s passionate plea inside city hall, Westlund offered to make a sizable donation, which would buy a truckload of food for local hungry kids.
But some said that offer is nothing more than a public relations stunt.
“I don’t believe that’s right,” said Joann Griffey, of Metropolis. “I believe they should get the money some other way.”
Much to some people’s surprise, though, Adams accepted the offer.
“I don’t care. If he’s gonna give me money to get food for children, I don’t care what he uses (his) stunt for.”
But Westlund said he’s not looking for publicity and legitimately wants to help feed the hungry.
“I can’t imagine anything more important than that,” Westlund said by phone Tuesday.
Westlund said he has given a lot of money to non-profits, including $60,000 in community college scholarships, $100,000 for afterschool programs, $50,000 for domestic violence shelters and $100,000 in children’s cancer research just in the past two years.
“It’s part of a person’s duty,” Westlund said. “It’s part of a person’s responsibility.”
Westlund said he is helping and the city should, too.
“I challenge the Metropolis City Council to match what I’m doing. I’d like to see the Metropolis City Council step up and help with these kids.”
That’s help Adams doesn’t expect but would love to get. After all, he’d take help from anyone.
Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel had no comment.
One important note: Adams contacted us about Westlund’s offer to help. Westlund said he intended to keep the donation quiet.
To learn more about Omega Force One Strength Team, click here. To make a donation to the Metropolis Feed the Children Campaign, contact City National Bank, 423 Ferry St., Metropolis, (618) 524-2161.
What do you think about the missionary’s move? Do you think Westlund’s donation is just a stunt, or genuine? Sound off below.