Kasey McClure looks for all the world like your average mother and housewife. The petite, platinum-blond ball of energy can be found multitasking as she keeps one eye on her daughter and talks on the phone answering questions. But at one point, McClure made a decision to step into the role she has today and out of the world of exotic dancing. Not only did Kasey McClure turn her life around, but backed by her faith-based band of volunteers, 4Sarah, she’s made it her mission and ministry to help other women do the same.
Both McClure and her older sister were molested by their father at an early age. Her abuse began when she was just three years-old. When she turned 18, she followed in her sister’s footsteps stripping at the Gold Club in Atlanta. After five years in the industry, her future husband and church provided the catalyst for to her to leave. Though tempted to return for financial reasons, she became pregnant with her daughter Sarah and knew she would never return. "I felt a conviction, and I had to give it up," said McClure.
Encouraged by her pastor, Dr. Jerry Patterson of Faith Tabernacle UPC, McClure established 4Sarah in 2005. The group’s outreach team, the "Wild Angels," visit strip clubs once a month dispensing gift bags with treats and inspirational materials. Their immediate goal is to offer the women a support system. "It can take a while to get the confidence to leave. It’s a process…we go in and build friendships and encourage them to get into a church and let them know the church isn’t judgmental," said McClure.
One former dancer, who went back to school and now manages a doctor’s office, said, "I thought there was no hope for me, but Kasey talked to me about God and told me I was somebody. It was something I had never heard before." Four years later, she still reads from the same small Bible that was in the gift bag. "It reminds me where I was and where I am now," she said.
Kim Eskew, one of the team’s "church ladies," became involved when she and Kasey realized their causes overlapped. Eskew is a member of Faith Tabernacle’s ministry at the Rockdale County Jail and would encounter female inmates who were strippers and prostituted themselves for drugs or money. "What touched me was most of them had been molested, raped or abused as children," she explained. McClure estimates that roughly 80 percent of women in the trade have suffered these experiences.
Eskew’s first foray in the clubs was "eye-opening." Usually, they enter the clubs through the back into the dressing rooms. Though they have been kicked out before, most women are receptive. Some "house mothers" even refer the girls to 4Sarah when one is having difficulties.
Besides spiritual and emotional support, Eskew has assisted girls with applying to schools and has driven them to college. "Because we helped, they were able to go a different path," she said. One girl, both Eskew and McClure remember vividly, they met when she was six months pregnant working as a "shooter girl." She was very standoffish at the time, but called them right after she had the baby. "I had no one at the time, but they got me through it..they even helped me get a car," said the now married, stay-at-home mother, who’s expecting her second child.
McClure and her team have also been contacting girls soliciting themselves on Craig’s List. In 2008, she briefed the study committee of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Minors on her experiences at the Georgia State Capitol. "I really find so much purpose when we go and try to guide the girls into something so much better then selling their bodies to complete strangers," she said.
To learn more about 4Sarah or how to contribute gift bag items, contact Kasey McClure at www.4Sarah.org or at