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Beware Enterprises That Require New Clothes

Mon., July 21, 1997, midnight

Tiffany thought she had heard it all until a Baptist minister offered her and fellow exotic dancers new jobs, medical insurance and child care - on the condition that they quit stripping.

A meeting held Sunday by the minister and business allies raised $3,000 from scores of residents.

Still, dancers were cool to the idea.

“Can you imagine me as a plumber?” said Tiffany, a three-year veteran of West Virginia strip bars, speaking on condition that only her stage name be used. “Where else am I going to make $280 a night and have so much fun?”

She wasn’t the only one who didn’t think much of the plan put forward by the Rev. Gerry White, pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church, located just down the road from Lady Godiva’s strip joint.

Strippers bristled at the presumption that they’re doing something wrong.

“I’m a dancer. I don’t see anything wrong with being a dancer,” said Amanda Rice, 21, another Lady Godiva’s dancer. “If I wanted another job, I could get another job.”

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