Chesapeake church advertises ‘Porn Sunday’

CHESAPEAKE, Va.(WAVY) – Signs of all shapes and sizes line most roads, begging drivers for attention. But six signs along several Chesapeake roads did an unusually good job of catching attention this week.

“It’s weird. Who would advertise like this?” asked Chesapeake resident Sarah Jorgensen.

“It’s a four-letter word,” said resident Bonnie McManus. “It’s one of those four-letter words that people immediately see and are put off by or appalled by.”

That four-letter word is “Porn.” It’s the focus of an event being hosted this weekend by the Church at Hampton Roads.

“I think you get the responses from the parents who might be fearful of the subject,” said Pastor Joel Brown, who knew controversy would follow the “Porn Sunday” signs. “The perception might be that we are just trying to get attention, we’re just trying to build a church. It could not be farther from the truth.”

Brown said the event is to warn people of the dangers of porn, and to do that he’s bringing in former porn star Shelley Lubben to talk about the industry.

“Pornography baits and switches you,” Brown said. “It’s an addiction that will kill your business, your family and your relationships.”

While the signs have caught the attention of many, they also garnered an unexpected response. Church officials say they put the signs up last Friday, and by Sunday, someone had stolen all of them.

“I get the reaction that people are having, but if they actually went to the website, our pastor has put up his blog explaining why his family has been affected,” McManus said.

Related Link: Pastor Brown’s blog about Porn Sunday

“My wife, starting at the age of 5, was sexually abused and forced to watch pornography every day for 10 years,” Brown said. “Personally, I was addicted to porn throughout my teenage years.”

Church at Hampton Roads meets every week at Grassfield High School. School officials said the church was approved to use the venue, though, there rules that need to be followed. WAVY.com was told the church is doing nothing wrong, but school officials have expressed their concern about the event to Pastor Brown.

“I don’t think it should be at a school, but then again, it probably shouldn’t be at a church also,” Jorgensen said.

“It might be uncomfortable, but I think the best thing for us to do, if we truly love our kids, is to equip them before they go and see the collateral damage of an addiction,” Brown said.

Church officials say they plan to put up more signs this weekend.

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