hunger strike when strip club promises to sell
By Deann Alford
seven years of prayer by shutting down a homosexual strip
joint next door to the church and ministries under the direction
of Assemblies of God Pastor Roger Huang.
But then, two
weeks later, the owner of the sex business opened a similar
operation catering to a heterosexual clientele in the same
when Huang, 48, and his wife, Maite, vowed to lay their
lives on the line: Beginning April 5, they wouldn’t
eat until the strip club closed. Roger camped out in front
of San Francisco City Hall in a folding chair, where he
with passers-by, listened to worship music on a compact
disc player, and prayed. Maite continued her administrative
duties at the church as days, then weeks, passed and she
and her husband grew weaker.
Both were prepared
to die, says their son, Christian Huang.
Then 33 days
later on May 6, something occurred that Christian calls
a miracle. The strip-club owner offered to sell his building
to San Francisco Worship Center, the church where the Huangs
pastor. The church has served inner-city San Francisco for
19 years and is an Assemblies of God U.S. Missions national
The Huangs ended
San Francisco banished its strip clubs to what was then
the sparsely populated Tenderloin district. Today it’s
a square mile of strip clubs, adult theaters and liquor
joints, but now some 30,000 souls also call it home. Much
of the decadence occurs at Boeddeker Park, where drug deals
are openly transacted on domino tables and people shoot
up drugs and have sexual intercourse in a public bathroom.
The church moved
to the Tenderloin location, the former Musicians Union Building,
in 1997 and opened a Christian elementary school for 35
students. It also continued operating San Francisco Rescue
Mission, which serves 800 homeless each week.
to dedicate 33 days on behalf of these children and their
futures really reaches the heart of God,” says David
W. Turner, a teacher at San Francisco Christian Academy,
the kindergartern through eighth-grade school operated by
The zoning commission
is considering a request from the Huangs to reduce the number
of liquor and sexually oriented businesses in the Tenderloin
district. There is currently a moratorium on granting liquor
licenses. San Francisco district supervisors are considering
a plan that forbids opening a strip club within 1,000 feet
of a school.
assistant pastor of the rescue mission and the church, says
the Huangs’ hunger strike made an impact on city officials
as well as Christian residents who want to help.
brought attention to these issues,” Gella says. “We
won’t know for months what the full outcome will be,
but we’re getting verbal commitments. In the spiritual
realm, God is moving hearts.”
owner is asking $1.4 million for his building, which San
Francisco Worship Center is seeking to raise. The church
would expand its ministry by using the building as a gym
and living quarters for those needing housing.
strike was just a matter of obedience to finish in the physical
realm what has already been accomplished in the spiritual
realm,” Roger Huang told PE Report. “That made
it a lot easier for me to go day after day, night after
night, sitting and sleeping in front of City Hall. God has
called us to the Tenderloin. He will not let us linger.”