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Lafayette church buys buildings from strip club

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Lafayette is losing one of its two strip clubs after Fillys Gentlemen’s Club sold its two buildings to the church next-door.

For nearly a year, Fillys and Lafayette Community Church have been neighbors.

But after Fillys co-owner Ed Gobel and Lafayette Community Church lead pastor Jeff Mikels got to talking one day, they decided it would be mutually beneficial to have the church buy the two buildings owned by Gobel.

“I’m happy that we can be part of their expansion,” said Gobel. “I think the people we met from the church have had an influence on our community, and I think they will continue to do so especially with the youth and things like that. So we respect their position.”

Mikels couldn’t be happier.

“The building has worked out better for us than I thought it was going to. The relationship with our neighbors has worked out better than I thought it would,” said Mikels.

Now, the church is focusing on the next step in the process.

“We are really excited about the possibilities to use those two buildings, to be a blessing to the people in the neighborhoods nearby,” said Mikels. “We’ve got all kinds of ideas. Right now, we are in the dream phase.”

The once lively strip club is preparing to hold an auction on all their items. That will take place Jan. 28 at 10 a.m.

While Gobel is selling the buildings and closing the strip club, they are revamping the fantasy gift shop into an adult bookstore and moving to a new location.

“It’s time for me to slow down a little bit,” said Gobel. “So instead of having the two businesses, we will just have the one. Our adult bookstore is going to be larger, more modern, and we are really excited about that.”

Mikels says other churches could help with the new buildings and really wants it to be focused on the community.

“We are not going to try to figure out who someone is before we bless them,” said Mikels. “We want to bless them no matter who they are, and we hope to continue to do that with the additional resources in having additional space.”