DRAIN, Ore. -- The pastor of the church next-door to the controversial Top of the Bowl strip club is speaking out about his frustrations with the business.
Ray Perry, the lead pastor at Gateway Family Fellowship, said he is continuously removing trash and vomit from around their property. They are located right next to the club.
He said the staff at the Top of the Bowl haven’t been good neighbors to them at all and it's hurt his efforts to help others.
“It hurt us in a way where no one wants to come here for celebrating recovery or alcohol’s anonymous,” he said.
Perry said he helped the Drain City Council pass new ordinances over the summer that require all businesses to get a business license in order to operate in the city.
The ordinance also says strip clubs cannot operate within 500 feet of a place where children gather, like Gateway Family Fellowship.
“Just because a facility is attractive for that kind of business, doesn't mean you can put that business there,” said Perry.
Perry said the city council will begin enforcing these ordinances in December. He said he hopes it will change the way the club operates.
However, club manager Rik Marin said they have been nothing but good neighbors to the church.
“Our hours are five to 10 at night,” he said. “There’s nobody at church at five at night. On Sunday mornings when he has service, we’re not open.”
This comes a week after the Oregon Liquor Control Commission stripped the club of their liquor license for failing to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines.
According to OLCC officials, they found staff not wearing masks inside the business and no social distancing among customers.
Marin said they are still working to get their license back. If and when they do, he said he plans on doing better next time.
He said he has no plans on shutting down despite the hate he gets from people like Perry.
“They are Christians and they’re supposed to forgive and forget,” said Marin. “He’s not forgiving or forgetting.”
However, Perry said he won’t be backing down anytime soon.
“Our goal now is to seek the Lord’s will,” he said.