The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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From brothel owner to reverend: Rudy Rasmus at CHAP

The+Reverend+Rudy+Rasmus+in+front+of+a+picture+of+himself+at+8+years+old.+Photo+credit%3A+Savannah+James
The Reverend Rudy Rasmus in front of a picture of himself at 8 years old. Photo credit: Savannah James

By Savannah James

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Reverend Rudy Rasmus spoke today at 11:30 a.m. during the Community Hour at Perkins (CHAP). The Rev. Rasmus shared his views on pastoral leadership and unconditional love with a crowd of about thirty people in Prothro Hall.

Dr. Isabel Docampo introduced the Rev. Rasmus, explaining that the Perkins intern program has several interns involved in his church said, “it has been a good place for our interns to learn and work.” The Rev. Rasmus preaches once a month with his wife Juanita at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston. He released a book in July, Love. Period. When All Else Fails, which is a series of stories about his experiences and the experiences of others.

The Rev. Rasmus detailed his unusual upbringing for the group; he lived in a segregated town until he was 11 years old. There was an image projected onto the screen in the front of the room with the separate water fountains, “the one image that was more powerful than God,” Rasmus said. He also spoke about his family business, which was “a borderline brothel” but “the women were independent contractors so we didn’t take a cut.” His father first showed him the blueprints for the brothel when he was 5 years old and they built the inn when he was 22 years old. During the time they were running the inn, crack hit the streets. “Our rooms ultimately became places where more crack was smoked than sex was sold,” Rasmus said.

It was his wife who turned Rasmus to God, because she took him to church every Sunday while he was running the brothel with his father. After a while, a man named Willie Lane invited him to a bible study and they met together for one year. Rasmus said, “During that year, my heart started changing.”

Lane wasn’t the only person who caused a change for Rasmus; he had a daughter and said, “I started thinking that there has got to be another way.” Shortly after the birth of his daughter he became a Christian and walked away from the family business.

“I believed that the church existed for a reason other than for preachers to experience prosperity,” said Rasmus.

The Rev. Rasmus also believes, “it’s love that literally saved my life,” and his church in Houston is a reflection of that.

“He’s just the real deal,” said Assistant to the Director of the Intern Program Judy Gibbons.

 

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