The Testimony of Author Steven L. Sherman
The Life Changing Story of Steven L. Sherman
Steven Sherman - Teacher, Exotic Male Dancer, Preacher
“Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
I had been married to a Jewish woman for ten years. We had a son and a daughter and lived in a moderate house in a nice neighborhood on Long Island. I taught health and physical education in a New York City middle school and worked part-time selling real estate on Long Island. By the age of 32, I thought I had fulfilled the “American Dream.”
Then the unexpected happened. Perhaps I was too busy mowing the lawn between jobs to notice, but my wife wanted out of the marriage. She wanted to do her “own thing” and move to Manhattan, and she did. Our house was sold and, as was common in those days, she was awarded custody of the kids.
I decided to do “my own thing” also. A former student of mine and championship wrestler had become a bouncer in New York City's most glamorous nightclubs. When he invited me to be his guest one night at an exclusive disco, I readily accepted the invitation.
When I entered into this famous New York City nightspot, I noted that there was a line down the block of people waiting to try and get in. Not everyone made the cut, but those who did willingly paid a steep cover charge. Inside, it was all lights and tempo. In addition to the admission charge, the drinks were priced at a premium. I also noticed a number of performers dancing in cages above the crowd. That's when I decided that I wasn't going to pay for my nights out; they were going to pay me. I was going to be a male exotic dancer.
Although I was in decent shape, I had no formal training as a dancer. But my lack of training and experience didn't stop me from calling the biggest dance club on Long Island and leaving my name and telephone number. A short while afterwards, I received a call from a booking agent who was looking for dancers for a new show in Westchester. He had called the Long Island club and they didn't want to give him any of the phone numbers of their regular dancers, so they gave him mine.
I met the agent and another male dancer at a diner in Queens. We shared a bite and then all drove up to the show together in the agent's car. Since I had never even seen a male strip show before, let alone perform in one, I devised a plan. I explained to the other dancer that since there were just two of us in the show, I would let him go on first. Then after my act, he could join me for a finale. This way, he could collect tips twice. He readily agreed, and I got the chance to watch his act before I had to perform.
The rest, as they say, is history. Not only was my first attempt at male dancing successful, but I was booked at least a couple of nights dancing and then emceeing for the next ten years. After a year or two on the circuit, getting married again was the furthest thing from my mind. I didn't have to go and meet ladies. After each show, there was always someone who would want to buy me a drink. At some shows, we had our fans that would be there every week and sometimes buy the dancers gifts. It was a fantasy life filled with fleshly pleasures.
A teacher in my school and I became good friends. He was always trying to fix me up with his neighbor who was a beauty contest winner. I really wasn't interested. But one Saturday afternoon, he was holding a reception for his son's bar mitzvah in his backyard on the water and he had invited his attractive female neighbor too. He suggested that I go get her and escort her over to the party.
I climbed up the back stairs and knocked on the sliding glass doors. The doors opened and there she was, not quite ready yet. She looked at me dressed in a bathrobe, curlers still in her hair, and she had applied make-up to only one of her eyes. She had the most beautiful clear blue eyes that you have ever seen. Then and there I decided that I was going to marry her.
Within six months we were engaged. She did some modeling and acting, while I continued to teach during the day and perform two or three evenings each week. When my second wife became pregnant with our first child, there was a problem. I am Jewish and she was not. She said that if I wanted, she would convert to Judaism. But I wasn't being very Torah observant, working as an emcee for mud wrestling, foxy boxing, and male and female strip shows. Besides, my wife pointed out that I already had two Jewish children and she wanted to share her faith with our child, whatever that meant?
Her family stopped going to church when she was only five. All she knew was that she was Protestant. In order to learn more, she started to attend a Bible study at a local church. When she came back from her studies, I gave her a hard time. I asked her those difficult questions. You know the ones like, “If a person was all alone on an island and never heard …” She said that she was only just learning herself, and that I should go and ask the people at the Bible study those questions myself.
In a quest to prove that my wife was wrong in her pursuit, I started to delve into the Bible and study the New Testament for the first time. I also looked at non-Christian sources as well. The Qu'ran (Koran) said that Jesus was a prophet. To me that meant he spoke for God. The Talmud (rabbinical writings and commentaries), said that Jesus was a sorcerer and led his people astray. Well, even my non-believing Jewish brethren said that Jesus existed, performed miracles, and had a following! As I read more and more in the Gospels, I started to first respect and then love the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world.
One Sunday when my wife was away on a modeling job, I went to church by myself and accepted the Lord. When she came home, I told her what I had done. Her response was remarkable. She said, “How could you do that, I should have been first!” Two weeks later, she made Jesus the Lord of her life as well.
The following week, after my born again experience, I was sitting in a hot tub nursing a sore back at a hotel in Dallas. I also danced with a legitimate entertainment group and we had a show that night. I decided that I wanted to experience more of God's Spirit. Then and there, I contemplated immersing myself in an act of baptism. But, a thought flashed across my mind. How could I ask God for this gift, when I had a fund raiser the following Friday night? It was a male dance show that I booked and over four hundred women had already bought tickets. I could replace myself as a dancer, but I also had to run the show as the emcee.
Before the thought finished, the bubbles in the whirlpool stopped. I had my answer. I dipped below the surface and bang! It happened. When I emerged and the water had finished running down my brow, I looked and saw a crucifix around a man's neck. When I gazed on the figure on the cross, the whirlpool started up again. I had my solution. I would do the show as classy as possible and then announce my retirement from the world of stripping.
Three days later, I was reading the newspaper at the dining room table. My heart ached with each story I read. They were all connected with illicit drugs. The first story concerned a police officer who was ambushed by drug dealers. The second headline story concerned a grandfather who was dealing cocaine. But the last story caused me to break out sobbing.
A young boy, just one day before his twelfth birthday, refused to smoke crack with the neighborhood bully. He just said, “No!” It was winter. The bully hit his friend over the head with a shovel and dragged him into a basement. He tied the boy up to a radiator with his socks, placed the boy's schoolbooks on his chest and then set him on fire. When the boy's socks burned through, he was able to escape and roll in the snow. His life was spared, but he sustained burns on 80% of his body.
I cried and cried. I said to the Lord, “How can we just say, `No?' It's not working. The Lord, in the still quiet voice of the Spirit, spoke to me audibly. He said, “Just Pray NO!” This message burned in my bones. I told everyone the message. Within a few months, “Just Pray NO!” became a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. My prayer was that the message would go around the world. Within one year, my prayer was answered.
Plus Magazine published the story of the first annual worldwide prayer event in 23 languages to 2 ½ million people around the world in 118 countries. In addition to letters from Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, letters from every state in the United States including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands came in from people wishing to join in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families.
In my effort to unite Christians from around the world, I realized that I'd be speaking and corresponding to people from many different denominations and backgrounds. I completed shut off the secular media and saturated myself in the study of the Bible. For over five years, in addition to prayer meetings, conferences, and retreats, I attended both a messianic Service every Saturday as well as church service every Sunday morning and evening. Within six months, I was teaching the adult Bible study at my church.
I had not intended to write a book on prophecy. My book, THE LAST DAYS CALENDAR, stems from a wonderfully rich home Bible study. After ten years of personally searching the Scriptures and having taught through several books of the Bible, I was afforded the privilege of teaching through the Book of Revelation at my church. Due to the numbers in attendance, it was necessary to adhere to a lecture format, utilizing a microphone. When that series was over, several friends desired to study prophecy further in an intimate atmosphere.
Sometime after we started, the new weekly Bible study group received from me what amounts to one chapter of this book at each of our meetings. The saints were delighted to learn prophecy in this manner and were always encouraging with an expectant “What excitement comes next week?” attitude. I gratefully acknowledge their help in poring over the text of my book, correcting and clarifying where necessary, and for their faithfulness and prayer support
I look forward with anticipation to the next leg of my journey and for opportunities to share the Good News through my book and speaking engagements. I am presently writing to inmates throughout the State of Florida, do monthly visitations to nursing homes, preach at my local fellowship, share my biblical teachings through this web site and outreach to the addicted through the ministry of "Just Pray NO!" Ltd. If you need help with an addiction problem or want to participate in the annual prayer event, then visit the ministry's web site by logging on to http://justprayno.org.
The very first verse of the Book of Revelation declared to the churches of the first century that something “must soon take place.”