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Her anti-porn ministry touches thousands


NEWPORT, Tenn. (BP)–Two years ago, Michele Washam had been known for launching a pioneering pornographic website for women in 1995.

Then the Baptist & Reflector newspaper of the Tennessee Baptist Convention updated her story: After giving her life to Christ, Washam had changed her Just4Ladies.com website into a Christian ministry to help women and men who have been hurt by pornography and other issues in their relationships. She also had taken a job as a secretary at West End Baptist Church in Newport, Tenn.

The article told of Washam’s struggles and of her remorse for contributing to people becoming addicted to pornography. Two years ago she said, “I have forgiven myself because I know the Lord has forgiven me, and I am doing my best to make up for it.”

Since then Washam has kept her word. Her website with Christian content now averages more than 3 million visits every month, with thousands of men and women reached for Christ.

Also, after Baptist Press picked up Washam’s story, the article ran in numerous secular and religious publications across the nation and the world, Washam said. She received various requests for interviews about her ministry.

“We were not expecting the response we got from the article,” she said. Among those responses was a request from Bridge-Logos, a Christian publisher in Orlando, Fla. Though her ministry was one of marriage restoration, the publisher wanted her to write a book on how families could take steps to protect themselves from the evil of pornography.

Washam and her pastor, Tom Mooty, were skeptical when first contacted.

“We had been told that publishers don’t contact authors,” Mooty said. Washam, having self-published one book, knew that finding a publisher was not easy. But the offer was legitimate. With Mooty’s help, Washam began to write from personal experience about “Protecting Those You Love in an X-Rated World.”

“I have three kids who all fall into the age considered to be pornography’s largest group of viewers,” Washam said. “I knew I had to do something for my own kids as well as for other kids.”

Too often people talk about the evils of pornography but don’t do anything about it, Washam said, noting, “This book tells you how to keep porn out of your home and families. In addition, if porn is already in the home, it gives tips on how to eradicate it.”

Keeping pornography out of the home is essential, Washam emphasized.

“Once pornography gets in a marriage, it is definitely a home-wrecker,” she said. “My mission is to help save marriages.”

Mooty wrote sermon vignettes to complement what Washam wrote.

“I gave practical tips while Tom gave it a spiritual focus,” she said. “Tom made it credible and validated the book with Scripture.”

In addition to the book, the publisher asked Washam to develop a booklet titled “Quick Guide to Home PORNtection: Practical Steps You Can Take to Block Harmful Media and Online Influences,” which is free with the purchase of the book. Key pointers include selecting the proper equipment to block pornography from your home and computer.

The back covers of the book and the booklet tell parents: “This book will be a mighty weapon in your hands to block pornography from your homes and families! What’s more, it gives hope and help to those who’ve been wounded by or addicted to the devastating material.”

Washam and Mooty hope church leaders will read the book and get the word out to their members.

“Our churches must be equipped to deal with this problem,” Washam said. “It is an ugly problem, and we must do something about it and not just talk about it.”

Sales of the book have gone well, said Wendy Wood, a publicist with Bridge-Logos, who noted that the book already is scheduled for a second printing as it gains momentum.

“My ministry dealt with marriage restoration. I would not have written a book about porn protection,” Washam said regarding the surprise book offer. “It was definitely God’s plan for us.”
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Lonnie Wilkey is editor of the Baptist & Reflector newsjournal in Tennessee.

    About the Author

  • Lonnie Wilkey
    Lonnie Wilkey is editor of the Baptist and Reflector (baptistandreflector.org), newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.Read All by Lonnie Wilkey ›