It all began with pink hair.
At age 17, the founder of Lavished Ministries, Nicole Phillips, was flipping through TV channels when she came across an interview of a woman with pink hair. Naturally, the pink hair caught her attention. Soon, Nicole became immersed in the woman’s story as she shared her experiences as an escort in Las Vegas. Feeling a deep burden, Nicole realized she had found her calling – bringing love, hope, and resources to women in the sex industry.
The Mission Begins
Nicole eagerly began her mission to minister to women in the adult entertainment industry. In December 2014, Nicole and two other women walked to every strip club in Panama City, Florida. They carried Christmas gifts, compassion, and a simple message of hope and healing. The adult entertainers, managers, and staff were very receptive. Each establishment accepted the gifts and Nicole’s sincere message of no-strings-attached love.
Over the next six months, Nicole and her group returned frequently bearing gifts. They approached each conversation and interaction with a desire to be a listening ear as women, over time, shared pieces of their individual stories.
After six months of consistently showing up, bringing gifts, and building relationships, Nicole received a 2:00 AM phone call. On the other line was a woman Nicole had met inside one of the strip clubs. The woman shared that her boyfriend was currently trafficking her. She wanted out. At that moment, Nicole wasn’t sure how it would look or what exactly she could do for the woman. All she knew was she needed to help. So, Nicole quickly began to assemble a network of resources.
Soon after, more women came to Nicole seeking help. Nicole began to build a vast network of resources, including food banks, housing assistance, mental health services, and legal aid. Nicole also began working collaboratively with other ministries and organizations to serve women who needed better assistance. Lavished Ministries hit a new season of growth and Divine favor.
Lavished Continues To Grow
Over the past eight years, Lavished Ministries has made over 15,000 points of contact with individuals impacted by the commercial sex industry. In addition, some women who Lavished Ministries have directly helped are now serving on the front lines, ministering to new women who reach out for assistance. Lavished Ministries continues to bring hope to women, change destinies, and encourage women to dream big for their lives.
Disclaimer: We know not every woman in the adult industry is a victim or a survivor of trafficking. However, we also know that sex trafficking is a reality for some ladies we meet. We are sensitive to and intentional about not discounting anyone’s story or experience. We do not pass judgment, regardless of why someone is in the adult industry. We do not judge what keeps someone there or if/why someone chooses to leave. We are here as a resource. Reminding women that your story is not over – no matter where you are in your journey.