By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A church is being transformed into a different way to save souls. Kwanzaa Community Church is changing its 10,000-square-foot building into a space where woman can go for help to get away from the sex trade.

And the beautiful stained-glass windows that welcomed worshippers for 75 years are at the center of that transformation.

“The decommissioning will mean life to someone else,” said Pastor Alika Galloway.

Their beauty and color captured the essence of the gospel and served as inspiration for countless members for decades.

Now they will be removed to make way for a new ministry, one that focuses on getting women off the streets and away from the sex trade.

“Most of these women are mothers with children and so this is survival sex,” Galloway said.

A growing number of women, some as young as 13, have entered the world of prostitution in north Minneapolis.

Co-Pastors Alika Galloway and her husband Rev. Dr. Ralph Galloway chose to do away with the stained glass because the women felt uncomfortable with the windows looking at them, increasing their feeling of shame.

“If these windows are a stumbling block to someone who wants to change their lives, the windows have to go. The gospel has to be real,” Alika Galloway said.

“Finally there is a place for us,” said Minister Geraldine Anderson.

Anderson was among the crowd who came to celebrate the messages of love and hope the windows displayed.

Now as a minister, Anderson knows all too well how badly a place for healing is needed for women who want out of the sex trade.

“I’m an ex-IV drug user, ex-cocaine smoker, ex-prostituted woman and I married my pimp,” Anderson said.

Now she helps others to get out.

A philanthropist from New York is buying the windows. The money will fund the new ministry.

Anderson said if there had been places like this when she was on the streets, she may not have walked them for as long as she did.

Dr. Lauren Martin, an anthropologist at the University of Minnesota, conducted the research. She worked with a focus group of 160 women who were involved in the sex trade in north Minneapolis. The research showed 46 percent traded sex at least once a week; 84 percent have experienced extreme violence.

The Northside Women’s Space hopes to turn those numbers around.

Comments (35)
  1. j speedbag 64 says:

    thats awesome for the people who really need this type of help,but i’m afraid when michele bachman and the gop hear of this they will hate it………

    1. Callina says:

      I have no idea why you’d say this. I would think it would be MORE valued by the GOP because it’s not a government program, and no one is telling the government to pay for it. This is exactly the kind of thing that should be happening MORE… finding non-government solutions to problems, and having PEOPLE help people, rather than turning the responsibility over to the government and then point to that as proof of how much you care.

      I applaud this woman and this ministry for taking on this challenge.

  2. patti albrecht says:

    I work at a hotel as the house keeping manager, i have a lot of towels and sheets that cant be used due to spots. most of them are still really nice except for a small spot here and there and there are some that could be used for cleaning rags. i was thikning maybe the church could use them for the shelter. please forward this and my e-mail adress. if they are intersted please have them contact me. thank you

  3. hopeful says:

    Hope the stained glass gets a new home. Not a fan of graven images, but at least they are not being destroyed.

    Second, if prostitution were legal, this mess would not be happening. End Prohibition too while you’re at it. Neither are going away, and feed on each other when illegal.

    Best of luck.

  4. Susan says:

    I had the honor of attending the “Decommissioning” service yesterday afternoon. It was a delight to see family descendants of the original families of Highland Presbyterian Church who helped install the windows over 75yrs ago there with current members of Kwanzaa Community Church. They are truly beautiful windows and it is wonderful they will get a new home. Rev. Alika Galloway is a vibrant woman of force who is determined to help women in North Mpls who have been exploited by sex trafficking and the sex trade. This new Northside Women’s Space will be an agent of change–breaking negative cycles that have hurt families (and the neighborhood) for generations.

  5. reporting says:

    Also on the reporting, isn’t it funny on how for decades the entertainment industry has stereo typed women as only, “The Girl”, and then this reporter refers to a thirteen year old Child, as a grown woman. For what? This is why this glass is being sold, and don’t forget the abused child at Penn state. I don’t think he was referred to as a man.

    1. Tara Parrish says:

      Maybe just a typo?

  6. Bugs says:

    Kwanzaa is the invention of the “black community” in an effort to repudiate Christianity. Why would they need a “church”?

    1. Tara Parrish says:

      Kwanzaa Community Church is a Christian church–Presbyterian is the faith tradition.

    2. markH says:

      I agree with Bugs; they don’t need a church. In fact, NO ONE needs a church or a belief in supernatural ideas to help their fellow creatures who are suffering. Churches can do much good-however, the good that they do often comes at a price, and that price is the corrupted reasoning of innocent children. The Red Cross (an entirely secular organization) does a great deal of work helping the needy without proselytizing about nonsensical ideas (resurrection of the dead, virgin births, walking on water, talking snakes, world-wide floods, human sacrifices, immortality, etc) Peace.

      1. Matt J says:

        (understand, the following has nothing to do with criticizing the Red Cross…)
        Why do they need a church?
        The Red Cross won’t give you a meal in their home.
        The Red Cross won’t accept you as part of their family.
        The Red Cross won’t tell you why you’re a beloved person.
        The Red Cross won’t teach you about forgiveness and forgiving others.
        The Red Cross won’t give you a ride across town.
        The Red Cross won’t help you heal your soul.
        The Red Cross won’t connect the created to the Creator.
        The Red Cross won’t be your friend.
        The Red Cross won’t lay down their life for you, like Jesus did.
        That’s why they need a church, Mark.

        1. Tara Parrish says:

          Amen and hallelujah!

          Mark, also know that although our mission is to help these women, they will not be pushed into being “saved” or even directed to change their behavior. They will be offered services and they will be offered love. Love is a supernatural ideal! Not everyone has the gift of love or even the capacity to love. Otherwise, they wouldn’t behave the way they do. And, what is the Red Cross currently doing to assist prostituted women? You may not agree with our methods, but certainly we can agree that the world would be better off with less sexual violence and exploitation of women and children, can’t we?

          1. markH says:

            “the world would be better off with less sexual violence and exploitation of women and children, can’t we?”

            Christianity and Islam both teach the inferiority of women. Saint Paul tells us that women should remain silent in church and cannot preach the Gospel. The Catholic Church tells its female parishioners that contraceptives are a “sin”, even in Africa where millions die of AIDS each year and live in abject poverty. They do this ENTIRELY on religious ideas and beliefs. Islam is particularly misogynistic in allowing women to be killed for sexual “crimes” such as adultery and premarital sex. Don’t sit there and tell us that religious organizations work to alleviate sexual violence against women when it is the face of religion that so often MANDATES these very crimes. I think they call that hypocrisy. Peace.

            1. Sharing says:

              The word tells us in all your getting get an understanding. My people parish for lack of knowledge. Spend some time in the word you may just get some knowledge and understanding. Be Blessed

        2. markH says:

          You’ve just proved my point; the Red Cross will help those in need without making the assistance contingent on believing (or listening to) claims of self-abnegnation, self-loating, human sacrifice, creative entities, or other nonsense. The Red Cross, Doctors Without Boarders, etc help alleviate human suffering BECAUSE it is antithetical to morality. These organizations do not say “here is a bowl of soup, now let me tell you about my mind-forged delusions in return.” Peace.

        3. Child of The MOST HIGH GOD says:

          I am an African American Woman. I remember standing in the middle of the street at 2:30 in the morning 16 years ago at 1805 Emerson Ave. North with my 3 children and 1 grand child watching the rest of my home burn to the ground, all we had was the clothes on our backs. The Red Cross was there their Rep. saw what was left, NONTHING. They left after i answered a few questions she ask and i never saw or heard from the Red Cross again as God is my wittness. The help that my family got came from a God fearing CHRISTIAN woman we all know, MARY JO COPELAND of Mary’s Place. And yes i have only God to thank for her. I have nonthing to say about the Red Cross AT ALL. I have seen the Red Cross extend housing, monies ect. to WHITE families who suffered smoke damage. What’s wrong with that picture?

          1. markH says:

            @child of The MOST HIGH GOD- Indeed that is a sad story, but you’re indicting an entire humanitarian organization on your own experience. I am indicting Christianity on the basis of its foundational texts, false metaphysical claims, inhumane doctrines, and actions of millions of congregants. Regardless, even if all Christian churches worked to end starvation, abuse of women, and cured cancer that would NOT mean that it’s doctrines and supernatural claims were true. That would be a non sequitur; the conclusion does not follow the premise. To say that because Jesus was born of a virgin does NOT mean that he was a god, the son of a god, or anything supernatural. Do you follow my reasoning here? By all means, take credit for the good that Christianity does do. But you must also take credit for the suffering and death it has caused and still causes and you will be right back to where you started-you DO NOT need any religious beliefs or ideas to be a decent, moral person. In fact, to say that religious belief is necessary for morality simply cheapens morality by making it contingent on dogma rather that ordinary human compassion and benevolence. Peace to you.

          2. markH says:

            I might add that my immediate neighbor’s house burned (total loss) about three years ago. Our family took in their kids for the night, gave them food and comfort and we don’t believe in any religious claims-simply helping those in need was sufficient justification for our actions. Peace.

    3. Tara Parrish says:

      Bugs, the celebration of Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Karenga, not to repudiate Christianity, but to celebrate the values of African American people. You should consider doing research on a topic before posting something that is not only indirect, but purposely inflammatory.

    4. Alix Morehouse says:

      Your comment demonstrated your lack of knowledge regarding Kwanzaa. Many Christians celebrate Kwanzaa, as do Muslims and athiests, becasue it is a cultural holiday, not a religious one.

  7. Mike H says:

    Thank you ‘CCO and Reg for covering this important story. Both the honoring of the history of that particular church and their attention to their past but also the reality of the present.
    Keep up the good work ‘CCO and Kwanzaa!

  8. Doug says:

    Kwanzaa, as always, is responding with creativity and courage to the duel command to love God and to love neighbor. There are no more Christian-based and love-inspired programs than those being carried out be Kwanzaa. Thank you for your inspiration of the rest of us.

  9. Mary Alice says:

    Thank you, Rev. Alika and Ralph Galloway and the Kwanzaa Church for providing a sanctuary for these children and women so in need of a sanctuary. May peace be with all who enter this special sanctuary. and be with all who provide the help that is needed within.

  10. Karl Jones says:

    It is heartening to hear of a church willing to make sacrifices and step forward to actively welcome all, as Jesus did.

    1. markH says:

      @Karl Jones: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (KJV Matt. 10:34)

      “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him. KJV

      If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

      There are many other examples of Jesus’ morality. It is not one that is necessarily moral; Jesus teaches that his love and acceptance are contingent on believing ridiculous claims. Further, Jesus wasted miracles on curing a blind man and not BLINDNESS. This is not morality-it is a spectacular example of how the natural fear of death and the unknown can be manipulated and exploited by manmade ideas.

      I applaude the work this organization does on behalf of others in need. My point is that NONE of it needs a religious motivation in supernatural ideas and doctrines to be accomplished. Peace.

      1. Tara says:

        Mark, this is the last time I am going to reply to you. You seem to have your own beliefs about Christianity, which is fine and absolutely the way it should be. However, you are not allowing for the fact that we ALL have different theologies and interpretation of the Bible. Your comments point to the fact that you understand the Gospel in one way, and that is how we all view it. Did it occur to you that not all Christians believe or practice the type of Christianity you are speaking of? Do you understand that according to who you are and where you come from that you read the Bible differently? The arrogance and ignorance you display is embarrassing and the assumptions you make about Christians are just based on your own bad experiences. Talk about someone putting off their opinions and beliefs on others! .

  11. brenda m says:

    Anything and everything that can be done to share peace and love is good! The despair of these young people who can only use sex to buy food affects their children, the neighbors and all. The despair leads to anger, leads to robbery, etc. Any break in this chain can help. My money goes to the Kwanzaa Church Women’s Space program.

  12. jeremy says:

    So… where do I find the information about bidding or purchasing the stain glass? Is this an ebay thing, local, or what? I am out of state but would love to give a few pieces a good home!

  13. Cecilia Runge says:

    A beautiful testimony of how to “BE” the church! I am moved by the story of this church working to meet the needs of the community. This is truly what the Jesus that I read about would have us do!

  14. Robert White says:

    Thank God Kwanzaa is addressing the issue of prostitution directly on the North Side. Bravo.

  15. Optimistic says:

    Thanks to Pastor Dr. Ralph and Alika Galloway for the courage to answer the call, awesome display of competence, character, confidence, caring and connection. Peace and Blessings

  16. Rodney SMith says:

    Personally I say right on. I am put in mind of an old “Highway to Heaven” episode that echoed scripture very clearly.

    It was about a parish minister who was locking the church so theives wouldnt come in and steal the statues of saints. As I remember it was a catholic tradition church. Micheal Landons characters comment to the priest echoed Jesus teaching to the disciples. ” put the valuable/breakables away and let the llittle children come in.

    To me you are doing what Jesus would do . God calls us to act in the world. To be His hands and voice to those who need His help/

    ANd I just give you a big hug and two strong thumbs up.


  17. Tammy J. Rider says:

    As a former member of Highland Park Presbyterian Church, which helped give birth to Kwanzaa Community Church, I have a deep connection to these windows. As a child, I learned the Gospel story from these stained glass windows (they showed scenes from Jesus’ life, in order) long before I could read the stories for myself. As I grew, I learned more about the man in those pictures and how he called us to go out amongst those most hurting and in need. Kwanzaa is continuing to do what the windows showed — in action. Thank you, WCCO, for a great story.

    Reverend Tammy J. Rider

  18. markH says:

    Knowledge is observational and testable; the “word” as refer to the Bible or Gospel is neither testable, repeatable, verifiable, or falsifiable. You have no right to use the word knowledge when what you mean is HOPE.

    “I find it curious with the religious that the wish is so inextricably linked to the belief.”
    ~Christopher Hitchens

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