Man Who Converted Sex Shop Goes Out of Business

A man whose religious conversion prompted him to turn his adult novelty shop (search) into a Christian bookstore (search) is giving up because of poor sales.

"When you've done all you can do, you turn it over into God's hands," said Mike Braithwaite (search), who recently put the store and five surrounding acres up for sale for $55,000.

Braithwaite had a conversion in 2002 after he was booked on charges of distributing obscene materials at his Love World store. He decided to burn all the leather gear, rubber playthings and other naughty merchandise and convert his business into a Bible bookstore named Mike's Place. The obscenity charges were dropped.

But Braithwaite said many people from this religious community in eastern Kentucky will not shop in a place that was once an adult novelty store.

The Rev. John Ditty, pastor of Harlan Baptist Church, said Mike's Place may be the victim of department stores that can sell Bibles at lower prices.

Braithwaite said he is glad he changed, even if he loses the store.

"What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Braithwaite asked, quoting a Bible verse.