Spiritual

One of the Top 5 Male Porn Stars in the World Becomes a Pastor

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Joshua Broome was once one of the top five male porn stars in the world. Now, he is a husband, father, and pastor who wants people to know the depth of God’s mercy and kindness.

“Your story is powerful and your blessing is not only for you,” Broome said in a recent Instagram post. “It is to proclaim God’s glory and to let someone who is hurting know that there is freedom in the name of Jesus.

During his five years in the porn industry, Joshua Broome made over 1,000 adult films, was named Top Adult Male Performer of the Year, and earned over one million dollars. In May, he appeared on the “Let’s Talk Purity” podcast and Fight the New Drug’s “Consider Before Consuming” podcast, where he shared how he got involved in the porn industry, the damage it wreaked on him, and how God truly brought him into a new life.

Joshua Broome Becomes Trapped

Joshua Broome’s first encounter with pornography occurred at age 13 or 14 and, as happens with any addiction, he started craving it more and more. At the time, however, he never envisioned himself actually working in the porn industry. Soon after that first exposure, he started modeling and continued to do so while attending college. Broome became so successful at modeling that he decided to drop out of college, move to Los Angeles, and become a professional model and actor.

While working at a restaurant in L.A., Broome met a group of girls who worked in porn and suggested that he consider doing so as well. He agreed to meet with an agent, who told him that because of Broome’s good looks and because there was a need for acting experience, he could likely have a successful career as a porn star.

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Right before his first job, Broome said he felt a sort of sick excitement and that “I knew clearly that this was a bad decision.” Either it would go poorly and he would be humiliated, or it would go well and change his life. It was the latter that happened, and he would remain in the industry for the next five years.

Broome’s guilt and nerves gradually diminished throughout his first year working as a porn star. “The more numb I became to what it was, the less I felt conflicted about it,” he said. “It was just a transaction to me. A handshake was sometimes more personal than having sex.”

Broome explained that for men in the porn industry, “There’s so much pressure on you to perform.” And while what he was doing “was so not emotional in any regard,” at the same time, “there would always be repercussions from that because emotions are real. Intimacy is real.” He would feel the weight of his actions after he was done working when he went home.

As a way of coping, Broome became increasingly reclusive. He got to where he could not bear being around people when he was not working. “I exerted myself on an intimate level so much that the last thing I wanted to do was be around people.”

Broome also felt protected when alone because when there were no people around, that meant no one could reject him. “I’ve always kind of been a recluse in a certain degree,” he said, “and I think because I felt rejected in some regards growing up…I believed that when I was by myself…I felt safe.”

Broome’s isolation also stemmed from his sense of worthlessness. He thought being able to perform sexually on command “was why I was valuable.” He said, “The deeper I got into the industry, the more I isolated myself from people because I didn’t feel like I had anything genuinely to offer.” He felt used, useless, and dirty and believed that other people also saw him that way. “Every day I woke up and I was like, I better hide from the world because I’m not of any use. And that little voice grew inside my head and it got louder and louder and louder.”

During his last year as a porn star, Broome never left his apartment. He thinks he spent around $14,000 on takeout so he wouldn’t have to go to the grocery store and interact with people. He also felt completely trapped. He could not envision any future for himself outside of the porn industry and because he believed that lie, he remained where he was.

“If you believe a lie, it will become true to you,” said Broome. “If I believe that I’m a failure, it’s going to be impossible for me to succeed.” He didn’t believe in God at the time, but even so, “I was just asking out into thin air, can I please die?”

Joshua Broome’s Journey to Freedom

Joshua Broome’s decision to leave the porn industry was the result of something one could describe as a modern-day miracle. “I had gone maybe a year without hearing my real name because I had isolated myself to the point where I was only interacting with people on set,” he said.

One day, he went to the bank. After concluding his transaction and starting to walk away, the teller called after him, using his real name, “Joshua.” She wanted to know, was there something that he needed? Could she help him with anything?

Broome was shocked. It had been so long since he had heard his actual name instead of his stage name. The teller’s questions were odd as well because there was no reason for her to ask if she could help him. He had already taken care of what he needed to do at the bank. He left so stunned that looking back, he is surprised he didn’t get hit by a car while he was walking home. When he got back to his apartment, “I looked in the mirror and I didn’t recognize the person that I saw. There was just something about hearing my name.”

For the first time since he began working in porn, Broome felt convicted and knew that his life was not right. “I felt guilty,” he said. He also thought of his mom, who had sacrificed so much for him and had gone through so much suffering and pain throughout her life. Because Broome had isolated himself, he had not been there to support her. He felt the weight of that failure and, “It absolutely crushed me.”

He immediately decided to leave the porn industry and L.A. He called his agent and everyone he could think of, breaking his contracts, and losing around $50,000. He found someone to take over his lease and left for Charlotte, N.C., where his mom picked him up for a reunion that sounds eerily similar to the one Jesus recounts at the end of Luke 15.

“I was afraid to hug her,” said Broome. But they did hug and they wept with each other. “She didn’t ask me a lot of questions because she didn’t care,” he said. “She didn’t care why I was home. She didn’t care why I quit. She was just glad that I was there.”

The next two years were difficult because Broome was no longer making a lot of money with relative ease, but he was still carrying his guilt around. He also struggled at keeping jobs because he would lie about his past; then employers would find out about it and fire him. He finally had some success working at a gym where the employers chose not to hold his past against him.

But he continued to struggle in the area of relationships. He would try to hide his history—then the women would learn about it anyway and the relationships would end. “Everything [was] going well except the inside of me,” he said.

Then he met a girl named Hope at the gym and asked her to go on a run with him. During their run, Broome decided to tell her all at once all of the terrible things he had done. Her response, he said, “changed my life.”

She said, “I understand that you did all those things, but that’s not who you are.” That reaction was “so loving,” said Broome. “She approached me with such grace and elevated me at a time when I thought I deserved to be on the ground.” Hope also asked him, “Do you know who God is?” Broome said he knew that God had created everything. She asked, “Do you have a relationship with him?” He wasn’t sure what that meant.

But he did agree to go to church with Hope and as the pastor preached on the story of Mephibosheth, Broome realized that Jesus loved him despite his brokenness. Broome had longed for his father’s love his whole life; now he realized he did have a Father who loves him. Because of God’s love, he was able to let go of his shame and the burdens he had been carrying, “not just from the porn, but from my whole life.”

Joshua Broome married Hope and they now have two sons. The family lives in Ely, Iowa, where Broome is the lead pastor of KNWN Church. In an Instagram post last week, he wrote,

“What an incredible God. Thank you for those who prayed for me when I was lost years ago. Thank you for those who poured into my life and gave me opportunities I didn’t deserve. Thank you mom for never seeing me less than how God sees me. Thank you God for relentlessly pursuing me. My prayer is that God allows me to be the culmination of the grace that many has [sic] shown me and to be the light that He gives me to point many to Himself. Thank you Jesus for giving me new life. Death has no hold on me because of YOU!”

Jessica Lea
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Jessica Lea is a writer for churchleaders.com. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past two years. She especially enjoys evaluating how various beliefs play out within culture. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys playing the piano, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.

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