Founded in 2003 by worship leaders Brett & Emily Mills, the Mills led worship for a conference focused on ministry to sex workers. Overwhelmed by stories from former exotic entertainers, Emily became burdened for the marginalized in Waco, the Mills’ hometown. Within two weeks, the first Easter outreach extended the love of Jesus to women in the Waco sex industry. A small group of women ventured into two strip clubs, armed with gift bags filled with practical, high-quality gifts. The outreach was a success! In fact, each club manager extended an open invitation for JSL to return at any time. For the next few years, volunteers would return to the clubs bi-annually: at Christmas and Easter.
In 2007, the Mills made the decision to bring this new ministry under the administration of their already-established worship ministry and nonprofit organization: Bartimaeus Ministries, Inc. The name Jesus Said Love was then adopted for this specific outreach program to women in the commercial sex industry. The burden was for the marginalized: those whom the church was not reaching because of ignorance or negligence. What began as a bi-annual outreach in Waco has now grown into a full time ministry of monthly club outreaches, social work assistance, education, awareness, medical education, childcare and nutritional advocacy in Waco, Dallas, Bryan/College Station, San Antonio, Temple/Killeen, and (most recently) Houston.