NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Sunday morning, Pat Kelly, the senior pastor at Nacogdoches' Fredonia Hill Baptist Church announced that he will grow his beard out until the church raises $5,000 for a worthy cause.
The idea came from his wife, April, and it all started on New Year's Day.
"I was in the bathroom getting ready to shave and my wife came in and said, 'Don't do it,' and I said 'Why?'" Kelly said.
"I told him, 'You know what?'" April Kelly said. "You should put a mission to shaving your beard."
Monday morning, Kelly announced that he would donate the $5,000 to an organization called End It Movement.
"Here's something you might not know - slavery still exists," the Web site's mission statement said. "We want every man, woman, and child to know that there are 27 million men, women, and children, just like them, living in the shadows."
The organization's mission statement said the 27 million men, women, and children are working in brothels, factories, and quarries. In addition, they are working as slaves in 161 countries, including the United States.
"We are here to shine a light on slavery," the mission statement said. "No more bondage. No more sex trafficking. No more child laborers."
To donate to the cause, go the Fredonia Hill Web site, and click on the Give to Fredonia Hill link. Specify that you want the money to go to the Bye-Bye Beard fund.
"Every thirty seconds there is a victim in the sex trafficking industry, and the average age is twelve years old," April Kelly said.
"I'm going to miss my beard," Kelly said. "I've come accustomed to it and my wife loves it, but the church body wants it gone and even more so they believe in the mission."
The inspiration for the beard? Everyone's favorite duck-calling family.
"I started thinking about Duck Dynasty, and I started thinking that you know I am not ashamed to watch it and grow one, so this is a Duck Dynasty beard you could say," Kelly said.
Some of Kelly's members will also shave for the cause. They hope their beards will raise even more money.
"They'll chip in their beards and shave them if we raise beyond that," Kelly said. "The first $5,000 to enditmovement.com, and after that to a water well in Haiti."