Nacogdoches pastor raises $5K to raise awareness for human trafficking, shaves beard
On Feb. 10, the Rev. Pat Kelly, pastor of Fredonia Hill Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, ran a video from EndIt.com that put a face on the worldwide epidemic of human trafficking before he started his Sunday morning sermon.
Back in January, Kelly vowed to keep growing his beard until the church met a goal of $5,000 to help raise awareness for human trafficking by donating to a Christian organization called EndIt.com.
He said he chose that charity, "because we will not turn a deaf ear or blind eye to it anymore."
Then, members of the church promised to shave their beards as well if the initial goal of $5,000 was passed, and the total got to $10,000 or more. Anything over the initial $5,000 goal will be used to build a water well in Haiti.
Mission accomplished. Earlier this week, the members of Fredonia Hill Baptist Church's donations to the Bye-bye Beard fund had surpassed the $10,000 mark.
Thursday afternoon, Kelly used electric clippers to shave his beard off. By then, it had reached Duck Dynasty or even Biblical proportions.
As he shaved it off, Kelly, a fan of the Duck Dynasty reality show, said, "The much-anticipated Duck Dynasty goes no longer."
Once Kelly was clean-shaven, he rubbed his face and joked, "I think I lost about 10 pounds, and I see a face I haven't seen in many, many years."
As much as Kelly loved the beard, he knows the money he raised will be going to a good cause. It was worth it to shave it all off.
How did his church feel about it?
"I just like him clean shaven," Joann Reeves said. "I don't care for men with beards."
After Reeves expressed her displeasure in the beard, Kelly good-naturedly named it after her, calling it the "Jo-jo." Kelly hugged her tight after he shaved the beard off Thursday.
When asked what his wife might think of his new look, Kelly said, "I think she will be a little shocked; she hasn't seen a face like this since we got married."
"I'm going to mourn the beard; I'm going to mourn it," April Kelly, Kelly's wife, said. "But … his little whiskers would get up in my nose, and that's not very romantic."
There's not much more Kelly could have given his wife on Valentine's Day.
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