January 27, 2014

Beard for Bucks: Pastor challenges church to pay off debt

By R. Scott Belzer
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Local Pastor Jared Gullion is using all readily available means to support his congregation. The latest – probably his most creative – has involved sacrificing something most men come to love: his beard.

Pastor Gullion, 29, of Victory Baptist, plans on inspiring his congregation to commit $1,000 per month towards the church’s building fund. If churchgoers honor their pledge by the end of January, Gullion will shave his beloved beard at East Side Barbers on Fourth Street.

“I started growing it out when I first came to London in July,” said Gullion. “A lot of members of the church are ‘Duck Dynasty’ fans, and say I look like Jase. Of course, a lot don’t like seeing their pastor with a full beard.”

London barber Michael Carroll, a member of Victory Baptist who Gullion recently baptized, will be the one to do the deed with an old school, straight shave.

“It’s been a while since I had a bare face,” Gullion said. “I’ll have to get used to the cold again.”

After coming to London seven months ago, Gullion soon garnered concerns over the community’s prevalent drug problem. Unfortunately, a lot of Victory Baptist’s funds are tied up in its mortgage, restricting the church’s ability to help those in need.

“I’m asking members to step up their game to get it paid off. The church needs to get out from underneath the burden,” he said. “This will free up the church for ministering to the community. Some churches have foreign missions, others have homeland missions. I really think our church’s mission is for local work.”

While Gullion hopes to get a full commitment by the end of the month, he thinks there are members willing to make large contributions to see the task done by the very first morning.

This isn’t hard to believe, especially when considering the bearded pastor arrived as just another shaved face in July.

“As you might imagine, they’d probably be willing to give [$10] and more to get this huge, bushy beard cut from the face of this young man who came to them as a very clean-cut pastor less than a year ago,” said Roger Alford, director of Communications at the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

For more information on how you can help contribute to Victory Baptist’s mission, call the church at (606) 864-4117 or visit