Often known as the pastor with the beard, Donavan Friesen will have to find a new nickname.
The pastor of Anchor Point Church in Winnipeg, Friesen recently shaved off his long beard and all his hair for a worthy cause.
"I've had the beard a long time. Six years ago I started growing it. We moved to the city five and a half years ago and everyone in the city who didn't know me before just knew me as the pastor with the long beard," says Friesen.
There are two reasons why Friesen removed all the hair on his head.
"All along my mom and dad haven't been the biggest fans of the beard. I would joke with them and say, if you donate to the building project at our church, maybe I'd take it off. Or I would say, dad if you grow your beard for one month, then I'll shave my beard. He just never would."
Anchor Point Church has been in need of major renovations since Friesen took over pastoring the church from his dad, Al Friesen.
"On March 11 of this year, my father passed away. As a result of that, out of the estate, my mom donated $40,000 for the building project, with the prospect of having the church match that amount."
Friesen told his congregation that if they raised $40,000 on their own, they would then have a total of $80,000 to renovate, plus he would shave off his hair and beard.
"I kind of thought I had until November maybe, and then there was a really large donation that came in, and then another one, and so on. Before you know it, the $40,000 had been met."
The haircutting event was live-streamed on the church's YouTube channel this past Sunday.
"September 12 was my father's birthday, so I decided on that day, in the evening after the wedding [that I attended], because of the money raised, I would take it off."
According to Anchor Point's website, Pastor Al Friesen had planted many churches before, and at the core of his approach was the need to take young leaders on the journey with him.
"A lot of people will know him, as he was a remarkable man. For his funeral, we ended up doing a live stream and I think over 10,000 different IP addresses have watched the funeral."
With the funds, Anchor Point has covered the cost of redoing the sanctuary, added washrooms upstairs, lobby space, a new entrance, and an outdoor patio.
"It's wild to no longer have hair or a beard. But this whole thing is well worth it. My identity is not lost because the beard is gone."