Yuma, AZ -- Former Youth Pastor, Mike Johnson, is searching for both employment and answers this weekend after being fired from Mountain View Baptist Church for unexpectedly shaving off his goatee.
"I wasn't aware of that stipulation in my contract," Mike told reporters by phone from his apartment, "so this comes as a bit of a shock. But really, I can see where they're coming from, because there are certain standards that someone in my position ought to be expected to meet, and I failed to do so."
Some church members consider Mike's penalty too harsh. "It's just a goatee," said Dorothy Hendricks, a retired school teacher who has sat in the third pew at Mountain View every Sunday since 1963. "Back in the day, he'd of gotten booted for having a goatee, so somebody needs to quit changing the rules on these young fellas."
Not all agree with Dorothy, however. One Deacon who wishes to remain unnamed considers Mike lucky. "Mountain View had the full gamut of Church Discipline at its disposal, and we gave him a very light reprimand, considering. Mike knew his position, knew the standards, knew the responsibility of his calling, but he behaved like none of it mattered, like people weren't watching. And that's the worst part of it. Children were watching, looking up to him. They idolized him, but now I think they see what he's really made of. Not Youth Pastor material in the least."