I was in the minority as a JW to say the least when I grew a beard in 1975, I wore one for well over a decade, whilst serving as a MS, and giving "away" Public Talks etc.
A year or two after I shaved mine off in the late '80's because they were becoming unfashionable among those in the know as to fashion, and because mine was starting to sprout the odd grey hair ! I was surprised to see a number of Bros at the D. Convention sporting beards, Elders some of 'em. I thought then that they were trying to be slightly rebellious, as it was a fading fashion then.
The same phenomenon is happening today, we have gone through a long "Beardy" period in the world of fashion, from Designer Stubble all the way to Lumbersexual, but it seems that beards as a fashion are on the way down, not up, and JW's are perversely starting to wear them. WTF ?