Pastor preaches without shoes on ‘holy ground’

Bill Faircloth says he’s been asked the question more times than he can count.

“I understand the need to know, and I too might ask the same of another pastor,” he said.

It’s simply this — “Why do you preach barefoot?”

Sometimes they ask, “Preacher, do your feet hurt?” Others sometimes joke, “Preacher, do we need to buy you a larger pair of shoes?”

But at Liberty Baptist Church, Thomasville, where Faircloth has served as pastor for the past 18 years, they’re used to it. He’s preached that way the entire time he’s been there. 

But it started even before that.

“It was some 30 years ago while I was pastoring a wonderful church between Shreveport and Texarkana,” he said. “It was there in my office as I was studying Moses at the burning bush. I was convicted at that moment that if any place should ever be holy, shouldn’t it be when the pastor is proclaiming the truth of God?”

From that day on, Faircloth has held to the personal conviction that preaching the gospel should be a sacred act of worship for him.

“The plain truth is, I was convicted by my Lord — this is what He decided for me. This is where I ‘stand,’” he said. 

Faircloth has been a man of strong conviction for some years now. He came to faith in Christ as an adult after God showed him his need for a changed heart.

“I was working for RCA Factory — my job was to to make house calls and bring to the shop the TVs so that we could get ‘shop labor,’ which was many times more than the $19.95 we charged for in home repair,” Faircloth said. “My wife and I were baptized by Dr. Jerry Vines on December 31, 1978. From that moment on, I began repairing TVs in the home. Then on June 5, 1979, I lost my job because they said, ‘We do not need Christians on this job.'” 

But he held to his convictions. And now he says God has him at a church where exciting things are happening. They support missions and go on missions themselves, to Tennessee, Seattle, Alaska, Nicaragua and Guatemala. They also hold an ESL class that’s reaching the nations and feed 50 families a month through their food pantry.

“I serve a Great family of God at Liberty,” Faircloth said.

An appreciation

His son, William, who serves as associate pastor and youth minister at Linden Baptist Church, said he grew up with it just being normal, but as he’s gotten older, he appreciates the conviction behind it even more.

“He was saved when he was 32 — he was a TV repairman, and by his testimony he says he was a crook, he would rip people off. But Jesus saved him,” he said. “He sees that pulpit as holy ground.” (Grace Thornton)