Thursday, October 9, 2014

Heritage USA

Remember PTL and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker? It has been a while. Kathi and I stayed on the Heritage USA property in March 2004 when we were following the Atlantic coast line north out of Florida. We spent one night in Folkston, Georgia and then into South Carolina. Using our Escapees RV Park book, we found the Defender Lakeside Campground in Fort Mill, South Carolina. While we were checking into the park, Kathi found out that it was on the Heritage USA property.

Heritage USA was a Christian theme park, water park and hotel complex which included an RV park and time share cabins in the woods. It is a beautiful area and Kathi became fascinated with it and asked a lot of questions. The camp hostess made it clear she did not want to talk about it. Still curious, Kathi spent the next few weeks on the internet gaining information.

Heritage USA covers 2,300 acres. The park was started in 1978 and in it’s heyday it had over six million visitors each year. It was finally closed in 1989 because of financial problems caused by overbooking the time share cottages, which lead to law suits and fraud charges against Jim Bakker.

Since everything was shut down and in disrepair when we were there, we were surprised to find the chapel open. We went in and found a gentleman making repairs to the chapel. He was from a nearby town and he told us he had a calling to quit his job and volunteer to repair the chapel, so that is what he did full time.

Most of the property had been purchased by real estate investors trying to erect housing additions, with little success. The only other part of the property still open was a movie studio run by NarroWay Productions, who claimed to be the Broadway of Christian entertainment.

Time share cabins in the woods

Back of the building housing NarroWay Productions

View of hotel and theme park

Hotel across the lake

Another lake view

Statue of Pontius Pilate washing his hands of the sentencing of Jesus to crucifixion

Walk of Faith

We spent a week on the Heritage USA property and thoroughly enjoyed exploring and walking in the rustic surroundings.

No comments:

Post a Comment