Immediately I was intrigued. The itinerary I was given for a recent visit to Thoroughbred Country in South Carolina included a short stop to get a drink of water at God’s Acre Healing Springs in Blackville, SC. What did it mean? What would it look like? How did it come to be called by such a name?
From what I learned, the Native Americans who originally inhabited the land considered the springs to be sacred and believed the water had healing properties. That belief was furthered by the story of some gravely wounded British soldiers being taken to the springs where they drank from the springs, bathed in the waters and eventually rejoined their fellow soldiers after being miraculously healed. The Edisto Indians eventually sold their land, and the Healing Springs Baptist Church was built next door. Rural churches in those days almost always had a cemetery on the grounds, but this church decided against digging a graveyard in order for the springs to remain pure.
The acre encompassing the springs was owned by L.P. Boylston, who surprised everyone by officially deeding that parcel of land to God in his will read in 1944. It was a shrewd move. 1) How was anyone supposed to collect taxes from God? 2) The government was forced to assume the responsibility of maintaining the site.
Today several gallons of water per minute spew from spigot pipes sunk into the ground, and a large sign states: “This historical property has been deeded to God for public use, please revere God by keeping it clean.”
In just the few minutes that I was there several cars drove to the site, parked on the gravel lot and brought their jugs from home and filled them with the water. When asked, they declared that the water was wonderful for drinking, and that they wouldn’t want to go a week without it.
I tried a bottle full for myself. The taste was good, and I didn’t get sick. It remains to be seen whether the effects, other than quenching my thirst, will be long-lasting. But what a thought that this land LEGALLY belongs to God. The Bible says that the whole earth is HIS. Why haven’t more people chosen to acknowledge that fact with a signed document? Or at least with an attitude of the heart?
Psalm 24:1 — ” The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (KJV)
And, don’t forget. The water at Healing Springs may be good, but Jesus offers a water that will keep us from ever being thirsty again.
John 4:13-14 — ” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” AMEN.
P.S. I hope you’ll stop by the springs when you visit this area. The address for GPS purposes is 2563 Healing Springs Road. And, if you are there at lunch time, a great Amish-Mennonite cafe is only three miles away. Miller’s Bread Basket is a popular comfort food place served cafeteria-style.
Martine Fairbanks says
Love this story! Wish it was close enough for me to take a jug and fill it up.
It was definitely your kind of place. 🙂