Adventures in Self-Love: God's Acre Healing Springs

Blackville, South Carolina. A small town in Barnwell County that is known as the “backcountry.” It is known for railroads, agricultural industries, a small Mennonite community, and God’s Acre Healing Springs, a natural artesian spring that has a storied history of secret healing powers.  Yes, healing powers!



The story goes like this:



“By tradition, Healing Springs got its name during the Revolutionary War. In 1781 after a bloody battle at nearby Windy Hill Creek, four wounded Tories sent inland from Charleston by General Banastre (The Butcher) Tarleton were left in the care of two comrades who had orders to bury them when they died. Luckily, Native Americans found them and took them to their secret, sacred healing springs. Six months later the Charleston Garrison was astonished by the reappearance of the six men. All were strong and healthy.  Ownership of the springs passed from the native “Indian” tribes who revered them to an Indian trader, Nathaniel Walker, who bought them with corn. The site passed through several hands until it was acquired by L. P. Boylston. On July 21, 1944 he deeded the land and the springs to GOD. The waters, by analysis are exceptionally pure and contain healthful minerals. People today, as in the past, believe they truly are Healing Springs.”



            -Retrieved from the God’s Acre Healing Spring Historical Marker

I have heard of places like this, where the land or the water is believed to have a healing property.  But, can you truly feel the presence of God on the property that was so freely deeded to Him?  To answer this question, I took a trip.



God’s Acre was only 57.5 miles away, about an hour’s drive for this journey.  My first trip was with my Dad.  In the middle of COVID, this was one of the three times that I have been in the same car with him.  He had just been diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease that mostly affects the lungs and lymph nodes but can also affect other major organs.  In a pandemic that affects the respiratory system, this diagnosis was scary for our family and we fought to protect him and my mother who is also immunocompromised.  I wanted to take him to the springs that we have often conversed about, so, one Sunday, we made the journey.  We listened to his favorite music, Frankie Beverly & Maze, The Ohio Players, and even Daley.  We talked about life, our family, and new food ideas through masks, all to keep him safe.  And then, we arrived. 



I came prepared, too.  I had bottles to fill, flip flops, towels, and disinfectant.  We waited on the side until some of the cars cleared out.  As soon as we got out of the car, we felt it.  There was a peacefulness that was beyond our understanding, and I’m not just quoting Philippians.  There was a presence that filled every inch of that space, even as we pulled up in the car.  No one talked louder than normal volume and you could hear and feel nature all around you, literally feeling as the earth exhaled and inhaled.  Tranquil sounds of birds, water, and fresh air engulfed our ears and lungs as we walked toward the spigots coming out of the ground.  We filled our bottles and had small talk with people as they waited their turn.  Some people had traveled far, visiting the Springs before heading back to their hometowns.  One lady makes a monthly trip from Charlotte, NC to get water for her household.



The best part for me was wading in the spring waters.  My dad and I stepped into the water and instantly felt at home.  My dad had a biopsy done on his lungs before his diagnosis and he had scars where they inserted tubes into his chest area.  As we waded through the water, my dad washed his wounds with the waters, we sang songs of praise, and we prayed for healing.  And we packed up and left.



About two months later, my dad got a call from his doctor.  He had been receiving treatments for the sarcordosis.  Before, there was scarring and granulomas on his lungs.  But now, after washing in the Healing Springs of God’s Acre, my dad was completely healed of sarcoidosis.  COMPLETELY HEALED!  This is the same disease that his mother and my brother-in-law died of complications from.  And God saw fit to allow my father to be healed of it, in the middle of a respiratory pandemic. 



So, can you truly feel the presence of God on the property that was so freely deeded to Him?  Absolutely!  We felt Him.  And we experienced Him moving on behalf of my dad.  God’s Acre is a sacred place.  Being at this place reminded me just how amazing God is.  That God can calm all of my fears, my anxieties, and my worries.  That I can always lay my entire body at His feet, not knowing what to say or describe what I need but He will provide exactly what I need.  That I can always find rest in Him.  And that He is everything that I need.  I now have a place that if I don't feel like I can feel God anywhere else, I can always come find Him here.

If you want a one-day Self-Care trip that is peaceful and purposeful, definitely give God’s Acre a visit.  You won’t regret it.  Just don’t forget some jugs to gather some healing water.



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