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Old 12-16-2008, 03:29 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
56 posts, read 67,524 times
Reputation: 52

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In the thread about the McAdenville lights someone reminded us of the beautiful Christmas lights at Jim and Tammy Bakker's Heritage Village just across the NC/SC line near Carowinds. I grew up nearby and remember going to Heritage Village several times. I have fond memories of meeting people and visiting there. It was a beautifully constructed place with a big luxury hotel, a large ampitheater, a huge TV production studio and a restaurant shaped like a castle that was never finished.

After the empire crumbled and Jim Bakker was led away in shackles Heritage Village went down fast. Vandals and thieves did a lot of damage to the property and the weather did more.

I left NC shortly after finishing college at nearby Belmont Abbey. I've only been back once or twice since then. During one of my last visits in 1996 we drove and hiked through part of the old Heritage Village. It was not a pretty sight.

I've heard that someone has bought the property and brought it back to tip-top shape. I have looked online for stories and/or pictures but have come up empty.

Can any of you share information on this? Is there a website?

TIA, Chuck
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,095 posts, read 56,964,608 times
Reputation: 38293
Quote:
Originally Posted by General Ambivalence View Post
In the thread about the McAdenville lights someone reminded us of the beautiful Christmas lights at Jim and Tammy Bakker's Heritage Village just across the NC/SC line near Carowinds. I grew up nearby and remember going to Heritage Village several times. I have fond memories of meeting people and visiting there. It was a beautifully constructed place with a big luxury hotel, a large ampitheater, a huge TV production studio and a restaurant shaped like a castle that was never finished.

After the empire crumbled and Jim Bakker was led away in shackles Heritage Village went down fast. Vandals and thieves did a lot of damage to the property and the weather did more.

I left NC shortly after finishing college at nearby Belmont Abbey. I've only been back once or twice since then. During one of my last visits in 1996 we drove and hiked through part of the old Heritage Village. It was not a pretty sight.

I've heard that someone has bought the property and brought it back to tip-top shape. I have looked online for stories and/or pictures but have come up empty.

Can any of you share information on this? Is there a website?

TIA, Chuck

Tip top shape? Hardly. It is however being used once again and has been cleaned up quite a bit. The huge unfinished hotel tower still stands, as ugly as ever. The entire water park was bulldozed over and filled in so that you can't even tell it was ever there - what a shame, it was the one really nice thing about the place. The campground area is seeing some rennovation of its "cabins" (really trailers meant to look like cabins) as I understand some church groups use it for retreats and outings. There are some nice neigbhorhoods that have sprung up all around the perimeter of the property, which I do think is helping the whole thing to look desirable again. I also believe there is a church group based there that uses the old studio/theater for it's services. It's a far cry from it's hay day, that's for sure!
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:51 PM
 
Location: CLT native
4,282 posts, read 7,142,156 times
Reputation: 2179
I was tooling around on a motorcycle last fall and rode through the property.
I too have memories of their Christmas displays and the water park.

Last fall the center complex (hotel, etc) was still basically ruins and chain link fences.
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Waxhaw,NC
1,570 posts, read 1,701,050 times
Reputation: 393
I lived at PTL for 6 months as a teenager, it was more like a brightly light prison from my point of view. I'd be happy if they bulldozed the whole place.
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
708 posts, read 1,361,111 times
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I drive through PTL several days a week. It has indeed really gone downhill. When I first moved to Fort Mill, I was very surprised to find this was practically in my backyard. I remembered Jim and Tammy Faye from the 1980's, but I lived in Georgia then and I never paid any attention to where their huge ministry and "theme park" were.

I Googled for it too, after discovering it, to try to find out more about what it looked like, then vs. now. This is the most complete photographic site I have found. It includes scanned brochure photos from "back when" and digital photos of what it looks like today. It is not in "tip top shape" by any means. I have not yet seen evidence of them rebuilding it. I wish they'd tear it down and build something else, frankly. I find the place kind of spooky in general.

Heritage USA - Ghost town in Fort Mill Photo Gallery by Kappasigmapi at pbase.com
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Lake Norman, NC
5,954 posts, read 6,883,885 times
Reputation: 27609
Here's a website to see what Morningstar Ministries is doing with their piece of the property (before and after).

The Nehemiah Project (http://him.morningstarministries.org/photo2.htm - broken link)

I'm not a member or anything like that. I just had an interest in what was there at PTL, and what is coming back through Morningstar.

Also, there's been discussion that the unfinished tower will be completed and used as retirement / hospice living.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:27 PM
 
755 posts, read 1,664,814 times
Reputation: 312
When I first moved to Charlotte in 1993, DH and I visited the waterpark and were given a tour of the grounds. Even then I thought it was a sad sight. Every time I drove down 485 near Carolina Place that unfinished tower stood out like a sore thumb.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:26 PM
 
2,127 posts, read 4,275,993 times
Reputation: 1309
When I was in college, I worked at Heritage USA on the horse farm in the back of the property. GREAT JOB!!! They paid me to ride horses and lead trail rides all day. I took care of the beautiful horses and animals (rabbits, donkeys, pigs, chickens) and got to be outdoors!!! I loved it there, Jim Bakker had already gone to prison and it was ideal for a teenager who was majoring in agriculture. Beautiful property, I can tell stories all day of the stuff that used to go on there.

Jake
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:05 PM
 
1 posts, read 7,941 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Ryan View Post
When I was in college, I worked at Heritage USA on the horse farm in the back of the property. GREAT JOB!!! They paid me to ride horses and lead trail rides all day. I took care of the beautiful horses and animals (rabbits, donkeys, pigs, chickens) and got to be outdoors!!! I loved it there, Jim Bakker had already gone to prison and it was ideal for a teenager who was majoring in agriculture. Beautiful property, I can tell stories all day of the stuff that used to go on there.

Jake
I worked there on the farm in 1983. It was a great job. Riding horses, playing with baby animals. It was wild how many people a day came through that place. Jim and Tammy were still there, and their kids came around some. They were just young. On rainy days when there were no trail rides, all the hands would ride the horses and have a blast. Jake, if you ever see this, who was your boss? Oh yeah, the stories...! Or if anyone else reads this and used to work there, please let me know. [email]mtnmanswife@yahoo.com[/email]
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