On Saturday [back in January], Countess and I decided to go visit the remnants of Heritage USA down in Fort Mill, SC. It is located just south of the border between North and South Carolina. After Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker’s PTL Club went into bankruptcy in 1987, the site was mostly abandoned for about 20 years.
The Christian convention center and hotel is still active under different ownership, but the majority of the 2,300 acre site was sold off for developing condos and tract homes.
The 21 story Heritage Tower – that was going to provide 165,000 PTL members who paid $1,000 for an annual free 3 night vacation for the rest of their lives – has never been completed, and has been the subject of an ongoing fight with the city of Fort Mill – the city believes the building needs to be torn down as it is unsafe and the Owners cannot prove that the defects can be repaired.
While walking through the building that houses the Grand Ballroom, we noticed a row of pictures of evangelical leaders with a connection to Heritage International, the successor to Heritage USA. Curiously, despite everything that happened, Jim Bakker’s picture is on the wall
And this descriptive plaque:
With an ironic twist, the facility was hosting a training seminar concerning how to deal with sexual misconduct…