The Healing Springs near Blackville, S.C. brought people from all over, including from as far away as Pennsylvania.

A Sunday sojourn found me at Healing Springs near Blackville, South Carolina. There I stood on God’s Acre, property deeded to God. Palm Sunday it was, and processions came to be healed. Some came to slake a thirst driven by curiosity. All carried vessels. And the spring kept gushing. Nearby a young man peddled fresh produce. If only I had had some bread and Duke’s mayonnaise.

People have long made pilgrimages to this Barnwell County shrine to fill jugs, bottles, and whatever will hold water. It’s not for the taste. No, they come to take reputed healing powers back home, evidence that people put their faith in remedies beyond pills, needles, and the knife. Like most things religious, faith provides the key.

Tom Poland is the author of 12 books and more than 1,000 magazine features. He writes a weekly column for newspapers in Georgia and South Carolina about the South, its people, traditions, lifestyle and changing culture, and speaks often to groups across South Carolina and Georgia, “Georgialina.” Visit Poland’s website at tompoland.net or email him at tompol@earthlink.net.