Travel back in time May 5 during The Parish Church of St. Helena's 56th annual Spring Tour of Homes.
A Revolutionary War hero's homesite, plantations where rice was produced by slave labor and a primitive church that was a Civil War hospital are open to the public during the tour, which is part of the church's tricentennial celebration.
The tour covers the rich history of the area, said Shirley Sutton, tour co-chairwoman.
"I want the people who take the tour to feel the spirit," she said. "All of our properties cover the Revolutionary and Civil War eras on up to the present day working plantations."
The primitive Stoney Creek Presbyterian Church in McPhersonville, which dates from 1725, is the sole church on the tour. It has no air conditioning, electricity or water.
"It is almost mystical," said Roz Dixon, staff coordinator and flower chairwoman for the tour committee. "It evokes such another time. I love it."
Highlights at other plantations include hunt rooms, carpentry, formal gardens and the gothic architecture of Rose Hill Plantation on U.S. 278 in greater Bluffton.
The tours include magnificent views, including that of the river at Bonny Hall, once a rice plantation.
Among the plantations on the 123-mile tour are:
Huspa Plantation: The 325-acre working plantation in Sheldon overlooking live oaks and Huspa Creek is a home for retired race horses and vintage airplanes.
Pinckney Retreat Plantation: The plantation is reported to be the oldest tabby house in Beaufort County and overlooks Battery Creek. It was built in 1736 by French Huguenot Jean de la Gaye for his young bride.
The gravesite of Thomas Heyward Jr. at Old House Plantation: Heyward was a South Carolina statesman who is best known today because he signed the Declaration of Independence in the summer of 1776 in Philadelphia.
Tomotley Plantation: An avenue of oaks planted circa 1820 is a highlight of this plantation, which was one of the original tracts of land apportioned by King Charles II's Lords Proprietors.
"Places on this tour are original, which is a very rare thing," Dixon said.
The group celebrates May Friendship Day at 12:30 p.m. May 5 with a potluck luncheon in the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 540 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island. All women are invited. The group includes women from 19 area congregations. During the new construction at First Presbyterian, the entrance to Fellowship Hall is only by the door on the north side of the church building complex, off U.S. 278 at the traffic light near the Honey Horn Chapel, and opposite the town Fire Station No. 3.PLANT THE SEED MINISTRY
Free meals and friendly conversations are 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at the Atlantic Inn parking lot, 2249 Boundary St., Beaufort. Details: 843-575-2200, firstname.lastname@example.org
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND
New Voices presents "Celebrate Life!" at the 8:30 and 11 a.m. services May 6. FPC's Missions Ministry will show "The Corridor of Shame" documentary and introduce Bring a Book and a Buck outreach for schools in Jasper and Allendale counties at 6:30 p.m. May 9 in Fellowship Hall. The Statesboro Youth Chorale will perform at 7 p.m. May 11 at the church. The concert is free. The church is at 540 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island. Details: 843-681-3696, email@example.com, www.fpchhi.orgST. JOHN'S LUTHERAN CHURCH
Lutheran Men on Mission will sell barbecue chicken 9:30-11:45 a.m. May 6. Dinners are available for carry-out or eat-in. The cost is $5 a meal and will help provide summer camp scholarships. The church is at 157 Lady's Island Drive, Beaufort. Details or tickets: 843-846-1016, 843-575-3203, firstname.lastname@example.orgUNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP OF BEAUFORT
The Rev. Nan White will continue her sermons on the Seven Principles: justice, equity and compassion in human relations with her sermon at 10 a.m. May 6 titled "Human Relations at Their Best." The fellowship meets at 178 Sams Point Road, Lady's Island. Details: 843-838-1399UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION OF THE LOWCOUNTRY
The Rev. Jane Page, from Unitarian Universalist Statesboro in Georgia, continues her series based on phrases from the song "Let It Be A Dance" at 10 a.m. May 6. Her sermon title is "A Child Is Born, The Old Must Die." The church is at 110 Malphrus Road, Bluffton. Details: 843-837-3330UNITY CHURCH OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND
The Rev. Julia Johnson, senior minister at Unity of Hilton Head Island, will speak on "Trusting God's Will" at 10 a.m. May 6 at the Seaquin's Ballroom (the Fred Astaire Dance Studio), 1300 Fording Island Road, Bluffton. Child care will be provided. Following the service, a healing circle will be led by the chaplains. Details: 843-682-8177, www.unitychurchofhiltonhead.orgCHRISTIAN SCIENCE SOCIETY OF BEAUFORT
"Adam and Fallen Man" is the Bible Lesson Sermon at 10:30 a.m. May 6. The society meets at 401 Scott St., Beaufort. Details: 843-441-2262
UNION BAPTIST CHURCH
The church concludes the celebration of its 129th church anniversary at 11 a.m. May 6 with speaker the Rev. Dr. Elijah Washington and guests from First African Baptist Church, St. Helena Island. Dinner will follow. The church is at 1708 Old Shell Road, Port Royal. Details: 843-524-8589RESURRECTION CHURCH
A potluck brunch begins at noon May 6 at the church at 296 Spanish Wells Road, Hilton Head Island. Details: 843-689-3625, www.resurrectionccc.orgHEALING WATERS MISSION WESLEYAN CHURCH
The church will celebrate its third anniversary at 3 p.m. May 6. The Rev. Gregory Jenkins, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church, Varnville, and the sheriff of Jasper County Law Enforcement, will speak. Minister Cynthia Walburg of Jerusalem Baptist Church, Savannah, will be the mistress of ceremonies. The Praise Dance Team of the Family Worship Center of Yemassee will perform. Jeannette Harley, pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Levy, will speak. A celebration meal will follow. The church is at 1 Joe Frazier Road (at Broad River Boulevard and Joe Frazier Road), Beaufort. Details: 843-816-1334, www.healingwatersmission.com, www.wesleyan.org
BETHLEHEM BAPTIST CHURCH
The church will conclude the sixth anniversary celebration of its pastor, the Rev. Joe Jordan, at 4 p.m. May 6 with guests the Rev. Dr. Richard Kinlock and the First African Baptist Church of Levy. The church is on S.C. 170, Okatie. Details: 843-368-9301ADAM STREET BAPTIST CHURCH
The Women in White service is at 4 p.m. May 6. Vivian Galloway of First Euhaw Baptist Church, Ridgeland, will speak. All women are encouraged to wear white. The church is at 736 Lands End Road, St. Helena Island. Details: 843-838-2887
PINE GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH
Spring Revival is at 7:30 p.m. May 9-11. Speakers are: John Dortch, pastor of Central Baptist Church, on Wednesday; Joseph McKnight, pastor of Israelite Baptist Church, on Thursday; and Leroy Haynes, pastor of Nazareth Baptist Church, on Friday. The church is at 73 Pine Grove Road, Burton. Details: 843-522-9574LUNCH HOUR OF POWER
Evangelist Leona Graham, associate minister at Laurel Bay Baptist Church, will speak noon-12:45 p.m. May 9 at the Lunch Hour of Power, in Helen Galloway's Memorial Chapel, 808 Bladen St., Beaufort. Details: 843-524-6634SHELL POINT BAPTIST CHURCH
Free, warm meals and conversation are offered 6-7 p.m. Fridays at 871 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort. The Refining Christian Maturity Recovery meeting is at 7 p.m. A food pantry also is available. Details: 843-575-2200, email@example.comFIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, HILTON HEAD ISLAND
Cast 4 Christ, a day of fishing for ages 5-15, is 8:30 a.m.-noon May 12 rain or shine at Jarvis Creek Park, 50 Jarvis Park Road, Hilton Head Island. Children younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult. All tackle and fishing equipment will be provided with a free picnic, live music and prizes. Details: 843-785-4478
BEAUFORT COUNTY MINISTERIAL ALLIANCE
The alliance meets at 9 a.m. May 12 at the Grand Army Hall, Prince and New Castle streets, Beaufort. Details: 843-846-8050THE CHURCH OF THE CROSS, BLUFFTON
The Cross Christian Women will sell homemade shrimp and chicken salad sandwiches May 12 at the 34th annual Bluffton Village Festival. The historic church at 110 Calhoun St., Bluffton, will be open for visitors. Details: 843-757-2661, www.thechurchofthecross.net