Schedule of Events

Saturday – May 6 2017

The festival will take place in The Field across the street from the sanctuary, which is part of Common Ground; in The Historic ACPC Sanctuary and the yard outside, in The Allison Creek and Clay Hill Cemeteries; and on The Common Ground Walking Paths that run through a cemetery and past meditation stations in the woods; and in The Church Gymnasium. 

Visitors will be greeted by some volunteers in period clothing and by roaming fiddle and banjo players and other musicians.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

  • There will be children’s stations with self-paced activities.
  • A scavenger hunt is planned.
  • Children can make toys from the 1863 – 1900 period.
  • At times, children will also be led in playing period games.
  • Visitors are invited to take self-paced guided tours through the Allison Creek and Clay Hill Cemeteries and The Common Ground Walking Paths.
  • Guided tours of the ACPC Sanctuary, including the balcony where slaves sat, and where benches built by slaves remain.
  • The Youth Photo Exhibit is on display in The Church Gymnasium.
  • At The Field, ACPC will sell food throughout the day.

10:30 a.m.

Vignettes and guided tour of  The Allison Creek and Clay Hill Cemeteries (where slaves and freed blacks are buried), given by historic characteristics who come to life, dressed in period clothing. Six interpreters tell the stories of their characters and the history of the Clay Hill Community, including the lives of some of the other people buried in the church’s cemeteries.

11:30 a.m.

ACPC Sanctuary – The first showing of  “Allison Creek: From the KKK to Liberia, one church’s quest to reconcile itself,” a 20-minute documentary about the impact of the Clay Hill Community on ACPC,  followed by a Q&A by the filmmaker, pastor of ACPC and another historian.

1 – 2  p.m.

The Church Gymnasium – Performance and lecture by renowned banjo player and historian Bob Carlin,  who combines the history of the banjo with a musical journey, covering, West African roots, African-American banjo styles, minstrels of the 1840s and 1850s and Southern “old-time” banjo playing.

2:30 p.m.

The Allison Creek and Clay Hill Cemeteries – Second guided tour by six interpreters who deliver vignettes that tell their life stories and the stories of some of the people buried on the land.

3:30  p.m.

ACPC Sanctuary – Second showing of film, “Allison Creek: From the KKK to Liberia, one church’s quest to reconcile itself,” followed by Q&A.


Sunday, May 7, 10:00 a.m.

Service outdoors, (weather permitting).

At the end of the service, there will be an unveiling of a South Carolina State Historical Marker for Reverend Elias Hill, the leader of the 1871 Clay Hill Migration to Liberia whose homestead bordered Common Ground at Allison Creek. In total, 31 families departed for Liberia with 20 unique surnames. We plan to invite all the families with these surnames to the unveiling of the historical marker. 

Elias Hill, under oath, explained why his family’s left  South Carolina: “We do not believe it possible, from the past history and present aspect of affairs, for our people to live in this country peaceably, and educate and elevate their children to that degree which they desire.” On the 146th anniversary of the KKK’s visit, we honor his memory as proof that a new history is being created on the same land he fled.