Exploring Dora – Through Prayer!

I apologize for the cheesy blog title today. I just couldn’t help myself after watching countless episodes of “Dora the Explorer” when my children were younger.

Located in Walker County

Mayor Charles Randall Stephens

Founded by Cole Smith in 1886

Incorporated February 18, 1897

Named for Dora Freil, wife of mine operator Hugh Freil

Home of Alabama Mining Museum

2010 population 2,025

  • Early settlers came to the area in the 1820’s and 30’s

  • First named Sharon.

  • Renamed Horse Creek in 1809. Horse creek, which runs through the town, was known for the wild horses that roamed by the creek. Local Indians would catch the horses, train them and sell them.

  • In 1906 was renamed Dora.

  • In 1886 two major railroads came through and the Depot was a regular stop for local trains to Birmingham and surrounding areas, as well as trains to cities such as Memphis and Kansas City. The town developed around the train station and it grew into a thriving community.

  • Coal was plentiful and people migrated to Dora to work in the coal mines.

  • The decline of the mining industry was a severe blow to Dora and the city began to decline and is still attempting to recover.

Dora today

Horse Creek Golf Couse, which opened in 2000, is a popular course with reasonable fees and draws players from many surrounding areas

With the opening of Interstate 22 (Corridor X) Dora, the first exit past the Jefferson County line and 20 minutes from Birmingham, is positioned for economic growth.

*Mayor Stephens gave Ginny most of this information, which comes from a book longtime residents of Dora created for the 1986 Dora Centennial celebration

Proverbs 16:8 – “Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.”

Father, You often surprise me with the direction you end up leading me for these cities we’ve prayed for, and today is no different. I feel like You are wanting to encourage this city and its leaders, to let them know Your favor is on them. Where they have struggled with their economic growth and progress, You have been increasing justice and righteousness, which is far better for a city. Father, we pray for the closet intercessors who live in Dora, and who regularly pray for their city and their mayor, to lift their eyes to the hills, and to see that their help comes from You, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121) Let them see with their own eyes Your answers to the prayers You have prompted them to pray.

Firmly establish Your justice and righteousness in Dora, so that the economic increase that comes with the new interstate would not become an avenue of wickedness, and that injustice would find no foothold in Dora. Give Mayor Stephens and the leadership humility and wisdom to lead their city by following Your righteous decrees.

We pray this in Your name, and for the sake of Your glory and righteousness.

How is the Lord leading you to pray for Dora, AL?

 

County Line, Alabama

We are praying for County Line today. The last of the municipalities in the metro-Birmingham area that begin with “C”. Ginny said there was very little info out there, and it seems it doesn’t have a mayor from what little info she could find about it. If any of you have more information, we would love to know about it!

  • Incorporated on March 1st, 1972
  • Named for its location on the border between Blount and Jefferson counties
  • 2010 census 258. Since 2000 it has had a population growth of 25.12 percent.
  • Total area of 2 square miles
  • Compared to the rest of the country, County Line’s cost of living is 13.20% lower than the U.S. average
  • The unemployment rate in County Line is 7.30 percent. Recent job growth is Positive. County Line jobs have increased by 1.04

John 15:16 – “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.”

Jesus, we love You and adore You. Thank You for making a way for us to have access to the Father through Your death in our place on the cross. Thank You that the work to reconcile us to God is finished, and that there is nothing we have to do to earn Your love or the Father’s love and forgiveness. Thank You for choosing us to be Your children when we were enemies of God, children of wrath. Your grace amazes us.

Lord Jesus, You have appointed the town of County Line to exist for such a time as this. You have a purpose and a plan for that town.  We ask that You would bring that plan forth in Your perfect timing, and that You would provide the resources they need to accomplish Your will.

Raise up the person You have ordained and called to be the mayor for County Line, and those who You’ve called to serve in leadership for the town. We ask that it would be a man or woman after Your own heart. May this be a town whose leadership gets established in prayer, and who actively seek Your face and Your counsel in all of their ways.

We ask for an increase in jobs in County Line, and that You would provide its residents with the ability and resources to meet their needs. Bring increase where there has been lack. Bring abundance where there has been poverty. Bring life where there has been death. Bring health where there has been infirmity. Bring peace where there has been strife.

We pray these things of the Father in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, and for Your glory.

How is the Lord leading You to pray for County Line?

Praying for Cordova, AL

Mayor Drew Gilbert

Founded in 1859

Incorporated in 1900

2010 census population 2,095

  • Located in Walker County on the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River

  • 37 miles from Birmingham

  • Was originally called Dent or Dent’s Place.

  • Captain Benjamin M. Long in 1859 renamed it Cordova after a city in Mexico in which we was stationed during the Mexican War (where he served under Robert E. Lee)  (some sources say Cordova was named after an industrial town in Great Britain but the city of Cordova claims that Long named it after the city in Mexico)

  • Cap. Long was instrumental in persuading Nashua Manufacturing of Nashua, New Hampshire to open a cotton mill, called The Indian Head Textile Mills to Cordova, which opened in 1898.  The mill was the largest employer in the county and the company built over 100 houses, many of which are still standing and occupied today.

  • In the 1950’s Cordova was known as “The Industrial Heart of Walker County.”

  • In 1962 Cordova suffered a huge economic blow when the Indian Head Textile Mill closed and is still recovering from the loss.

  • Gilchrist House near Cordova, considered one of the oldest surviving houses in Alabama, was destroyed by fire in the 1990s, but the site remains listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

  • April 27, 2011 Cordova was hit by two tornados. An EF-3 tornado struck in the morning and in the afternoon an EF-4 tornado destroyed much of the historic downtown district. FEMA funds were slow coming and it wasn’t until April of 2013 that the city was able to begin work on restoring the downtown area.

  • Future growth for Cordova

    • BAE systems, a British defense, security and aerospace company recently opened a plant in Cordova

    • The opening of Interstate 22 (Corridor X) will allow for renewed economic growth

Heavenly Father, we look to You for everything we need, for You give us everything pertaining to life and godliness by Your divine power. We pray that Your divine power would be evident among the citizens and leadership of the city of Cordova. May You cause Mayor Gilbert and the city council to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with You. (Micah 6:8)

We pray that divine healing on the physical, emotional, spiritual and economic levels would be fully accomplished, as all of those things were profoundly affected by the April 27 tornadoes. May Your hand of blessing be on this city as they rebuild and look forward to new growth. Accomplish for them, in them, and through them what only You can accomplish. May all who see what You are doing and are going to do know that it is only by Your hand and Your divine power.

We ask that Your will would be done, and Your kingdom come in Cordova as it already is in Heaven. And may You receive all the honor and glory for it. Amen.

We would love to hear how the Lord is leading you to pray for Cordova! (Again, many, many thanks to Ginny Hart for helping us with the research for this city!)

Columbiana, Alabama

Mayor  Stancil  Handley

Founded: I was not able to fine a date that Columbiana was founded.  It was first called Columbia but on January 13, 1832 the name was changed to Columbiana

Incorporated on Dec. 5, 1837

  • County seat of Shelby County

  • 2010 census population 4,197

  • About 25 miles southeast of Birmingham,

  • Prior to the Civil War, an iron foundry was located in Columbiana.

  • During the war, CB Churchill operated a foundry for the Confederate government.  It was burned in 1865 by the Northern troops

  • Shelby County Museum and Archives housed in restored 1854 county courthouse

  • Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington houses largest collection of George and Martha Washington Memorabilia outside of Mount Vernon

  • Annual Liberty day celebration in honor of the Statue of Liberty is held on the last Saturday in June

Matthew 6:9-13 – “Pray, then, in this way: Our Father, who is in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Heavenly Father, we declare that You are holy and there is none like You. Would you cause Your name to be revered and honored in the city of Columbiana and among its residents?

We pray that You would cause Your kingdom to come in Columbiana. Raise up intercessors and Kingdom-agents who would seek Your face for their city, and carry the power of the Gospel with them at all times. May Your people in Columbiana be a light that shines in the dark places, destroying the works of the devil.

Your will for Columbiana is good and perfect, but that does not mean it’s always easy. Give the people of this city the faith to trust Your goodness even when Your will causes them to face hard things. Thank You that we can be assured that You work all things for good to those who love You and are called according to Your purpose (Romans 8:28). We pray that Your will would be fully accomplished in Columbiana as it already is in Heaven.

We pray that You would give Mayor Handley, the city council, and everyone in Columbiana what they need each day. II Peter 1:3 says that by Your divine power, You grant us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. So, we pray that by Your power, daily needs, emotional, mental and spiritual needs would be met. May the eyes of all look to You as their daily Bread of Life.

We pray that godly forgiveness would be the norm for this city. Teach them what godly forgiveness looks like. Change and transform the residents of Columbiana by making Your forgiveness a reality in their lives. We plead the blood of Jesus Christ over the sins of Columbiana’s past, and ask that You would make all things new.

Lord, deliver them from the Evil One. Set the captives free by Your power and grace, and seat them in the heavenly places with Christ. We pray all of this for Your kingdom’s sake, for Your power and glory. Amen.

Praying for Cleveland, AL – Join us!

Again, much thanks to Ginny Hart for doing the research on this city. Below is the information she found in her own words.

Mayor’s name – Jerry Jones

Founded in 1854 and called Dry Creek Cross Roads

Incorporated in 1912 but no council was formed and it remained inactive until April 3, 1964 when the incorporation was reactivated.  The first mayor, Eldridge Bynum, served as mayor until 1975. He has written a book about Cleveland and when I couldn’t find much information about the city I called him and he gave me much of this information.  He is in his 90’s and still serves on the city council

Was named after President Grover Cleveland.

  • Population 2010 census  1.303

  • First business store opened in 1874

  • Post office built in 1890’s

  • The first bank in Blount County, the Framers Neutral Bank, was built in Cleveland.

  • In the early 1900’s, Cleveland  was the commerce city of Blount county.  It had the only bank in the county, a cotton gin, a dry goods store, a drug store, a doctor, and the post office.  The cotton gin ginned over 3,000 bales of cotton per year.

  • During the depression, a plant to manufacture heads for nail kegs was built.  It employed about 25 men. Mr. Blackwood, who built the camp, built a company store and houses for the employees.

Lord Jesus, we bless Your name, and we command all that is within us to bless Your holy name. You are faithful and true; You redeem our lives from the pit; You heal and restore, and make all things new. We bless Your name because it is above every other name, and it is the only name by which we are saved.

Jesus, we ask that You would put Your name on Cleveland, AL, because with Your name comes every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. We pray that Your name would bring salvation to everyone in Cleveland, justice to the weak and oppressed, families to the orphaned and widowed. Let this city become a place of refuge from violence and corruption, and a place where righteousness dwells.

We pray for Mayor Jones and Councilman Bynum, and the rest of the city council to be leaders of integrity and wisdom. May they honor the name of Jesus Christ in everything they do and say. We pray that You would bless them in their homes, their families, their jobs, their ministries, and in everything that concerns them, for Your name’s sake.

We pray that this city would not only be known as a city named for a former President, but it would also be known because of how it honors and glorifies the name of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

We would love to join with you in prayer for Cleveland. Please comment below with your prayer, Scripture, or even a question or comment.

Praying for Clay, Alabama

Again, thanks to Ginny, who did most of the research for us for the City of Clay.

  • Mayor – Charles Webster
  • Located in northeastern Jefferson County
  • Incorporated June 6, 2000
  • Named for the type of soil found there
  • According to their official “Welcome to the City of Clay” sign on their website, the community was established circa 1818
  • Churches were the only institution in its earliest days, and therefore became the tool that brought the community together
  • Mt. Calvary Presbyterian Church, founded in 1807, according to one source, is the oldest Protestant congregation in the State of Alabama
  • The first post office was opened in 1878. The postmaster named the area Clay at that time.
  • On January 23, 2012, an EF3 tornado severely damaged or destroyed over 200 homes in Clay
  • **Cool personal tidbit, my sister-in-law is from one of the earliest known families to settle in the area that would become the city of Clay

Ephesians 1:18-20 – “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him in the heavenly places”

Father, we praise You for Your power that was on display when You raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in the heavenly places, thereby making an open display over the rulers and powers (Col. 2:15), and securing for us a place in Your family, and allowing us to be seated with Christ. We are so grateful it is only by grace through faith, and not of works, not only so that no one can boast, but also so that our salvation can rest secure in You.

We pray for this city that was built around the local congregations and churches. We pray that You would enlighten the hearts of the citizens and leaders of Clay, so that they may know the calling You have placed on each one of them, and that it would bring them hope even in the face of great adversity. We ask that they would also discover the rich grace and fellowship that can be found in the Body of Christ. For those that have found the opposite to be true, either because of wolves in sheep’s clothing or because of bad choices of fallen people, we pray that by Your grace, their hearts would be healed, and they would experience the love, belonging, and support a healthy, Christ-following church will provide. Lord, may Your Church in Clay be where people experience the greatness of Your power toward those who believe. Let people experience saving grace, power to deliver, heal, redeem, restore, transform – all the things that Jesus conquered.

We also pray for Mayor Webster and the city council to seek You while You may be found. Enlighten the eyes of their hearts to know You personally. Grant them the grace they need to lead well. May they enjoy every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3), and let those blessings overflow to how they lead their cities, their lives, and their homes.

In the name of Jesus, which is above every name, Amen.

What is the Lord leading you to pray for Clay today?

Praying for Clanton, AL

  • Mayor – Billy Joe Driver
  • Founded in 1867 by Alfred Baker
  • Named in honor of Confederate War hero General James Holt Clanton
  • Originally named Goose Pond
  • Incorporated in 1873
  • Chilton County seat
  • State’s largest producer of peaches – known for Peach Park and its annual Peach Festival to honor and celebrate its peach farmers every year
  • Population in 2010 was 8,619
  • During the Civil War, what is now Clanton was part of a large estate belonging to Joseph Williams
  • During World War II, a small German prisoner-of-war camp was located in Clanton

Many, many thanks to Ginny, our new city researcher for most of this info on Clanton! She is an answer to our prayers for people to be raised up to help us here at City on its Knees.

Mark 4:3-8 – “Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

Father, we pray that You would bless the farmers in Clanton by bringing increase to their crops and let them be encouraged by seeing a greater return for their efforts than they were expecting. Let them know it’s by Your hand alone that You have done it, so that if any do not know You, they would turn and put their trust in You.

We pray that the pastors and elders of the churches in Clanton would be faithful sowers of Your Word. We pray for unity among the pastors and churches in this city, so that together they can reap the harvest of Your Word in the lives and communities around them.

We lift up Mayor Driver, the city council, and other leaders/managers of this city, and pray that You would also bless their efforts to lead well and wisely. Cause them to look to You for wisdom and direction in everything they do. We pray for supernatural increase for the city’s resources and success in all that they set their hand to that is of Your will. May it be obvious to all that it is You who brings blessing and increase to their city, their crops, their resources, and everything that concerns them. May You receive all the honor and glory for it. Amen.

How is the Lord leading you to pray for Clanton?