Last but Not Least, Woodstock

Here it is! Our very last municipality to pray over!

www.woodstockalabama.com

Mayor Ricky Kornegay (this may not be the most recent information, but it was all I could find)

Straddles Bibb and Tuscaloosa Counties

  • The Bibb County portion is part of the metro-B’ham area
  • The Tuscaloosa County portion is part of the Tuscaloosa-metro area

2010 population: 1, 428

Named for Woodstock, England

First settled in the 1820s along the old Tuscaloosa to Huntsville Stagecoach line

  • Became the center of a thriving railroad business
  • In 1872, a rail line was installed down to West Blocton to ship the large abundance of coal from that area
  • Woodstock became a storage yard for coal, red and brown iron ore, and cotton
  • Also in 1872, a blast furnace was built by a man who had moved to town from Tannehill to manufacture pig iron

Town was the roots of a newspaper business in the 1800s

  • Publication moved to Six Mile and then to Birmingham where it became the “Birmingham News”

Formally incorporated in 1996 as North Bibb. Name was changed back to Town of Woodstock on 2000

Let’s wrap up by praying the Lord’s Prayer over this town, because really it’s my prayer for all of the metro-Birmingham area as well.

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.’]”

Holy, Holy, Holy are You, Lord God Almighty! Your name is unlike any other, and nothing man or Satan can do is able to cast one shadow on the glory of Your holy name. Your name encompasses all that You are – every characteristic – and it will take Eternity to know You fully. You delight to reveal Yourself to us, and we delight to discover just how wonderful, amazing, Sovereign, just, perfect, good….holy You are.

We pray that the people of the Town of Woodstock would know Your holiness. We pray that Your kingdom would come to Woodstock, and Your will be done there as it already is in Heaven. We pray for strong marriages, safe homes and schools for children, widows to have what they need not just to survive but to thrive. We pray for godly leadership in their government through Mayor Kornegay and the Town Council, and for godly business leaders and church leaders.

Father, we ask for supernatural provision for everything the people of Woodstock needs for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), for physical and spiritual provision. Sustain them and let them find satisfaction in Your will for their lives and their town. Thank You that You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Ps. 145:16).

Lord, may the power of Your Gospel cover the Town of Woodstock, bringing forgiveness of sins, and release from the stronghold of shame and despair. Uproot bitterness and unforgiveness and bring restoration and reconciliation. Thank You that forgiving someone does not make the wrong they did “okay”. Wrong is never okay. Give us all grace to understand what real forgiveness is and what it looks like.

Deliver the Town of Woodstock from every evil scheme of the enemy. Shine Your light and expose in Your way the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the predators, the liars, any who are choosing by their behavior to lead others to destruction or to harm others. Establish righteous leaders and bless them. Let salvation prosper in this town.

Thank You, Father, that You have good plans for Woodstock to bless them and prosper them, to give them future and a hope in You. (Jer. 29:11). You have done wonderful things over this town’s history, and we pray that You would continue to. We pray all of these things in Your name, for Your matchless power and glory which has dominion forever. Amen.

So how long have you been on this prayer journey with us? Some of you have prayed through 90 municipalities with us! This journey has changed me and how I pray. I will share more about that in the next post. Thank you so much for joining us in our prayer journey! We will continue praying over the metro-Birmingham area in the days ahead.

West Blocton, Alabama

For two weeks, I was so excited that I had met my goal of posting twice a week. Then school started around here, and my middle child turned 10, and I turned another year older, as well. So between beginning of the year homeschool chaos and birthday celebrations, we are back at one post a week. Or maybe, on a subconscious level, I don’t want to reach the end of this list of municipalities. I have so enjoyed this project, that perhaps I am finding ways of  stretching it out to last as long as possible. Nah, that couldn’t be it. Anyhow, won’t you join me today in praying for West Blocton?

Located in northern Bibb County, about 40 miles SW of Birmingham, at the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains

Mayor Jesse E. Reese (I had a hard time tracking down the name of the mayor, and this may be old information that I finally found, so if I am incorrect, please let me know.) Correction: the current mayor is Gary Donner. Thanks to Mike Logan for letting me know that!

Settled in the late 1880s by Russian-Jewish immigrants during the coal-mining boom. (see www.isjl.org for more on the history of Jewish people in the South.)

2010 population: 1, 240

  • A feature-length documentary, West Blocton: Small Town, Big Heart was made in 2012 by Michael J. Logan, an independent filmmaker whose family is from the town. It covers the history of the town from its inception in 1884 to present day.
  • Incorporated in 1901
  • First named Suttletown after an early store owner; then Smith; and finally West Blocton to differentiate from the nearby town of Blocton, which no longer exists.
  • The two towns were called “Blocton” because of the ton blocks of coal removed from the mines there.
  • The area is still known for its now-historic beehive ovens, built in the late 1880s for coke production. (Coke is a fuel derived from coal.) www.cokeovenspark.com
  • At the height of its production, 467 coke ovens produced 600 tons a day.

It seems we prayed out of this passage not too terribly long ago for another city, but this was the one I was drawn to today, and it’s one of my favorites.

Jeremiah 29:11-14a – “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by You,’ declares the LORD.”

Heavenly Father, we praise You because You are a great God who rules and reigns in holiness, splendor and unrivaled majesty. You are Sovereign over us and all things. Your will has been established from before the foundation of the world, and no purpose of Yours can be thwarted (Job 42:2). And even though you are so high and lifted up, so exalted, You desire to be with us. You want us to seek You and to find You. You draw near to us. How can this be? I don’t think we can hope to understand it, but to just respond with hearts of gratitude and praise and thanksgiving, and by worshipping You with our whole lives.

We pray for the town of West Blocton, Alabama, today. Thank You that You have a plan for this town’s welfare and future. You have established it for Your purposes and for their good. We pray that You would make that evident throughout this town, and in the lives of each person who lives there or who is somehow a part of West Blocton.

We pray for a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ would come to each home in West Blocton. Make the ones who already know You to be men and women of prayer. Cause them to tirelessly seek Your face, not for what You can do, but for who You are. May the Church in West Blocton be whole-life worshippers of the One True God, and in so doing let them find You – fresh revelations of Your mercy, Your grace, Your holiness, Your faithfulness. Cause these revelations to transform them and transform their town.

We pray for Mayor Donner and the rest of the leadership in West Blocton. Grant them wisdom and humility to seek You in all of their ways. Thank You for the assurance in this passage that they will find You when they seek You with all their hearts. If there is anything that is hindering “whole-hearted seeking” by them, we pray that You would reveal it and set them free from it. Equip them by Your grace to be the leaders You have called them to be. Encourage them and strengthen them as they put their trust in You.

We pray for all these things in the name of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. Amen.

What verse comes to your mind as you pray through this post with me? I would love to see it in the comments!

 

Centreville, Alabama

  • Mayor – Mike Hobson
  • Website – http://www.centrevillealabama.intuitwebsites.com
  • County seat of Bibb County
  • Founded by a woman, Sarah F. Chotard, because of its strategic location for transportation beside the Cahaba River
  • Established in 1821
  • Incorporated in 1832
  • Population around 2,800

God’s coincidences tickle me and fascinate me. Our post on Tuesday mentioned how 2 of the churches in Center Point were founded by women. Today, we find a city that was founded by a woman! I’ve been doing this alphabetically, and so for us to be praying for two cities back to back where women played such prominent roles in them, is just one of God’s interesting coincidences. 

This city was also touched by racial injustice and violence. In 1910, an African-American man was killed by a mob without a trial, after a woman accused him of fathering a child by rape. No one was ever charged for the murder, and the woman’s claims were never proven. Sadly, these sorts of things happened all over the South. Finding specific accounts always grieve me, but I’m proud of cities that are willing to own up to the dark things in their past, because only then can a city be set free from those things. 

Heavenly Father, You are the God of Justice. Nothing is hidden from Your sight. We plead the blood of Jesus over our land that has been touched with all kinds of violence, and ask You to set our cities free from the curse that murder brings on the land, when the blood of the slain innocent cry out to you, just as Abel’s did when his brother killed him. 

We pray that You would pour out a blessing on Centreville, Alabama. Cause the marvelous light of Your glory to shine over the people of that city, and bring Your redemption and salvation to set them free from darkness and shame. We pray that not only for Centreville, but for the whole metr0-Birmingham area. 

Shine on Mayor Hobson, and cause his countenance to reflect the joy of Your salvation. Let Your light shine through him so that all who meet him would glorify the Father. Let Mayor Hobson and the other city leaders of Centreville delight in You, so that You will give them the desire of their heart. Grant them grace and mercy as they lead their city. 

We thank You, Lord, that You redeem us and our cities. Thank You for Centreville. Bring forth Your plans and purposes for this city, and let Your will be done there, as it already is in Heaven. Amen. 

Please share what the Lord lays on your heart for Centreville, Alabama.

The City of Brent

. Website – http://www.cityofbrentalabama.com
. Mayor – Dennis Stripling
. Characterizes itself as a strong Christian community
. Founded in 1898 in southern portion of Bibb County
. Named after Brent H. Armstrong, a surveyor for the railroad
. Incorporated in 1913
. Motto: Proven in Tempest.
. 90% of the town was destroyed by a devastating tornado in May 1973. The citizens rallied together and rebuilt their community. They have an annual gathering to remember how it changed their community. You can read about the tornado and the latest remembrance service here.
. 45.5 miles from Birmingham

While researching this city, I was really impressed by their efforts to rebuild after such devastation, and their continuing faith in the Lord through it all. Like Isaiah 61:4, they “rebuilt the ancient ruins” and “raised up the former devastations; and they repaired the ruined cities.” I was also struck that they describe themselves as a “strong Christian community” on their website. That’s not something you see every day. 

Heavenly Father, You are our firm foundation through the fiercest storm. All who cling to You will not be shaken. You are faithful, a very present help in trouble. All who trust in You have nothing to fear.

We lift up the community of Brent, Alabama to You. Thank You for the work You have done in their midst and the way You caused them to come together and grow stronger through something that brought such destruction. We ask, Lord, that You would continually guide the people of Brent. (Is. 61: 11a) Give them the desires of their hearts as they delight themselves in You. (Psalm 37:4)

Lord, as they have done in their physical community, we pray that You would also let the Church in Brent do in surrounding communities. Strengthen the Body of believers in Brent. We pray that they would be able to connect with believers in the surrounding communities and be used by You to be a repairer of the breaches caused by sin and deception. Use them to restore the lives of people who have been ravaged by the forces of evil. Use them to meet the real needs of the least and the lost around them. 

We pray for Mayor Stripling, the city council members, and all those who help lead the city of Brent, and ask that You would give them Your wisdom, and cause them to seek You on every decision. Let them not trust in their own strengths and resources, instead cause them to recognize their dependence on You alone. Bless them, so that as they seek after Your kingdom and Your righteousness, all the other things would be added unto them. 

Amen.

Is there a verse or prayer the Lord is laying on your heart for this city today?