Revisiting Fairfield

Instead of praying for a non-profit this week, I thought we should revisit Fairfield and pray for that city since I’ve noticed it in the news a couple of times this past week or two. The city is struggling financially. A year ago, US Steel shut down part of their Fairfield plant, causing around a thousand people to lose their jobs. Last month, the Walmart Super-Center closed, causing about 300 people to lose their jobs, and causing the city to lose around 40% of their sales tax revenue, according to some estimates. The city has been struggling financially, and City Councilman Darnell Gardner told Kelly Pope, business reporter for al.com that the store closing will be “devastating” for the city. (Read that article here.)

At least one of the ministries we have prayed for, Grace House Ministries, is located in Fairfield.

Two-and-a-half years ago, we prayed for Fairfield here on the blog. As I read that post, I was struck by how the Lord led me to pray. I could have written it today because it so perfectly meets their current situation. I still feel led to pray afresh for them today, though.

 

Jeremiah 33:2-6 – 2 “Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it, the LORD is His name, 3 ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ 4 For thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah which are broken down to make a defense against the siege ramps and against the sword, 5 ‘While they are coming to fight with the Chaldeans and to fill them with the corpses of men whom I have slain in My anger and in My wrath, and I have hidden My face from this city because of all their wickedness: 6 Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth.'”

Lord God, You are the Sovereign God who created all things. You have established nations and cities. You cause all things to work together to accomplish Your will. In Your greatness, You are also compassionate. You want us to call on You, and You promise to answer us and to reveal Yourself to us in great and mighty ways.

We lift up Fairfield to You, Lord God, and ask You to show them great and mighty things. We pray that You would restore this city to a place of prosperity and safety. There are a lot of reasons why this city is in the vulnerable place it is today, and only You can righteously judge all of those reasons and those involved in those destructive reasons. That’s not our place, nor will it accomplish anything good for Fairfield. I’m reminded of Exodus 14:13,14 where the Lord promises Moses and the Israelites that they will see His salvation as He fights for them while they are silent, not murmuring and complaining. Father, I confess that we as a culture are far too likely to complain and criticize when we hear of situations like what Fairfield faces, and we rarely intercede for them. Forgive us. Please compel us to pray for this city.

We pray for Mayor Kenneth Coachman and the City Council as they face some very difficult decisions. Grant them a spirit of humble, godly unity as together they seek the welfare of their city. I’ve read that some are considering letting the city be absorbed into Birmingham. That thought is a sad one to me, for some reason, yet You know if that is best  for Fairfield and its citizens, as well as for Birmingham. You alone know all of the factors involved in such a decision. We pray for great wisdom, insight and foresight, and discernment for the city leaders. Please also give them peace and rest, as I’m sure they are under a lot of pressure from all sides. Protect them and use this situation to cause them to look to You like they never have before. Cause them to call on You.

We pray that You would save Fairfield, Lord God. You have allowed them to come to this place of financial distress for their good and Your glory. We pray that the residents, the business owners, the churches, the Christians, and the leadership would all call on You to save them from their distress. Do not hide Your face from this city, God. We pray that You would bring Fairfield to “health and healing, that You would heal them, and reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth.” (Jer. 33:6)

We ask all of this in the matchless name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the name of Jehovah Jireh, the God Who Provides, Amen.

Please join your prayers with mine for this city. I would love it if we used the comments section to post some Scriptural promises for Fairfield.

 

 

Seeking God for Fairfield, AL

Website: http://fairfieldal.us/

Located in Jefferson County

Mayor Kenneth Coachman

Founded in 1910 –  former President Theodore Roosevelt spoke at the dedication ceremony

Incorporated on January 1, 1919

Named for Fairfield, Connecticut, the city in which James A. Farrell, President of U.S. Steel, lived.

2010 census population 11,117

  • Originally named Corey, after U.S. Steel Corporation executive William E. Corey.  In 1913, after much publicized reports of Corey’s infidelities, U. S. Steel changed the name of the city to Fairfield.

  • It was organized and built by Birmingham developer Robert Jemison Jr.

  • Some streets were named for company executives and Alabama industrialists

  • Home of Miles college

Westfield, Alabama, a predominantly African American community was located near Fairfield. It was absorbed by Fairfield, and in 1963 the community was torn down to allow for the expansion of the U.S. Steel plant.  Willie Mays and U.W. Clemon, grew up in Westfield and graduated from Westfield High School. Sonja Stewart Tonpea, who also grew up in Westfield and graduated from Westfield High School, has produced a documentary film about this community, “Westfield: Struggles to Success”. It will first be shown in Atlanta on Aug. 9, 2013.  This is a link to the trailer for the film, which provides information about the rich heritage of this small community.

 http://vimeo.com/66815800

  • Notable people from Fairfield

    • Willie Mays, baseball player elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame

    • U.W. Clemon, former federal judge

    • George Lindsey, Actor (“The Andy Griffith Show”)

    • Cleveland Eaton, jazz musician

    • Major General Oliver W. Dillard, the Army’s fifth Black general officer.  Elected into the Army’s Military Intelligence Hall of Fame

  • Ministry based in Fairfield http://www.grace-house.org/home0.aspx – Our researcher, Ginny, served on the board years ago and it’s a ministry dear to her heart.

Jeremiah 29:7,11 – “‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare……For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'”

Father, we thank You for the city of Fairfield. Even though men had a definite agenda for profit when they founded the city, You allowed them to succeed because of the plans You had for Fairfield. We thank You that Your plans are for the good of this city, and not for calamity. We ask that You would accomplish Your perfect plan for Fairfield.

We pray for Mayor Coachman, and ask that he would see Your goodness and grace all around Him. May it cause him to seek You for the blessing that only You can bring to a city. Let him be a man who places himself under your godly authority, so that he can lead with godly wisdom.

We thank you for some of the mighty intercessors that live in Fairfield, who have faithfully sought the welfare of their city. We at Mission Birmingham and City on its Knees have the privilege of knowing some of them. We pray that You would continue to give them Your prayers to pray, and that they would not grow weary of pressing in and standing in the gap for their communities, churches and ministries. Bring increase, and multiply the fruit of the seeds they have planted over the years 100-fold. Let them see with their own eyes Your good plans for their communities and ministries.

We pray all of this in the name of The God Who Provides, for Your honor and glory.

What is the Lord laying on your heart to pray for Fairfield?