Praying for Wilton – the Town with 7 Names

This is our next-to-last place on our prayer journey through the entire metro-Birmingham area! Eeek! I’m excited, which is understandable, but also nervous, which is strange. I think I dislike change more than I care to admit, and I’ve really, really enjoyed getting to know these cities and towns. We’ll definitely be revisiting them and praying for them, though, and doing posts that focus on current news, events, and concerns throughout the area.

Today, we’re praying for Wilton, Alabama. Most of my information was found through an article written in 1976 by Bert Seaman for the Shelby County Reporter. It was copied by Bobby Joe Seales for the Shelby County Historical Society’s website. The information I did not get from there I got from the town’s website (mayor’s name, location and water shortage fact) and from Wikipedia (population count only).

www.wiltonalabama.com

Mayor Joe Fancher (I’m not sure this is the most up-to-date info. If not, someone please correct me.)

Located in the southwestern section of Shelby County, approximately 40 miles south of Birmingham

Established around 1818. Incorporated in 1918.

Before being named Wilton around the turn of the century, the community was known by 7 different names:

  • The first settlers were Scotch-Irish farmers and called it Woodsborough
  • Spelling changed to Woodsboro
  • Around 1856 it was known simply as Woods
  • Known as Junction in 1872 because of the different railroad tracks that came through the town
  • Became Birmingham Junction in 1889
  • Called Bismarck after the German chancellor
  • During WWI years, that name became unpopular, so the post master renamed it Catoosa, after a town in Georgia.
  • Finally named Wilton after Wilton, England, because both were railroad centers.

In 1936, the town almost ran out of water due to a very dry summer. There was no water system, so citizens relied on wells, cisterns and rain barrels. The mayor at the time asked for assistance from the PWA and by Spring the town had their own pump house and a 10,000 gallon storage tank.

2012 population: 694

Lamentations 3:22-26 (This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible) – “The LORD’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD.”

What an amazing, profound and unique truth that Your lovingkindness, or as we know it better, Your mercies, never cease! Hallelujah! In a world that is so fickle and ever-changing, what a comfort Your faithfulness is! I am so glad, God, that this is who You are. You are Faithful and True. Your love never fails. No matter what comes in life, no matter how people may disappoint or even betray us, You are the One we cling to because You do not change and You are our portion. Praise You, God! Hallelujah!

Lord God, may the people of Wilton know and experience you as this faithful, merciful God in ever-increasing capacity. Let the widow know that You are her portion. Let the abused or neglected child experience Your unfailing love and compassion. Let the successful business leader know that You are their source of strength and hope, not their business. Let the parents know You are the source of their salvation for themselves and their children. Give them the capacity to wait on Your salvation.

Father, the story of the town almost running out of water makes me think of the story of the woman at the well in John 4, and how You revealed Yourself as the source of Living Water. We pray that the town of Wilton would experience You as the Living Water that satisfies the longings of their heart. We pray that You would wash over this town and bring new life into places that have been dormant; bring refreshing where there has been stagnation; bring liberty where there has been bondage; bring healing where there has been hurt and disease; bring hope to the hopeless, and life to the dying; cause strongholds of wickedness and deception to be washed away by the rushing of Your Spirit and Your Living Water through Wilton. Make the heart of Wilton be glad and rejoice in the streams of Living Water, and in Your salvation.

We pray for Mayor Fancher and the town’s leadership. Protect them from rushing into those things that seem to satisfy but cannot sustain. Give them discernment to recognize those things, and enable them to wait on You and Your provision for them and their town. Let them see Your faithfulness in their personal lives and in how You lead the town. God, we ask that You would be their portion and their hope. Amen.

What is your favorite passage or verse from the Bible? I would to hear what it is in the comments!

 

Praying for Wilsonville, AL – also the countdown to the end! (of our list)

Before we take a look at Wilsonville’s background and pray for that town, I wanted to share some neat things I learned over on the West Blocton post. Michael Logan, whose family has lived there for over 100 years, was kind enough to let me know the current mayor’s name – Mayor Gary Donner, and then answer some of my questions. He is the one who created a documentary about West Blocton. It was shown at the Sidewalk Film Festival. Here is some of the very interesting info he shared.
Overall, West Blocton is a wonderful little town where people care about one another. You don’t see that much any more in this day and age. Almost a Mayberry type feel.. What impressed me most while researching the documentary, for a town of around 1200 people, what a rich history West Blocton had. At one point in time, West Blocton was one of the largest coal mining towns in the South. Another interesting fact I discovered was that the commander of Air Force One during the Kennedy Administration was Colonel James B. Swindal. He was born and raised in West Blocton and he flew President Kennedy to Dallas on November 22nd, 1963. During World War II, per capita, there were more people in the military from West Blocton then any other city or town in the United States.”

I was so appreciative of Michael taking the time to fill us in on what makes West Blocton unique and beloved. I would love to have these kinds of insights into all the towns and cities we are praying for!  Now on to Wilsonville.

www.wilsonvilleal.com

Mayor Lee McCarty

Located in Shelby County

First settled in 1812 by Henry W. Robertson and family

Incorporated in 1947

Named for Adam Wilson, an early settler to the Shelby County

In 1900, Wilsonville was the largest town in the county, with a population of 1600.

  • Had hotels, various stores and a variety of industry – Cotton, logging and charcoal-making
  • In 1932, the Wilsonville State Bank failed. The number of businesses decreased.

The WWII years (1940-47) brought many defense workers to the area for the huge DuPont powder plant in nearby Childersburg.

  • Wilsonville was overflowing, with 2-4 families living in nearly every house
  • Powder plant was later converted to a paper mill. Many families stayed on.

Psalm 90:14-17 – “O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, and the years we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants and Your majesty to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.”

There is nothing more satisfying then when we taste Your lovingkindness to us, Lord God. We are but dust, and yet You chose to make us in Your image, and to do whatever it took to have a relationship with us. Nothing and no one and no place can separate us from Your unfailing love. We too often lose sight of Your goodness and faithfulness. Establish Your goodness and love in our hearts so that we may not wander from You.

As I read through the historical accounts of the town of Wilsonville, I noticed it has a history of diligent and successful labor and industry. Thank You, Lord, for the work ethic that has been evident from the earliest days in this town, and for blessing their work the way that You have. We pray that that would not change, but that You would continue to bless this town and its economy. Let it increase and prosper. We pray that the business leaders, employees and residents of Wilsonville would recognize that it is by Your favor that You have established and confirmed the work of their hands, and in turn they would use it to invest in Your kingdom.

We pray that the people of this town would see Your hand at work in their lives and in their town. Let them turn away from the things of this world that promise to satisfy but only lead to destruction, and cause them to be satisfied with Your lovingkindness. Give them hope, joy and gladness even in the hardest places in life. We speak life over Wilsonville and every person in it. In Jesus’ name, we declare that every plan of the Evil One to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) in the lives of the people of Wilsonville would be brought to nothing, but that they would receive abundant life from the One who saves, heals and restores.

We pray for Mayor Lee McCarty, that he would taste Your lovingkindness and be satisfied in You. Let the leadership of this town see Your hand at work and give them the desire and the resources to join You in that work. Let them recognize that their own plans and successes will only lead to temporary success, at best, but that following Your plans will lead to eternal success and reward for them, their families and their town. Protect them from the enemy who wants to destroy them. Confirm and establish the work You have called them to do, and let it be richly satisfying to them.

We ask these things according to Your will, and therefore in confidence that You hear and will grant us what we ask. (I John 5:14-15). Thank You, Lord. Amen.

Only 2 more places to pray after this – Wilton and Woodstock! What has been your favorite place to pray for, thus far? Is there one that you’ve felt more burdened for than you expected to be?

 

Praying for Westover, Alabama

www.westoveralabama.org

Located in northeastern quadrant of Shelby County

  • Along the Hwy 280 corridor
  • 12 miles South of downtown Birmingham

Mayor Mark McLaughlin

Established in 1901 as a mail and passenger stop on the Atlanta, Birmingham, and Atlantic Railroad. Originally known as either Weldon or Cobb. It derived its current name from the railroad.

Incorporated as a town in 2001

  • Has gone from 2.5 square miles and a few hundred people to 22 square miles and well over 2,000 people
  • Has many community events throughout the year

2010 population: 2,200

Deuteronomy 30:15-16 – “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.”

Lord God, we bless Your name because You alone are worthy of all blessing and honor, power and glory. Thank You that in Jesus, we have everything we need pertaining to life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) Jesus, You are the fulfillment of the Law, and You are our life and prosperity, and we thank You and praise You.

Thank You for what You have done in Westover, Alabama, by multiplying its land and population over the past 13 years. We pray that You would be the Lord of Westover, and that its people would love the Lord their God. We pray that they would walk in Your ways and, because of Christ, be keepers of Your law. We pray that You would empower this town to live counter to the culture which tries to tear down and destroy families, communities and cities. As they do, we pray that You would increase their influence into that very culture around them. Use Westover, Alabama to make a difference in this state, in this nation and in this world.

We pray for Mayor McLaughlin and the men and women who help lead this town. We pray they would walk in Your ways and keep Your commands and judgments. As they do, we pray that You would bless them in their personal and professional lives. We pray that the plans You give them for their town would be even more successful than they imagine. Increase favor on them and through them, and prosper them as they keep Your ways.

Thank You for Your promises, Lord. We pray that Westover, Alabama would not only be known as a town that has grown so rapidly in the past decade, but also as a town that has experienced the promises and faithfulness of the Lord on their behalf.

Just 3 more municipalities to go, now! I’m thinking of doing a giveaway on our last one. Stay tuned for details!

 

 

Inseparable – Praying Romans 8:38-39

We are praying for Vincent, Alabama today. We are only 8 municipalities away from the end of our list!

www.townofvincent.com

Mayor Randy McAllister

Located in Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega Counties

Settled by the Kidd family in the 1800s

Named after one of the Kidd daughters, Anna Bella Vincent

3 significant things led to it being incorporated as a town

  • First school established in 1854
  • First post office in 1887
  • Railroad came through the area in 1887
  • Town was incorporated on Feb. 16, 1887

Current population: 2, 003

A growing town of quiet country living with opportunities for business development

Home to Alabama’s largest living Christmas tree

Romans 8:31-32, 35, 37-39 – “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, then who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”….”Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword?”…..”But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convince neither life, nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Lord Jesus, we thank You and praise You for Your salvation, freely given to us though it cost You everything. Gracious Father, indeed how can we not trust You and Your love for us, when You gave Your only Son to die for us when we were Your enemies.

We pray that You would be for the town of Vincent, Alabama, and that nothing would be able to prevail against the town nor the people there. We pray for Your salvation to dwell in the midst of this town, and in every home and place of business. Let the Church of Vincent be a beacon of the Gospel.

It’s easy to read this passage too quickly and assume that it somehow promises a protection from tribulation, distress, persecution, etc. However, it only says that those things cannot separate us from Your love, and through You, we can be more than conquerors even in the midst of great hardship. So Father, we pray that for every person suffering in this town, that they would find the love of Christ that will carry them through it. We pray that as a town, they would look to You to carry them through every hardship they face. Thank You for the testimony they already have of being brought through difficult times and prospering in spite of them.

We pray for Mayor McAllister to also know and experience the love of Christ. We pray for his protection, but we also pray that for the things you allow to come into his life and into this town’s life, that it would only drive him closer to You. Cause Him to look to You for everything he needs pertaining to life and godliness. We pray that whatever might be coming against Mayor McAllister and the leadership of this town to try and separate them from Your love and Your will would be completely negated, in Jesus’ name. We declare that they, and this town, are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Aren’t you SO glad of God’s great love for us? Can you think of a person or a community that needs to know this truth today? Why not take a moment to post a prayer for them in the comments? There is great power when we come together in agreement in the Spirit through prayer!

Pray Where You Are

For the past two weeks, I’ve had to take my dad to the doctor. The trip requires going from Pelham to Oneonta (where he lives) to the doctor in Pell City, and then back again. It’s a 4 hour trip for me, most of which is off the interstate and on roads like Hwy 75 and Hwy 231, which wind through and around little pieces of some of the towns and cities we’ve prayed for through the blog.

I noticed signs for AltoonaOdenville, and Horse Pens 40, which is in Steele. We drove through part of Ashville. I know I shouldn’t be surprised to recognize these places as ones we’ve prayed for, since we’re praying for the whole metro-Birmingham area, but for some reason it made me happy. I felt connected to each of them. Before I started blogging here and praying for these towns and cities, I wouldn’t have thought twice about those signs or the town/cities represented by them. But now, I smiled at each one, thinking of some of the historical facts that have made them what they are today, and asking the Lord to hear and answer the prayers we’ve prayed for them. I’ve often said that you cannot pray for someone consistently without your heart getting connected to that person. I guess the same is true for a city or town.

Then, on the way home, I missed the turn from Hwy 75/Center Point Road and onto Sweeney Hollow Road. I didn’t notice it until I found myself in Center Point. At first, I was frustrated that I had missed the turn. It had been a long day with lots of driving, and I had just made it longer. But then I heard the Lord whisper to me the verse from Joshua 1:3 that says, “Every place on which your foot treads, I have given it to you.” I suddenly realized that Center Point was yet another city we’ve prayed for on the blog, and that perhaps the Lord was giving me the opportunity to pray AND “set my foot” (or the wheels of my vehicle) on this city and all the others we had seen and passed through in our trek to the doctor and back! For a prayer and map nerd like me, this was the COOLEST thought!!! I immediately started praying out loud for Center Point, and then touched on some of the others I had seen that day, and just like that, my frustration over a missed turn and a long day turned into joy as I got to seek God for the city – all of the cities.

So as you go about your day each day, ask the Lord to help you to be mindful to pray for the places He takes you. Your prayers DO make a difference! Claim those places for the kingdom!

Praying for Pelham, Alabama

I have been looking forward to this one for a while now, because my family and I live in Pelham! I love this city and the sense of community that exists here. The city has enjoyed lots of progress over the last few years, thanks to wise leadership and the Lord’s blessing.

www.pelhamonline.com

Mayor Gary W. Waters

Shelby County

Incorporated in 1964

  • First known as Shelbyville in 1818, when the county court was established in what is now Pelham
  • County seat from 1820 until 1826
  • Sometime after the Civil War, it was renamed Pelham in honor of Major John Pelham, who fought in over 60 battles in the Civil War and was killed in the Battle of Kelly’s Ford in 1863.
  • In the early 1960’s, the city of Alabaster tried to annex Pelham, which led to the citizens of Pelham seeking to become incorporated.

Well, this verse is different from the type we normally pray from, and this is another one of those times where I’m thinking, “Huh? How are we supposed to pray from that?” So here goes….

**Also, because this is my city, my use of pronouns is more first person. I tried to stop it, but it kept happening, so I just rolled with it.**

Song of Solomon 3:2 – “I must arise now and go about the city; in the streets and in the squares I must seek him who my soul loves. I sought him but did not find him.”

Beloved One, we love You and adore You. You are altogether beautiful in the splendor of Your holiness. Your glory is unassailable. You invite us to share in Your glory for Your name’s sake. You invited us to sit with You in the heavenly places so that You may show the riches of Your love in kindness toward us. (from Eph. 1) What can we do in response but to fall down and worship You?

Lord Jesus, You have established nations and cities to share and to reflect Your glory. So we pray that You would enable Pelham, Alabama to do just that. We pray that the citizens of this city would recognize You as the One whom their soul was created to love. Give them a passion and desire to seek You. Remove the blinders that are on our eyes that hide You from us, or distort what You really look like and who You really are. Cause us to lay down the things which keep us from You, Lord Jesus. Turn our eyes from looking at vain, empty things, and let us look full in Your wonderful face. May this city be known as a city that seeks after You in all that it does.

Unlike the verse in Song of Solomon who could not find who she was looking for, we thank You that You can be found. Jer. 29:13 says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Let the city of Pelham, and the people of Pelham, find You. Cause us to seek You with all our hearts. Thank You for the promise of Your Word and that we can always trust in it.

Lord, we lift up Mayor Gary Waters to you. Grant him a passion for You that directs every decision he makes for our city and even for his personal life. Protect him from the evil one. Deliver him from temptation and the plans of the enemy. Set Mayor Waters’ feet on the firm foundation of Your Word. Let him know that You are with him and will direct his steps when he seeks after You. We pray for grace and truth to permeate everything he says and does. We pray that Mayor Waters and the city council would enjoy a healthy working relationship, and that together they would seek Your will for our city.

I also pray for the civil servants of Pelham. Protect them. Keep their hearts from becoming embittered by the difficult things they have to see and do. As they go through “in the streets and in the squares” of this city, let them find You. Please let their minds be renewed and refreshed through the power of Your Word and Your Spirit.

We pray all of these things in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

How are you feeling led to pray? I pray each of you would seek Jesus today, and that He would be found by you.

 

 

 

Praying for Montevallo

Brrr! It has been brutally cold the last couple of days here in the metro-B’ham area! We froze bubbles yesterday morning while the temps were in the low teens, which was neat, but I’m ready for our normal Alabama temps.

Web site www.cityofmontevallo.com

Located in Shelby County within 5 miles of the geographical center of the State of Alabama

Mayor Hollie C. Cost, Ph. D.

Incorporated in 1848

According to the city website, the name Montevallo refers to the town’s geographical location. Early settlers referred to the area as “a little mountain in a valley.” The Italian translation of Montevallo is “on a mound in the valley”.

2010 population 6,323

Originally called Wilson’s Hill after Dr. John B. Wilson, the first citizen, who settled there in 1817.

73 homes and buildings in Montevallo are listed on the National Historic Register. A list and description of them can be found at http://www.cityofmontevallo.com/

Places of interest:
Aldrich Coal Mine Museum
University of Montevallo
American Village
Alabama National Veterans Cemetary
Brierfield Iron Works

Psalm 46:4-5, 7  – “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. …. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.”

God of Jacob, You alone are God, the One who works wonders. You are holy and full of grace. You are the God who transforms us from despair and desolation to gladness and restoration, not only in individuals like Jacob, but also to whole cities, nations, and even the universe, which we will one day see with our own eyes. Hallelujah!!!

We pray that Your Spirit would flow through Montevallo like a great river. Bring life, salvation and healing into the university, into every street, every dwelling, every business and church. Bring newness of Life where there has been stagnation. Bring revival where there has been spiritual death. Bring Jesus into the heart of Montevallo. May He be lifted up in that city, so that He may be glorified by all who encounter Him, and so that He can draw all people to Himself.

Lord God, make Montevallo a holy dwelling place for Your Presence. Eradicate greed, corruption, deception, malice and every form of wickedness that destroys a city and robs it of the purpose for which You created it. May it be a city that is known for rejoicing in the presence of the LORD. Please show Yourself strong on their behalf, and let the people of this city learn to trust You with all that they are.

God, we are so thankful that You are with us – the Commander of the army hosts of Heaven. We pray for Mayor Cost and all the city leaders to know and experience the truth that You are with them. You will fight on their behalf when they turn to You. You will empower them to stand firm on Your Word. We know You will because Your Word says that You will, and so we boldly ask You to perform all of Your Word to the leadership of Montevallo, and unto the city itself.

We pray all of this in the glorious name of our God Most High. May You receive all honor and glory and power and praise because You are worthy, and for what You do in the city of Montevallo.

How is the Lord leading you to pray for Montevallo today?