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).

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!