Tornadoes and Praying for Pleasant Grove

The night before last was a very active night for severe weather in our area, and last night was predicted to be the same, but thankfully was not. If you have been praying along with us through all the towns and cities we’ve covered so far, you may have recognized a lot of the places James Spann and others mentioned as being in the path of some of those tornadoes Monday night. Three of the cities who got directly hit, Graysville, Kimberly and Bessemer, we’ve prayed for on this blog. Follow those links if you want to revisit those prayers. Our prayers are with all of those who lost homes and property, and especially with the family and friends of the young man who was killed in Tuscaloosa.

Today we are praying for Pleasant Grove, who is no stranger to tornado activity. There are still scars in the town from the devastating tornado on April 8, 16 years ago, and they were one of the hardest hit communities in the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak.

Located in Jefferson County

Mayor Jerry Brasseale

Established in 1889

Incorporated in January 1934

2010 population: 10, 110

  • Nicknamed “The Good Neighbor City”
  • Originally an agricultural community
  • Developed into a mining community after the opening of a coal mine in 1916
  • Incorporated in order to obtain Federal funds to build local water systems. The deep coal mines had undercut the area’s water table.
  • One of the Jefferson County communities hardest hit by the April 2011 tornadoes.

Isaiah 58:9-11 – “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. And the LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”

We call on the name of the LORD our God, Yahweh. We declare that there is no one like our God, who is Faithful and True in all of His ways. What He speaks, it shall be accomplished. We look to You for our every need, and You are our Shelter in every storm.

We lift the city of Pleasant Grove up to you today. May this city continue to be fully restored from the devastation it has endured from past tornado activity; not just physical restoration, but mental and emotional restoration as well. We pray that You, Lord God, would continually guide Mayor Brasseale and the city council as they seek to lead and develop their city. Cause this city to put aside everything that would hinder Your promises from being accomplished in it and through it. Cause them to embrace Your call to care for the afflicted and poor in greater ways than before.

We pray that You would indeed fulfill Your Word to the city of Pleasant Grove. Satisfy the desires of their hearts in You, even in the midst of hardship and uncertainty. Strengthen them in their innermost parts, so that they can know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge. The name “Pleasant Grove” makes me think of a well-watered garden, as it talks about in verse 11. So we pray that You would make Pleasant Grove live up to its name in every way possible. And may Your Church in this city be a constant source of Your Living Water.

Give them provision to accomplish all that You have purposed this city to do. Turn their eyes to You in the midst of storm and in the midst of prosperity. May Pleasant Grove be a city that glorifies You in all that it does. Amen.

How do you feel led to pray for this city today?

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!)