Mayor Gives Key To The Town Of Century To God At Prayer Service For Town

May 4, 2008


Over 100 Century residents came gathered Saturday morning to pray as the mayor turned the key to the town over to God.

centuryprayer22.jpg“It is time to take the key away from man and give it to the King of Righteousness,” event organizer Laura Nelson told the crowd gathered at Carver/Century K-8 School.

Mayor Freddie McCall stood before the crown with a key to the town, which he presented to the Lord.

“This may be symbolic, but we are doing it from the heart,” McCall said. “Continue to pray for me; that He will give me His wisdom to do what is right for Century. I beg each and every one of you to open up your heart and back this man. The power is in prayer.”

Much of the prayer Saturday morning centered around saving Carver/Century School, and on saving the town. Pastor Jeff Dwenger from Abundant Life Assembly of God stood and prayed over the mayor and Carver/Century K-8 School Principal Jeff Garthwaite.

“This could be a crown jewel in our county school system,” the mayor said. “Pray for the parents and grandparents, that they would bring the kids back that have gone to greener grass (to another school).”

“We are getting ready in one accord to lock up some things in this town, and unlock some things in the town,” Nelson said. “We decree the righteousness of God over Century. We plead the blood of Jesus over Century.”

“The people walking in darkness have seen the light, a new dawning in Century,” she continued as a chorus of amens echoed through the Carver/Century cafeteria. “We decree that our businesses and schools are the head and not the tail.”

For many years, Century enjoyed the economic prosperity brought by a thriving sawmill and timber businesses. But in the last few years, Century has declined, the Rev. Willie Carter of the 130 year old Pilgrim Lodge Baptist Church said. But he said now is the time for change with God in control.

“I am calling on Century; it is time for us to come together,” Carter said. “It is time for us to realize that we have one God.”

“If we’d just do like the football player, we could do a whole lot better,” he said. “It does not matter who is going to be blocking, tackling or carrying the ball. They just want to get the job done.”

“We are on the fourth down,” Carter continued. “It is time for to come together. I plead with you…let’s do the best we can to keep our community together.”

Don Sales from the Alger-Sullivan Historical Society outlined a plan underway to improve Century’s economic plight. He said that plan were underway to potentially build a park at the site of the old Alger-Sullivan mill where the group’s Old 100 steam engine would once again run on a circular track for tourists.

That would lead to jobs, and increased property values, he said. “But for that to happen, we need this school to stay right here,” he added.

centuryprayer20.jpg“It is because of the kids; that is what we are all about,” Carver/Century Principal Jeff Garthwaite said.

“I am here because I believe that this is where God wants me,” Garthwaite said of Carver/Century, a school rated as an “F” school by the state.

“I have every reason to believe that we will come out of being an “F” school,” he said, “with the help of the parents and grandparents.”

“We can praise God, and we can invite God into our classrooms. The future of the school, our future, is good. But it needs to be better.”

Pastor Irvin Stallworth from New Life Baptist Church led the group of young and old to hold hands and sing “Reach and touch someboy’s hand. Make this world a better place, if you can.”

“Out best is not behind us; our best is yet to come,” Stallworth said before leading the group in fervent prayer for Century.

Nelson organized the event after hearing of a similar event in Montgomery, Alabama.

“I went to the mayor’s office and told him of my idea to give the key to the city to the King of Righteousness,” she said. “He began to weep as he said ‘yes’.”

“There is no one like God,” Nelson said. “That is why we are here.”

For more photos from the prayer service Saturday in Century, click here. photos, click to enlarge.



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