Monday, April 24, 2017

Dragoons Clean Local Doster and Robinson Springs Cemeteries

Members of the Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 cleaned Robinson Springs Cemetery and Doster cemetery on Monday, April 10. Present for the Robinson Springs clean up were Bill Myrick, Bill Gill, Tom Crowley, James Spears and Larry Spears. Compatriot Carl French of the Cradle of the Confederacy Camp cut the grass at Robinson Springs over the weekend and did an outstanding job as usual. The Dragoons trimmed and performed other tasks to get the cemetery in good shape for Confederate History Month and Easter. Clean up of this cemetery is a joint effort between the two camps.  Compatriot Bill Myrick cleaned Doster cemetery by himself for several hours on Monday. Thanks to all these men who dedicated their services on Monday. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Host Confederate Memorial Day Program

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 invite everyone to a program to observe Confederate Memorial Day on Monday April 24th at 6pm at the Prattville Primary School, 216 Wetumpka St, Prattville AL.  The event will feature music including live bagpipes, an Honor Guard posting colors and a wreath at the monument for the Prattville Dragoons as well as guest speaker, Pastor John Weaver.  Free SCV educational posters and beverages will be available.  Come and bring family, friends and guests and bring lawn chairs to sit down and enjoy a meaningful local Prattville event.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Confederate Memorial Day Events for 2017

There are at least 4 events in our Montgomery AL area that you can participate in to honor your Confederate veterans during Confederate History and Heritage Month. The state holiday for Confederate Memorial Day is Monday 24 April this year. On that date at 10:00 A.M. at the Confederate Memorial Monument on the state capitol grounds, the Alabama United Daughters of the Confederacy will host their annual Confederate Memorial remembrance. There are chairs provided or you can sit on the capitol steps or bring a folding chair. There will be cannon firing, rifle salute, bagpipes, music by Fiddlin' in the Parlor, keynote speaker Pastor John Weaver, ancestor honor roll call and more. You may announce the name of one Confederate soldier, his company and/or regiment during the roll call/bell ringing. Pastor Weaver is from Georgia and is well known for his positive commentaries about the South and Confederacy. One of his most famous commentaries, which our camp has on CD for those interested, is The Truth Concerning the Confederate Battle Flag. Here is a recording of his sermon/commentary on the Battle Flag with other videos of his talks listed on the side of the page: 


The second event is our own Prattville Dragoon Confederate Memorial ceremony at the two Dragoon monuments on Washington St. at the Prattville Primary School. (Street address for the school if you need it is 216 Wetumpka St., Prattville)  Our monuments are just around the corner from the front of the school and face Washington St. This will be on Monday 24 April at 6:00 P. M. We are most fortunate to have Pastor Weaver scheduled to speak at our ceremony also! Rarely would any of us have the opportunity to hear this great man speak twice in one day but here is your opportunity. We need a crowd there to support Dr. Weaver. Commander Waldo and the other officers challenge all members who can possibly attend to be there and bring some guests! There will be bagpipes and a wreath laying at the Dragoons monument there at the primary school.  Bring your lawn chairs to this event. There is ample parking on site. 

Another fine Confederate Memorial Day Program to attend will be held on Tuesday April 25 in Selma at the Confederate Memorial Circle in the Old Live Oak Cemetery.  This event is hosted by the Selma Chapter 53 UDC and the Col.C.C. Pegues SCV Camp 62.  This event will be held at 6pm on Tuesday and also features past-SCV Chaplain in Chief John Weaver.  Confederate Memorial Circle has had extensive renovations to beautify the final resting place of many Confederate veterans and provides educational kiosks also. 

The fourth event is the memorial service at Oakwood cemetery in Montgomery hosted by the Ladies Memorial Association on Wednesday 26 April at 2:00 P.M. April 26 is the original date designated by the Legislature for Confederate Memorial Day as it was the date that General Joseph Johnston surrendered his Army in North Carolina in 1865. The LMA has held Confederate Memorial services there since 1866, the year it was organized. They built a pavilion in 1869 which is still there today and will will be the location of the ceremony. This is always a splendid service, held in open air springtime weather under the trees and amoung the rolling hills of Oakwood cemetery. There will be an honor guard to fire a salute to the Confederate veterans. LMA website: http://www.theladiesmemorialassociationofmontgomery.yolasite.com 


Make your plans to attend some or all of these events during Confederate History month. These ceremonies will definitely stir your Confederate blood.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dragoons Present JROTC SCV Hunley Awards

The Prattville Dragoons again presented the Sons of Confederate Veterans H.L. Hunley Award at Prattville High School and (Millbrook) Stanhope Elmore High School recently.  Thursday night, March 30, at Prattville High School the Prattville Dragoons presented the Hunley Award to JROTC Cadet Ashton Holland. Presenting the award were 1st Lt. Commander Harold Grooms and Past Camp Commander William Myrick.


Brendan McGraw was this year’s recipient of the SCV Hunley award at Stanhope Elmore High School (Millbrook AL) during the school's Army JROTC awards program on Wednesday morning, April 12th.  Brendan is the Bravo Company Commander already.  Commander Waldo and Past Commander Myrick made this presentation at Stanhope Elmore. 


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Caver's Encyclopedic History of Alabama

An announcement from our Autauga county historical expert, Larry Caver,  about his new book.  For more information please contact Mr. Caver at larrycaverjr@yahoo.com.

Caver's Encyclopedic History of Alabama, Vol. I (A-B) has been published. It contains information on the people, places and events in Alabama's history. It is alphabetical. Volume I contains information on the letters "A-B". Volume I has approximately 440 pages in size. It is available for $35 postage included. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Message from the Prattville Dragoons Chaplain

Our Risen Savior
Jesus' life, death, and resurrection form a solid foundation for our Christian faith. Scripture tells us that Jesus lived a perfect life—one without any sin. As the spotless Lamb of God, He willingly went to the cross and sacrificed Himself for us (1 Pet. 1:18-19). Christ bore our sins and endured our punishment so we might be reconciled to God.
The Savior's death was accepted by the Father as full payment for our sins, and it made a way for us to be at peace with Him (Rom. 5:1). Three days after the crucifixion, Jesus was raised from death to life. He had overcome the grave. In victory, He ascended into heaven and now sits at the Father's right hand.
Christ's death and resurrection are a picture of what happened at our salvation. Recognizing ourselves as sinners who could not pay for our own misdeeds, we expressed faith in our Savior. Then, "our old self was crucified with Him" (Rom. 6:6), and we were reborn spiritually. Because of His sacrifice, we were forgiven, reconciled to God, and adopted into His family. Heaven will be our eternal home.
Paul emphasized the importance of the resurrection to the Christian life. He explained that if it were not true, our faith would be in vain.
The risen Christ appeared to many people. He let Thomas touch Him to know that He was alive. After the Lord ascended into heaven, the Father sent His Holy Spirit to indwell believers and bear witness to the truth of the resurrection. Our faith is based on the secure foundation of a risen Savior.
It is my prayer that everyone will have a blessed Easter. 

Appomattox - April 1865

In acknowledgement of the sad events of April 6 - 9, 1865. After the Army of Northern Virginia, General Robert Edward Lee commanding,  departed the Petersburg and Richmond defenses, they tried to maneuver to join General Joseph Johnston’s army in North Carolina and continue the fight. However, the Army of the Potomac commanded by General U.S. Grant continued to restrict Lee’s movements and eventually on April 6 cut off about 1/4 of his Army at Sayler’s Creek, Virginia and captured them. The remains of the gallant Army of Northern Virginia attempted to break out of the confinement but they were unsuccessful. Starving, outnumbered, worn out and with few supplies General Lee exchanged notes with General Grant which led to their meeting at the McLean house at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9, 1865. General Lee was heard to say that he would rather die a thousand deaths than to face Grant and ask for terms. However, as he did all his life, he did his duty. This time it was to avoid the further loss of life in the nearly hopeless situation his Army was in. 

Read this narrative of the events mentioned above and think of how it hurt our beloved General Lee to cease fighting for the liberty of the Confederate States of America. It is well written and very factual. 


Here is the Farewell to the Army of Northern Virginia from General Robert E. Lee, Commanding. Notice he said the Army was “compelled to yield…”  He did not say surrender.



God bless the South and God bless Robert E. Lee.

Friday, April 14, 2017

April is Confederate History and Heritage Month

FROM Defending The Heritage

When Lincoln called up 75 thousand men to invade the Independent Southern States on April 15, 1861, his unconstitutional act prompted the states of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas to secede, joining the newly formed country, the Confederate States of America. Thus, with the invasion of the South, this began the bloodiest war in our American history.
When the South was invaded, Southern States called upon their sons to do their duty to defend their state, homes and family from invasion. These men went to do their duty, not as aggressors or in the spirit of conquest, but to protect their homeland from an unjust invasion.
More than half of all the casualties on both sides were from the hardships and disease found in camp life. This was especially true for the Southern troops who nearly always lacked the basic necessities of food, clothing and medical supplies, unlike the Northern troops, who had plenty.
The sacrifices made by the Confederate soldier are incomprehensible today. They would march for days with little or no rest, very little food, some with no shoes and in the heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter. Fatigue, hunger and sickness was common place for these soldiers.
Despite the hardships endured by the Confederate soldiers they pressed on to perform their duty. In nearly every conflict these soldiers were typically out numbered and out gunned 3 to 1.
The “Rebel Yell” made these brave soldiers famous. It demonstrated a fighting spirit, courage, tenacity and gallantry allowing them to prevail in most of the major conflicts of the war. Sadly they fought an invader with unlimited reserves and resources, making victory impossible.
Even during the last year of the war when they knew that victory was impossible, the Confederate soldier continued to fight courageously to protect their homes and families, to the very end.
They received no great bounty or pay for their service nor did they ask for any monuments or special attention. They wished only to be remembered with the truth behind their heroic and noble struggle, in America’s second War for Independence.

April is Confederate History Month and commemorates the men and women of the Confederate States of America. 


Nearly 258 thousand Confederate soldiers died protecting their homes, families and our Constitution. They fought bravely and nobly against overwhelming forces and odds. They suffered incomprehensible hardships to the very end. They were called to their duty as Americans....as fathers and as sons. They served without hesitation and we owe each of them to make sure the truth be told about them and the War. These soldiers are our ancestors and without hesitation or question, deserve respect, honor and dignity from each of us.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Place Flags on Confederate Veterans Graves at Local Cemeteries

The Dragoons and other compatriots turned out Friday evening March 31st to flag the Confederate veteran graves at Oak Hill cemetery in Prattville, as has been done for many years. Chaplain Snowden led a prayer for these veterans, their families and descendants and the crew proceeded to place over 80 flags across the cemetery.  Present were Stuart Waldo, James Spears, Tyrone Crowley, Bill Myrick, Harold Grooms, Tom Snowden, Wayne Sutherland, Will Dismukes, Louis Turner Sr., Louis Turner Jr., Bill Gill and Shannon Fontaine. Shannon brought his mobile Battle Flag on a 20 ft. pole which you see in the background.  This was a great beginning to Confederate History and Heritage month for the camp.


Earlier in the week Dragoons James and Larry Spears and Bill Gill marked Confederate veteran graves with flags at Mount Zion Cemetery just above Deatsville, Ross Cemetery on Ross Rd. in Deatsville and Robinson Springs Cemetery on Hwy 14 in Millbrook AL. It was a very enjoyable experience for these active members of SCV Camp 1524. 




On Saturday April 1st , Tyrone Crowley and wife Carol stopped and placed flags on the graves of three known Confederates at Kingston Cemetery in Prattville, two of whom were Prattville Dragoons. Two flags placed there from last year were still in place, though badly weathered.  On the third grave, the stick was still in place, but the flag had fallen off.  It’s always good to find the flags honoring these heroic Confederate veterans still in place a year later; speaks well of the local Prattville community in honoring and respecting their rich history.



Monday, April 10, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Spring Picnic

SCV Camp 1524 had an outstanding annual picnic at Confederate Memorial Park on Saturday, 1 April. Flags were set on all the veterans and widows graves, camp officers were sworn in for the coming year, several Confederate flags which had become unserviceable were ceremoniously retired, everyone enjoyed a delicious BBQ meal with all the side dishes and desserts furnished by the camp members and we heard the inspiring music from the Camp 1921 String Band of Tallassee. It was a splendid day in Dixie with perfect weather and plenty of good Confederate fellowship to go around. Special guests Division Commander Jimmy Hill and Division 2nd Lt. Commander Randall Hughey along with Brigade Commander Butch Godwin joined us and celebrated the occasion with the Dragoons. We utilized Pavilion number 3 at Confederate Memorial Park which is the newest one with lighting and restrooms, for our picnic and the setting was perfect. Assistant Brigade Commander Bill Myrick swore in the camp officers for 2017-2018 including Commander Stuart Waldo, 1st Lt. Commander Harold Grooms, 2nd Lt. Commander George Jenks, Adjutant Wayne Sutherland, Treasurer Billy Leverette and Chaplain Tom Snowden.  Several Confederate flags that had been declared unserviceable were retired in a solemn ceremony which was coordinated by 1 Lt. Commander Harold Grooms. These flags were some which had been placed at Confederate veterans graves at cemeteries throughout the local community and had weathered over the past year.  Commander Waldo officiated the ceremony while Compatriot Edward Morgan assisted with the flag retirement. Other Dragoons were in formation as the ceremony took place.  A delicious BBQ meal was served to those gathered for the event. Dixie butts from the Dragoons annual fundraiser were donated by Dragoons Skip Ward and Bill Hamner. Camp stew was provided by 1st Lt Harold Grooms and Karl Wade.  No one went away hungry with all the good BBQ and all the delicious sides and desserts!  The final event of the Dragoon picnic was entertainment by the fantastic Tallassee Camp 1921 String Band. They performed in the CMP chapel not far from the pavilion.  Wonderful music and an outstanding job including a rousing rendition of Dixie!









Dragoons Canvas Prattville with April Billboard Ads for Confederate History and Heritage Month

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 placed advertisements on three electronic billboards in Prattville for the entire month of April to celebrate Confederate History and Heritage month.
Billboard Ad on Hwy 14 and I-65 (exit 181) facing west toward Prattville

Sunrise over Billboard Ad on Cobbs Ford Rd facing west toward Prattville

Billboaard Ad on Main Street and Memorial Ave in downtown Prattville

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Chaplain's Column for April 2017

Chaplain’s Column: A Daily Habit of Prayer
Scripture: Psalms 4:4
In Psalm 4:4 of the Bible says to “Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.” We may ask, How can we develop the habit of prayer just like Jesus did and experience God’s power in our life? If we look at two practical ways to develop a praying heart: keep the prayer simple and knowing when to pray.
How we begin the day and how you end the day determines how everything else in between goes. The Bible encourages us to begin our day with prayer. In Psalm 5:3, David said, “In the morning, O Lord, you will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” David began his day in prayer. But notice also that David ended his day in prayer. Look at Psalm 4:4–5. David said, “Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the Lord.” I’m going to make my last activity at night praying to God, confessing my sins, and asking for His blessing in my life. I’m going to make my bed an altar of righteousness.” Isn’t that a great thought? Your bed can actually be an altar from which you offer up sacrifices of righteousness to God. How you begin the day and how you end the day determines how you spend the rest of the day.
In the morning before we get out of bed we could take a few moments and talk to our heavenly Father. Ask Him for His favor throughout the day. Ask for protection for your family. Ask for wisdom in the decisions you make. And before you drift off to sleep at night, make your final thoughts a prayer to God, reviewing the day with Him, confessing anything you wish you had done differently, asking for His protection through the night. Pray for someone you may know who is in need of Salvation.
I once heard someone say Prayer is like breathing. You’ll find the more that you pray, the more you’ll want to pray. When we read our Bible and meditate in prayer, we get closer to God. Then we can learn more about God’s will for our lives. We learn that prayer really does make a difference in our lives.
Please remember those on our prayer list.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for April 2017 - AL Division SCV Education Conference

Over 100 people attended the Alabama Division Education Conference on Saturday March 26th at the Doster Center in Prattville.  We had eight Dragoons in attendance but for those who could not make it, you missed a tremendous educational opportunity.  I would encourage you next year to attend and take advantage of this great local event which will inform and encourage you to advance the Charge. Ronald Kennedy asked, “How do we vindicate the Cause?”  The answer – by destroying Lincoln’s federal empire which is bigger and more intrusive today than ever since Reconstruction.  He asked, are you a citizen or a subject?  Interestingly, he illustrated the continuing subjugation of the South by highlighting the disparity of population and median household income between the North and the South, today 20%.  A higher cost/standard of living and hence income in the North and on the left coast allows people from these more “progressive” regions to internally emigrate from their “blue” states to the South and wield considerable financial and thus political influence in our own communities.  Kennedy recommended irregular political warfare to combat this subjugation, to create a shadow government to lobby elected officials to support Southern heritage causes, start an educational PR campaign and push Southern sovereignty issues by stressing commonality with other conservative groups and finally, targeting local and statewide political seats sympathetic or supportive of the SCV agenda. 

Ronald’s brother Donald followed and recommended a method of “shock and awe” in dealing with Yankees.  The SCV needs to stop preaching to each other and get out in front of the public to take the offense in educating the public as to the truth of Southern history and heritage. He provided examples such as how to turn the conversation from the typical progressive attacks regarding slavery and smaller government, originalist Constitutional theory and, the real reasons for secession and the War.  To defend oneself and indeed take the attack to the Yankee inquirer, you need to know basic facts of Southern history and heritage and these truths will prevail. He provided the example of those who claim the Southern states seceded to preserve and protect their institution of slavery since the states declaration of secession clearly state such (eg. Mississippi).  First shock them with a counterattack asking why they have not considered Massachusetts where slavery was first legalized and existed for 75 years longer than in Mississippi and whose state law served as the example of why segregation was legal in Supreme Court examination of Jim Crow laws.  Follow with the awe of historically accurate facts.  Mississippi secession was promoted by state Democrats who were generally not slave holders.  The wealthy Whig delta plantation owners were opposed to secession but whose support was garnered for secession by including this protective language. Jefferson Davis in his “Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government” said no issue has been misused more than the issue of slavery. Donald used the illustration that if the War was about slavery it failed as before the WBTS there were approximately 3 million slaves in the South but forty years later there were 8 million bound in the poverty of sharecropping in the South. Patrick Henry uttered his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” but he also said that liberty was first and union was second.  Lincoln was the first U.S. President who said the Union created the states and that the states were not sovereign. “The South was right in 1861 because America was right in 1776,” Donald exclaimed. 


Thomas DiLorenzo who wrote the best-seller “The Real Lincoln” was the final speaker.  He asked how we got so far removed from what our founding fathers envisioned to allow this leviathan federally dominated society we have today. He maintained Lincoln worship is fake news providing the example that in Europe they hold a different opinion of Lincoln and the Confederacy as they impartially study the period.  There is knowledge out there and in the past twenty years and with social media, it is becoming more widely available and understood.  Lincoln’s machine was the originator of fake news as they shut down 300+ newspapers who dared to publish views in opposition to the administration and it’s prosecution of the War and jailed thousands of dissenters.  They even purchased a German language Midwest newspaper in order to disseminate their message of propaganda to that region. If you go to Springfield IL even today you will see the deification of Lincoln with images everywhere. But, the War was about money and power.  Lincoln was reviled in the North as well as the South because he crushed dissent as a dictator.  One Northern newspaper postulated that if Lincoln were to take a dagger to the heart, it may be best for the country’s general welfare.  But after he was assassinated, the Republican party (and Springfield IL) capitalized on his martyrdom and the 1600 mile tour of the country with Lincoln’s corpse was designed and orchestrated to demonize and build a hatred for the South when in actuality, the nation largely rejoiced when news originally came to light of Lincoln’s death. But the Republican parties propaganda machine was hugely successful in promoting the fake news of Lincoln’s nobility and greatness.  And their sits Lincoln in his memorial in Washington DC as testament and our children continue to be indoctrinated by history and civics books today in their formal education about Lincoln’s noble crusade to free the slaves and preserve the Union.  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Alabama Division SCV Education Conference 2017

The Alabama Division SCV Education Conference was held on Saturday March 25th at the Doster Center.  It was again a very successful event thanks to the leadership and planning of Commander Jimmy Hill, 1st Lt. Commander Carl Jones and many others. Prattville Dragoons attended including Commander Stuart Waldo who had the pleasure of his nephew there also, Robert Young, Bill and Peggy Myrick, Larry Spears, Louis Turner Sr. and his son Louis Jr., Sam Reid, and Tyrone Crowley. 

A roster of great speakers included Ronald Kennedy, Donald Kennedy, Brion McClanahan and Thomas Dilorenzo (pictured below left to right). It was a treat hearing the presentations to inspire us to advance the Charge and in getting to fellowship some with friends from across the Division and elsewhere.  Terry Arthur from Mississippi presented Commander Waldo with a custom hand-painted and stained pine sign for the Dragoons in appreciation for helping to host the event in Prattville. 




Friday, March 31, 2017

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

1.) JROTC Hunley Award Presentations – Thursday March 30th at 6pm at Prattville HS; Wednesday April 12th at 8am at Stanhope Elmore HS
2.) Flag setting at Prattville's Oak Hill Cemetery for the Confederate Veterans buried there in honor of Confederate History and Heritage month. Friday March 31st at 6pm.
3.) Annual Prattville Dragoons Camp Picnic – Saturday, April 1st – Confederate Memorial Park  The picnic hours are 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Flag setting for the veterans and widows buried at the CMP cemeteries at 9am.  As an added bonus this year, the Camp 1921 String Band from Tallassee will entertain after the meal.
4.) Confederate Memorial Day Monday April 24th - Alabama Division UDC event at the Alabama State Capital at 10am followed by the Prattville Dragoons event at the Prattville Primary School on Wetumpka St in Prattville at 6pm - come enjoy Pastor Weaver's address, bapgipes and more
5.) Prattville Cityfest – Saturday May 13th 9am-5pm at the Dragoons booth

6.) 2017 Sons of Confederate Veterans Alabama Division Reuninon – June 9th and 10th in Cullman.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Confederate Flag Day March 2017

The Alabama Division Sons of Confederate Veterans hosted a Confederate Flag Day event on Saturday March 4th at Confederate Veterans Memorial Park in Luverne AL.  Photos of the event which included raising a First National Flag on a new pole complete with color guard and cannon salutes are included here.

Also, a brief history of Confederate Flag Day is presented here:

The Confederate first national flag was raised March 4th, 1861 by Letitia Tyler, the 18 year old grand daughter of U.S. President John Tyler, above the capitol in Montgomery. She is buried in the St. Margaret's section of Montgomery's Oakwood cemetery.


Also, on March 4, 1865 President Jefferson Davis signed a bill passed by the Confederate Congress creating the 3rd National Flag. 






Monday, March 27, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting for March 2017

The annual business meeting for the Prattville Dragoons was held Thursday March 9th at the regular meeting location, Shoney's on Cobbs Ford Rd.  All current officers were re-elected unanimously to another term without opposition. Congratulations to Commander Waldo, 1st Lt Grooms, 2nd Lt Jenks,Adjutant Sutherland, Treasurer Leverette and Chaplain Snowden for serving the camp in their various capacities. 

Chaplain Snowden opened the meeting with a prayer and a devotional.  Commander Waldo then recited the Lee's Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans followed by the announcements of upcoming events.  Color Sgt Morgan provided the newsletter report including circulation and expenses. Commander Waldo then provided the report from Treasurer Leverette on expenditures over the past year and the camps current balance in the treasury.  The Commander's report was then presented including camp enrollment and a recounting of all the camp's and member's activities over the past year highlighting the community service projects and initiatives like Salvation Army kettle ringing, foood drives, educational presentations at schools and participation in community events like parades and Prattville's Cityfest.   


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Activities Two Consecutive Saturdays

There are two excellent events for your consideration this Saturday and Saturday 1 April. 

1) This Saturday, March 25 the Alabama Division will host the Education Conference in Prattville at the Doster Center, 424 Roster Rd. from 10:00 - 4:00Cost is $35 or $25 for youth. You can register and pay at the door. This is a state wide event and the public, especially educators, is invited.
The keynote speaker for this event will be none other than the great Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, author of The Real Lincoln. His talk will be on "Why Lincoln was Hated and Reviled by Americans North and South During His Lifetime.” The other very prominent speakers are Ronald and Donald Kennedy and Dr. Brion McClanhan. If you have not registered but want to attend, come on and join us.
2) The annual Camp Picnic will be on Saturday 1 April at Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek, Alabama.  The picnic hours are 10:00 am - 2:00 pm but at 9:00am we will set flags on all the graves of the veterans and widows who are buried in the park. 

This is a family affair so bring your children, grandkids, spouse, prospective members, etc. to experience a good day of Confederate fellowship. We will set up for our meal at the new pavilion which has restrooms on site. The new pavilion, as you enter the Park’s main entrance, is near the end of the Park road on the left. We will allow time for all those who wish to go through the museum to do so and we anticipate a reduced rate for our group for this day. We will eat our bar b que meal at approximately 12:00. The meat, cups, utensils and napkins will be provided by the camp and we ask each member to bring a covered dish suitable for a bar b que meal, including  desserts.  It is not necessary to make a reservation to attend; just come, bring a dish and have fun.

We need to say a special Thank You to Compatriots Bill Hamner and Skip Ward.  They have donated some Dixie butts to the camp for the picnic and have done so for several years. We salute you, gentlemen!


As an added bonus this year, the Camp 1921 String Band from Tallassee will entertain us after the meal. This is a special treat and they will present several period and newer pieces of music including Are You From Dixie?, Yellow Rose of Texas, Bonnie Blue Flag, DIXIE and many others. This band is lively and you will enjoy a great experience with their music.

Friday, March 17, 2017

"The Gallant” Major John Pelham of Alabama, CSA Artillery Commander for General Jeb Stuart

Today, 17 March 1863, "The Gallant” Major John Pelham of Alabama, CSA Artillery Commander for General Jeb Stuart, died heroically on the battlefield of Kelly’s Ford, Virginia. Mrs. Ellen Williams, a stalwart Confederate, furnished a well written piece on Pelham’s military life.

One of Alabama’s most outstanding young men whose personal bravery and military expertise caught the attention of both Gen. Lee, Ge. Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, and J.E. B. Stuart was John Pelham, commander of an artillery battery, from Jacksonville, Alabama. He was enrolled in West Point when the WBTS began; he resigned a few weeks short of graduation in order to accept a commission in the Alabama State Militia. State Militias or State Troops were either released by the governor into the regular Confederate Armies or kept locally to defend the state.

John Pelham soon went to Virginia where his well-drilled and disciplined battery caught the eye of J.E.B. Stuart. Thereafter, he was involved in every major military engagement of Stuart’s cavalry from First Manassas to Kelly’s Ford, more than 60 encounters.

Pelham particularly distinguished himself as Chief of Stuart’s Artillery at the Battles of Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg. At Sharpsburg (the deadliest day in the WBTS), Pelham’s battery harassed the flanks of oncoming Union lines causing numerous casualties and breaking up battle formations. Without the Pelham Battery’s constant barrage, Gen. Lee’s army would have been surrounded in Maryland and the war would have ended there. Gen. Stonewall Jackson said of him, “It is really extraordinary to find such nerve and genius in a mere boy. With a Pelham on each flank, I believe I could whip the world.”

General Lee’s army would have been destroyed at Fredericksburg, except for Pelham’s guns positioned well in advance of the main Confederate line which held up the entire flank of the union Army of the Potomac for several hours enabling the Confederates to repel a series of strong attacks. Gen. Robert E. Lee, in his official report commended Pelham for “unflinching courage” while under direct fire from multiple Union batteries. At the time Pelham had only two guns remaining in service with which he enfiladed the entire advancing Federal lines of battle. Gen. Lee himself, used the term “the gallant Pelham” for our Alabama artillerist and that epitaph remains today.


John Pelham was on horseback waving his cap and urging the infantry on: “Forward boys! Forward to victory and glory”; when he was shot and killed at the battle of Kelly’s Ford. He was 24 years old. There is a life-size monument of him in downtown Jacksonville, (Alabama).

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Major General Patrick Cleburne Birthday 17 March

Major General Patrick Ronayne Celburne, The Stonewall of the West, born 17 March 1828.

"I am with the South in life or death, in victory or defeat. I believe the North is about to wage a brutal and unholy war on a people who have done them no wrong, in violation of the Constitution and the fundamental principles of government. They no longer acknowledge that all government derives its validity from the consent of the governed. They are about to invade our peaceful homes, destroy our property, and murder our men and dishonor our women. We propose no invasion of the North, no attack on them, and only ask to be left alone." 



Monday, March 6, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Chaplains Column for March 2017

Chaplain’s Column: Avoiding Hurtful Words
Scripture: Ephesians 4:29
Ephesians 4:29 says “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Another resolve that will help you live without marriage regrets is this: “I will avoid hurtful words.” Words are like nails–you can remove the nails, but the hole remains. And it is the same way with hurtful statements you make to your mate. Over life I can remember situations in which a husband or wife will recall a statement the mate made ten or twenty years ago. The offending party has completely forgotten about those statements, but the hurt person remembers the conversation verbatim.

Our words are very powerful. The Bible says, “The tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell” (James 3:6). Just as one spark can destroy an entire forest, so one hurtful word can destroy the spirit of a marriage. That is why it is so important that if we are going to have a regret-free marriage, we need to learn to avoid hurtful words.

Paul gave us a great filter through which to pour all of our speech in Ephesians4:29: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”

Using that verse, let me suggest an acrostic that will help you remember to filter your speech to your mate, built on the word T-H-I-N-K. The “T” stands for “true.” Is what you are saying true? Paul says we ought to lay aside all falsehood in our speech. By the way, when you say to your mate, “You always,” or, “You never,” usually you are not speaking truth. Make sure your speech is true. The “H” stands for “helpful.” Is what you are saying helpful? Our goal should be to help, not hinder our mate. The “I” stands for “inspiring.” Paul said our words ought to edify. That word “edify” means to build up. Do your words build up, rather than tear down, your mate? The “N” stands for “necessary.” Is what you are saying necessary? You don’t need to express every thought you have. Paul says to speak only a word according to the need of the moment. And then “K” stands for “kind.” Is what you are saying kind? Our words to our mate ought to be laced with grace. In Ephesians 4:32, Paul says, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

Please remember those on our prayer list.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

1.) Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting - WBTS Weapons Presentation and Annual Business Meeting at the Shoney's on Cobbs Ford Rd in Prattville AL – Thursday, March 9
2.) Confederate Flag Day – March 4 – Luverne, AL – 9:00 A – 4:00 P – Confederate Veterans Memorial Park – This is a family event hosted by the Ben Bricken Camp 396. The location is 6403 Brantley Highway in Luverne. There will be presentations and live firing of connons and muskets. Bring lawn chairs, family and friends, and prepare for a great day of enterntatinment. Be sure to bring your flags.
3.) Announcing the 2017 Alabama Division Education Conference 25 March 2017 in Prattville! This will be similar to the first annual Education Conference held here last year. This is a state wide event and the public, especially educators, is invited. Last year’s event was very successful and well attended. The keynote speaker for this event will be none other than the great Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, author of The Real Lincoln. His talk will be on "Why Lincoln was Hated and Reviled by Americans North and South During His Lifetime.” Returning will also be Brion McClanahan, an expert on the Constitution and writes for the Abbeville Institute.
4.) Flag setting at Prattville's Oak Hill Cemetery for the Confederate Veterans buried there in honor of Confederate History and Heritage month.
5.) Annual Prattville Dragoons Camp Picnic – Saturday, April 1st – Confederate Memorial Park  The picnic will be our monthly meeting, no meeting at Shoneys on Thursday April 13th. The picnic hours are 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Flag setting for the veterans and widows buried at the CMP cemeteries at 9am.  As an added bonus this year, the Camp 1921 String Band from Tallassee will entertain after the meal. A very special thank you to compatriots Bill Hamner and Skip Ward for their donation of Dixie Butts to the camp.
6.) Confederate Memorial Day Monday April 24th - Alabama Division UDC event at the Alabama State Capital at 10am followed by the Prattville Dragoons event at the Prattville Primary School on Wetumpka St in Prattville at 6pm - come enjoy Pastor Weaver's address, bapgipes and more
7.) 2017 Sons of Confederate Veterans Alabama Division Reuninon – June 9th and 10th in Cullman.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for March 2017 - Lincoln's Protectionist Tariff Philosophy

While listening to President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress I noted his reference to Lincoln, “The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, warned that the “abandonment of the protective policy by the American Government (will) produce want and ruin among our people.””  As Lincoln’s collection of tariff revenue was foremost in his prosecution of the War Between the States, it should be noted that he wrote his thoughts here quoted by Trump in 1846-1847.   Lincoln stated in his lay study ((https://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln1/1:423.1?rgn=div2;view=fulltext  Collected Works of Lincoln Volume 1, Fragments of a Tariff Discussion), “If a certain duty be levied upon an article which cannot be produced in this country, as three cents a pound upon coffee, the effect will be, that the consumer will pay one cent more per pound than before, the producer will take one cent less, and the merchant one cent less in profits---in other words, the burthen of the duty will be distributed over consumption, production, and commerce, and not confined to either. But if a duty amounting to full protection be levied upon an article which can be produced here with as little labour, as elsewhere, as iron, that article will ultimately in consequence of such duty, be sold to our people cheaper, at least by the amount of the cost of carrying it from abroad.”  He maintained this belief in the benefits of a protectionist tariff assuming that goods produced elsewhere and shipped/imported here must necessarily be more expensive due to the additive costs of everyone who touched the goods either as transporter or intermediate/distributing merchant.  Surely Lincoln is not the economist of Thomas Sewell’s ilk as one must seriously wonder upon what grounds he believes a producer would absorb a duty/tariff without passing that cost along to the consumer and the merchant would just take less also to allow the end consumer to not be burdened with these costs??  What business model is that? Lincoln certainly didn’t envision massive container ships and sweat shops abroad either.   

Lincoln continued, “It seems to be an opinion that the condition of a nation, is best, whenever it can buy cheapest (think NAFTA and “Made in China”); but this is not necessarily true, because if, at the same time, and by the same cause, it is compelled to sell correspondingly cheap, nothing is gained. Then, it is said, the best condition is, when we can buy cheapest, and sell dearest; but this again, is not necessarily true; because, with both these, we might have scarcely any thing to sell (abroad). These reflections show, we must look not merely to buying cheap, nor yet to buying cheap and selling dear; but also to having constant employment, so that we may have the largest possible amount of something to sell. This matter of employment can only be secured by an ample, steady, and certain market, to sell the products of labour in.”  Constant employment or a generous welfare state??
He goes on to provide an example of a small economic system with a manufacturer with employees and a farmer with employees who enjoy commerce exclusively together in a closed/protected system benefitting each in some happily matched orchestrated nirvana.  But he warns, “After awhile the farmer discovers that, were it not for the protective policy, he could buy all these supplies cheaper from a European manufacturer, owing to the fact that the price of labour is only one quarter as high there as here. He and his hands are a majority of the whole; and therefore have the legal and moral right. They throw off the protective policy, and farmer ceases buying of home manufacturer. Very soon, however, he discovers, that to buy, even at the cheaper rate, requires something to buy with (and he has no money as Lincoln believes these foreign cheap labor markets would be too destitute to purchase the farmer’s goods).”  Macro-economist Lincoln or country lawyer or abolitionist hero or Renaissance man?

“But it has so happened in all ages of the world that some have laboured, and others have, without labour, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong. To secure to each labourer the whole product of his labour is a most worthy object of any good government. (Wouldn’t that be swell, no income tax?) Will the protective (tariff) principle advance or retard this object?  The habits of our whole species fall into three great classes---useful labour, useless labour and idleness. Of these the first only is meritorious. The only remedy for this is to drive useless labour and idleness out of existence. Before making war upon (useless labour), we must learn to distinguish it from the useful.  All labour done in carrying articles to their place of consumption, which could have been produced at the place of consumption, as at the place they were carried from, is useless labour.  Iron and everything made of iron, can be produced, in sufficient abundance and with as little labour, in the United States, as anywhere else in the world; therefore, all labour done in bringing iron and it's fabrics from a foreign country to the United States, is useless labour. The same precisely may be said of cotten, wool, and of their fabrics respectively. While the uselessness of the carrying labour is equally true of all the articles mentioned, it is, perhaps, more glaringly obvious in relation to the cotten goods we purchase from abroad. The raw cotten, from which they are made, itself grows in our own country; is carried by land and by water to England, is there spun, wove, dyed, stamped and then carried back and worn in the very country where it grew.  Why should it not be spun, wove in the very neighbourhood where it both grows and is consumed, and the carrying about thereby dispensed with?”  Drive from existence?  War?  Useless labor?  Perhaps Lincoln needed to read the Department of Transportation’s, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (yes there is such a thing) analysis, “Freight is an important part of the transportation sector, and the transportation sector is in itself a major component of our economy. The transportation sector moves goods and people, employs millions of workers, generates revenue, and consumes materials and services produced by other sectors of the economy. The wide range of transportation services used in the economy includes for-hire freight carriers, private transportation providers, freight forwarders, logistics providers, and firms that service and maintain vehicles.  In 2002, transportation-related goods and services accounted for more than 10 percent—over $1 trillion—of U.S. Gross Domestic Product.  Only three sectors—housing, health care, and food—contributed a larger share of GDP than transportation.”  (www.rita.dot.gov/bts/programs/freight_transportation/html/transportation.html)  Useless?

“This useless labour I would have discontinued, and those engaged in it, added to the class of useful labourers.  If I be asked whether I would destroy all commerce, certainly not - I would continue it where it is necessary, and discontinue it, where it is not. An instance: I would continue commerce so far as it is employed in bringing us coffee, and I would discontinue it so far as it is employed in bringing us cotten goods.”   Has the ring of a socialist utopia doesn’t it with the omnipotent government determining what is good commerce and worthwhile labor for each comrade citizen.   Lincoln goes on to expound on his theories with another lengthy example of the farmer who could buy his iron farm implements and finished fabrics more cheaply from Europe than from his neighbors.  The farmer throws off the protective tariffs to purchase cheaper imports but finds he has no domestic market for his agricultural goods as he has caused the home manufacturing sector to suffer and fall to ruin. 


He concludes, “Universal idleness would speedily result in universal ruin and useless labour is, in this respect, the same as idleness.  I submit, then, that partial idleness, and partial useless labour, would in like manner result, in partial ruin.  The abandonment of the protective policy by the American Government, must result in the increase of both useless labour, and idleness; and so must produce want and ruin among our people.”  These thoughts and hypotheses of Lincoln’s show that at an early age and at the very beginning of his political career he espoused strong protectionist tariffs and believed that abandoning these would lead to economic ruin for the country.  Where many have correctly surmised that Lincoln prosecuted his War to preserve the tariff income from the Southern ports, his notes here demonstrate he seriously believed the South was effectively instigating or provoking economic warfare on the North and its manufacturing industry in abandoning the closed protective economic system shaped by his federal government.  Certainly an argument can be posited as to the benefits of Trump’s current plans to implement a border adjustment which could lower corporate tax rates and result in companies reinvesting in American manufacturing and facilities and workers, providing jobs and increased wages. One can also suppose this economic philosophy may lead to inflation.  But this again highlights the disparity in the contributions made by the Southern states to the antebellum economy and the federal coffers and the inequitable federal disbursement to and investment in Northern infrastructure.  You need only follow the money to discern the true cause for the War for Southern Independence.  

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Old Pickens Court House SC Confederate Sights

Spent a few days recently in the upstate of South Carolina and stopped by the Old Pickens Presbyterian Church which overlooks the Oconee Nuclear Plant and Lake Keowee in Pickens County SC.  The church is all that remains of the town of Pickens Court House which was established in 1828 on these grounds.  The town served as the county seat of the Pickens District and was situated on a knoll overlooking what was then the Keowee River.  A recent addition to the site is a covered educational kiosk which provides a brief history of the town and the church including a map of how the town was laid out in a a play eight blocks long by 4 blocks wide and included a jail and courthouse, stores and homesites.  The town thrived as it was situated along historical Cherokee Indian trading routes.  With the onset of the War Between the States, thousands of men joined the Confederate Army from this SC upstate, many mustering from Pickens Court House. Following the War, the Pickens District was divided into Oconee and Pickens County and the county seats were located in the geographic centers of Oconee county in Walhalla and in Pickens for that county and so residents dispersed to settle in these new population centers.  A hundred years later, the Keowee River valley was flooded for the construction of Lake Keowee which serves as a cooling reservoir for the Duke Power Oconee Nuclear Power Plant.  The Presbyterian Church was built of brick from clay found in the nearby Keowee River and was completed in 1847.  The cemetery on the church grounds serves as the final resting place for 217 souls but many more were moved to land adjacent to the church when the Keowee River valley was flooded - historic footage of the grave relocation can actually be viewed in the movie "Deliverance" which was an infamously fictional story surrounding the creation of the lake.  The oldest grave is that of a Revolutionary War veteran Lt. Joseph Reid but a number of Confederate veterans are also buried in the cemetery including Jesse Richard Ross of Orr's Regiment of the South Carolina Rifles.  The church remained a focal point for the small number of residents in the Old Pickens community and intermittent services were held there albeit without a permanent pastor til 1968 when Duke Power purchased the land including the church in proximity for the construction of the power plant.  In 1999 the Historic Old Pickens Foundation a 501.c.3 was formed to provide perpetual care for the church and grounds.  Oldpickens.org provides great additional information on this historical treasure.  The grounds are open daily and the church on Sundays. 






Friday, February 24, 2017

Walhalla SC Confederate Sights

Visited Walhalla South Carolina recently and stopped for a bit to take in the Confederate historical sites in the downtown area.  The author attended a Confederate Memorial Day event many years ago in the cemetery of Saint Johns Lutheran Church there.  Walhalla was founded by German immigrants in 1849 and is a picturesque town in the foothills of South Carolina, close to the Blue Ridge Mountains with scenic overlooks and waterfalls.  Walhalla hosts a popular Oktoberfest annually.  Saint John's Lutheran Church was founded and the current church structure built in 1859 just before the War Between the States.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places and the grounds provide the final resting place for many of the town's founding families including many Confederate veterans.  Of interest was the place in the cemetery where Johann or John Wagener was buried.  Wagener was one of the founders of Walhalla, died and was buried there in 1876 before his remains were moved to Charleston SC.  Wagener served as a Colonel in the Confederate Army in charge of the First Artillery regiment which built Fort Walker on Hilton head island and defended Port Royal harbor in 1861.  After the War Between the States, Wagener was commissioned Brigadier-General by Governor James Orr and served as mayor of Charleston from 1871-1873.  Fort Wagener on Morris Island is named for him.  A number of iron crosses are prominent across the cemetery and most names are of German origin including Pieper, Wendelken, Busch, Kaufmann, Stucke, and Bauknight. The church fronts Main Street and just a few blocks north in the center median is an historic Confederate monument as well as a smaller one depicting the great seal of the Confederacy, a cannon and a flag pole displaying the Confederate Battle flag which is actually maintained by the local Sons of Confederate Veterans.





Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Attend Alabama Division SCV EC Meeting

The Sons of Confederate Veterans Alabama Division staff as well as Commanders, Adjutants and Chaplains from across the division and state met on Saturday February 18th at Dalraida Methodist Church in Montgomery AL.  After an opening prayer, 2nd Lt Hughey recited the SCV Charge. A special presentation was then made by Commander Hill who introduced the past Division Commanders in attendance numbering eight, two of whom went on to serve as National SCV Commander in Chief as well as Dr. Baker who serves as the current Division Chaplain and previously served as National Chaplain. Then reports were provided by Division Adjutant Hattabaugh who called a quorum and the previous EC meeting minutes and Treasurer Muse who provided a detailed accounting of the Division budget.  At this point, all the chaplains broke out for a separate meeting with Chaplain Baker.  Commander Hill then provided a detailed report of the current activities of the Division across the state including the Division's new website, efforts in support of the Monument Protection Bill and, the Forrest monument beautification.  The agenda was followed thru presentations on Recruiting, Adjutant procedures and the business portion which highlighted new Division SCV merchandise, heritage posters, the Alabama Education Conference scheduled for March and finally, former Commander Carlyle's update on HB-99 to protect the state's historical monuments and sites.  A rousing rendition of Dixie and then a closing Benediction closed the meeting.
Alabama Division SCV Staff and Past Commanders

Monday, February 20, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Participate in Millbrook Mardi Gras Parade

The Revelers hosted the annual Millbrook Mardi Gras parade on Saturday February 18th and Camp 1524 field an entry again in this festive parade.  The Millbrook Mardi Gras parade is the largest Mardi Gras parade in Alabama north of Mobile.  The Dragoons were well represented - clouds and some sprinkles in the morning probably affected attendance but dedicated members and guests present included Stuart Waldo with wife Kerri and children, Wayne Sutherland, George and Brent Jenks, Bill Myrick, Bill Gill, Harold Grooms, Karl Wade and Shannon Fontaine in his Confederate sailor uniform. Several hundred mini Battle Flags, recruiting coins, candy and other throws were handed out to the spectators lining Main Street in Millbrook. As always, the Dragoons were well received and the parade announcer introduced our entry as the Prattville Dragoons, SCV, representing Southern Heritage. Wayne and Harold carried the camp banner and Kerri drove her purple Dodge Charger which certainly fit with the Mardi Gras colors. This was another excellent public appearance for our camp and the SCV!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting February 2017

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 held their February camp meeting at Shoney's in Prattville on Thursday February 9th.  Chaplain Snowden opened the meeting with an Invocation after showing photos from past SCV events on his overhead display. Commander Waldo then recited the SCV Charge followed by Announcements and Upcoming Events. Approximately thirty people were in attendance.  Dr. John Killian made the meeting  a very special one as he presented a program on “The  Secession Crisis in Alabama.” Dr. Killian explained the personalities and reasons for the close vote for Alabama to secede at the Secession Convention of 1861.   Alabama was almost evenly divided as opposed to the other Southern states such as South Carolina, Florida and Mississippi which preceded Alabama in secession and whose legislatures voted overwhelmingly to do so.  The votes for secession were mainly from the southern section of the state while most of north Alabama preferred to remain in the Union. He attributed the north Alabama anti-secession preference to followers of Andrew Jackson who had migrated from the coastal upper Southern states. The secessionists were believers in the pro-secessionist stance of William Lowndes Yancey who was well known as a “fire breather.”  The debate on secession was lively and the delegates were split nearly 50/50. On the procedural votes, the secessionists held a slim margin each time. The vote for secession was 61-39 with several anti-secessionists voting to secede when the vote was taken. Some delegates refused to sign the Ordinance of Secession and a few left the convention and went to the Union side. John revealed many details of the feelings and reasoning behind these debates.  He also highlighted that most of those who originally supported remaining in the Union and even voted against secession ultimately supported the state as Confederate legislators and even as General officers.  Dr. Killian took time to answer questions from the camp and talked with everyone about all topics after the meeting. A most interesting and knowledgeable presentation and enjoyable time.  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Chaplain's Column for February 2017

Chaplain’s Column: Practicing Christian Encouragement
Scripture: 1 Thess 5:11
In 1st Thessalonians, Chapter 5, Verse 11 of the Bible it says “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Christian encouragement is a command of God. But like the command to evangelize, we often find it awkward to employ in everyday life.
Romans Chapter 12 Verses 9 through 10 says “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Someone said that “discouragement is a darkroom where the negatives of fear and failure are developed”. In Romans Chapter 12, verse 15 says Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
The practice of Encouragement makes it easier to live in a fallen world in a holy way. Encouragement makes it easier to love as Jesus loved. (see John 13:34-35). Encouragement gives hope (Romans 15:4). Encouragement helps us through times of discipline and testing (Hebrews 12:5).
Encouragement nurtures patience and kindness (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Galatians 5:22-26). Encouragement makes it easier to sacrifice our own desires for the advancement of God’s kingdom. In short, encouragement makes it easier to live the Christian life as we should. Without encouragement, life would soon feel pointless and burdensome. Without encouragement, we can be overwhelmed by the very real pains of our lives. Without encouragement, we feel unloved. Without encouragement, we begin to think that God is a liar or is unconcerned with our welfare.
So, the Bible tells us to encourage one another, to remind each other of the truth that God loves us, that God equips us, that we are treasured and that our struggles are worth it. Encouragement from the Bible gives us the will to carry on. It is a glimpse of the bigger picture. It can prevent burn-out. It can save us from believing lies (“sin’s deceitfulness”).
Encouragement helps us experience abundant life (see John 10:10). Some people are encouragers and others are discouragers. Have you ever met a discourager? They’re like a drink of water to a drowning man. They can brighten up a room by leaving it! And they leave you drained and depressed. But an encourager leaves you full and refreshed. God has cornered the market on encouragement. All encouragement comes from God.
I believe a church should be a community of encouragement. You’re never more like God than when you’re encouraging people… and never more like the devil than when you are discouraging people.
Perhaps you doubt …because you lack understanding… that God is with you always. I encourage you to read, memorize or repeat from memory… the many encouraging scriptures that are in the Bible.
Here are just a few:
Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:19: “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Hebrews 13:5: “I will never desert you nor will I ever forsake you.”
Matthew 7:7: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
I believe There’s someone out there who is hurting today and needs more than a pat answer of encouragement. May I suggest….Give them the light of Christ.
Please remember those on our prayer list.