The Seeds of Butler
Pennsylvania is the seed of a great awakening coming to our nation. The land is called the Keystone State. A keystone is the central stone of an arch that holds everything together. It is this land that God will use to birth a harvest of a great move of God within our nation and beyond.
The land of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn. It became the second state of the original 13 colonies on Wednesday December 12, 1787. This was also the first day of Tivet on the Jewish calendar. In Hebrew numerology, the number 12 symbolizes “governance” or “government.” Before Washington DC became the nation’s capital, the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and the articles of Confederation were adopted in York. The signing of the Declaration of Independence also occurred in Philadelphia.
During the American Revolution, the city of Lancaster became the capital of the United States for one day on September 27, 1777. The turning points of the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War occurred at Valley Forge and the Battle of Gettysburg. William Penn established the “Charter of Privileges” for the residents of the land which included governance, religious freedom and property rights. It later served as the blueprint to the Constitution of the United States.
William Penn declared the land of Pennsyvlania to God as a holy experiment and a seed to this nation. While he was persecuted and imprisoned for his faith, his dedication of this land is the seed that one day will bring forth a harvest of God’s presence and His apostolic realignment over this nation. And this harvest will include the seeds of Butler.
Butler Pennsylvania is named after Major General Richard Butler, an officer of the Continental Army who served in the American Revolutionary War. In 1760, his family moved near the state capitol Harrisburg to manufacture rifles. It is known today as the Butler Gun Shop in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. By 1770, Richard Butler and one of his brothers established a trade business at Fort Pitt in Pittsburgh. In 1775, the Continental Congress commissioned him to negotiate land with the Native American Indians.
Richard Butler had four brothers who also served in the war. The five Butler brothers were known as “the fighting Butlers” because of their courage. Richard Butler received one of his greatest honors from President George Washington in Yorktown Virginia. President Washington raised his glass to celebrate the nation’s recent victory and shouted the infamous phrase, “the Butlers and their five sons!”
After the war ended, Richard Butler was commissioned again by the Congress to negotiate with Native American Indians in the Midwest. He later returned to Pittsburgh to serve as a county judge and the state legislature. Major General Richard Butler died at the Battle of the Wabash (St. Clair’s Defeat) near the border of Western Ohio on November 4, 1791. Today, the city of Butler remains a gateway to the Midwest and nations.
A Mission Hub for the Gospel
In 1803, three brothers were the first to settle into the Butler area: John, Samuel and James Cunningham. James Cunningham served as an agent and surveyor for Robert Morris, who owned over 70,000 acres of land in this region. The Cunningham brothers purchased land from him and mapped out the land to host more immigrants. These brothers refused any sale of land more than 5 acres. In Hebrew numerology, the number 5 symbolizes “grace” or “power.” The number 5 means the grace or power of God. It is interesting to note that Butler County has 5 distinct points in its border. The Cunningham brothers were determined to build the city and courthouse near the center of the county.
Four years after these brothers arrived to the area, a man born in Scotland came to Butler as a teacher. Walter Lowrie arrived in 1807. Four years later he was elected to the Pennsylvania Senate and seven years later became a United States Senator where he served as chairman of the federal Committee on Finance. As a senator, Lowrie was recognized for many achievements including his strong voice of opposition to slavery. He was also known as the founder of the Congressional prayer movement for both the state and federal government.
He later moved to New York City to support mission work and the spreading the Gospel. Three of his sons labored in the mission field and two of them died as martyrs for the Gospel. Lowrie’s sons Walter died by Chinese pirates and Reuben died in India. Today, the home of Senator Walter Lowrie is still located adjacent to the county courthouse in downtown Butler.
A Global Center to the Nations
In the early 20th century, the city of Butler was known as a global center for industrial manufacturing and a hub for railroad transit. Many European immigrants moved to Butler because of the steel and railcar industries. In 1902, the Standard Steel Car Company opened in Butler one of the nation’s largest manufacturing facilities of railcars. Some of the first steel railcars in the country were built in Butler. Standard Steel became a leader of the industry and at its highest volume of output had at one moment over 2,000 employees producing over 60 steel-bed cars every day.
The American Austin Car Company which later changed its name to the American Bantam Car Company established its headquarters in Butler. Bantam produced fuel-efficient vehicles during the Great Depression. The car company later designed and manufactured the first prototypes of the Jeep in Butler. Today, the Jeep is one of the most popular vehicles used throughout the world. Butler is also the home of the annual Bantam Jeep Festival.
If the Jeep can begin in Butler and multiply throughout the world, then Butler can become a global mission hub of discipleship movements to nations. The seeds of Butler are ripe for harvest.
“There may be room there for such a Holy Experiment,
For the nations want a precedent and my God will make it the Seed of a Nation,
That an example may be set up to the nations,
That we may do the thing that is truly wise and just.”
William Penn (1681)