Category Archives: Community

6th Annual David Wood Memorial Chili Cook-off

On Saturday, February 18, 2016, Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 will host its 6th Annual David Wood Memorial Chili Cook-off.  Festivities will begin at 11:00 A.M. and winners will be announced at 3:00 P.M.  The event will be held at the Petersburg Community Center, 6517 Market Street, Petersburg, Kentucky, 41080.

Lodge members, family and friends can enter and everybody can vote. There will be three classes: classic, exotic and hot (!). There will be prizes in each class. Bring any condiments you want to accent your chili. Our Lodge will provide iced tea and water (soda will be available). Judging is simple, just put a $ 1 donation in the ballot box of your favorite chili. You may cast as many votes as you want and we encourage you to vote often!! Winners will be announced at 3:00 P.M.

2016 Kelly Elementary Winter Holiday Concert

The Kelly Elementary 3rd, 4th and 5th Chorus had their Winter Holiday Concert  this evening, welcoming a packed house in the beautiful Belleview Baptist Church. They performed 5 songs for the crowd under the direction of Holly Trenkamp, Conductor. Everyone did a marvelous job. Gabriella Stephens, who is a 3rd Grade member of the Kelly Elementary School Chorus, is the granddaughter of Bro. Dennis Stephens, P.M. and current Junior Deacon. We will be looking forward to hearing them perform again at their Spring Concert. Below is a copy of the program for the evening.

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Installation of Officers 2016-2017


Officers for 2016-2017, left to right:

Sammy Meyerratken, Senior Deacon; Travis Bush, Treasurer; Adam Gross, Junior Warden; Jason Wallace, Senior Warden; Buddy Wallace, Master; Ed Tanner, Senior Steward; Grand Senior Warden Gary Rose, Installing Master; Bob Bradford, Junior Steward; Mel Kinser, Chaplain; Honorary Member Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall; Dan Kemble, Secretary


Our Volumes of Sacred Law upon the Altar.  May they ever light our path!


Right Worshipful Bro. Gary C. Rose, Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M. served as our Installing Master.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Master-elect Bro. Buddy Wallace at the altar for installation.


Our newly obligated Master, Bro Buddy Wallace, receives the line, the rule, Book of Constitutions and the By-Laws from Installing Marshall Dave Cassesa.


Worshipful Master, Bro. Buddy Wallace, is seated in the chair of King Solomon.


Right Worshipful Bro. Gary C. Rose, Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M. charges our newly installed Master, Bro. Buddy Wallace.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, proclaims the installation of Worshipful Master Bro. Buddy Wallace.


Bro. Sammy Meyerratken, Senior Deacon, and Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross, Junior Warden, observe the proceedings.


Worshipful Bro. Jason Wallace (kneeling) and Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross take their obligations as Senior Warden and Junior Warden, respectively.


Worshipful Bro. Jason Wallace, Senior Warden, assumes his station in the West.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross at the altar for installation as Junior Warden.


Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross, Junior Warden, receives his collar from his mother-in-law, Holly Kemble.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble and Worshipful Bro. Travis Bush for installation as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.


Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble and Worshipful Bro. Travis Bush (kneeling) take their obligations as Secretary and Treasurer while Holly Kemble and Debbie Bush look on.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Mel Kinser, Worshipful Bro. Bob Bradford, Worshipful Bro. Dennis Stephens and Bro. Sammy Meyerratken for installation as Chaplain, Junior Steward, Junior Deacon and Senior Deacon, respectively.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Mel Kinser, Chaplain, with the jewel of his office.


Worshipful Bro. Bob Bradford and Worshipful Bro. Ed Tanner are installed as Junior Steward and Senior Steward, respectively.


Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble, Worshipful Bro. Mel Kinser and Worshipful Bro. Ed Tanner at their respective stations.


Worshipful Bro. Ed Tanner, Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross and Worshipful Bro. Bob Bradford at their respective stations.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, proclaims the installation of officers of Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 for the year 2017.


Worshipful Master Bro. Buddy Wallace stands between Right Worshipful Bro. Gary Rose, Grand Senior Warden, and Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall.


Bro. Sammy Meyerratken, Senior Deacon, Gary C. Rose, Grand Senior Warden, Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Worshipful Master Buddy Wallace and Worshipful Bro. Ernest C. Jackson, Past Master of James W. Alley Lodge No. 869 in Wayland, Kentucky.


Worshipful Bro. Garry Kelly, who otherwise would not have had his picture taken, poses with Worshipful Bro. Jason Wallace, Senior Warden.

Last but not least, 2016’s winners for our Kelly Elementary School Fund were Worshipful Bro. Bob Perry of Alexandria No. 152 and our newly installed Secretary, Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble.

November 2016 Stated Communication

On Election Night 2016, the Brothers of Elvin E. Helms No. 926 welcomed a capacity crowd for a great night of Masonry in Petersburg, Kentucky. We were honored to have Most Worshipful Grand Master Todd Jones, Right Worshipful Grand Junior Warden Geary Laird, Worshipful Grand Senior Deacon Coleman Waford and Worshipful DDGM Kevin Schneider (District 18) in attendance.  We had an excellent meal provided by Bro. Mike Boffemmyer, followed by the introduction of our distinguished visitors, an especially interesting education program for the evening, a new twist on our program with Kelley Elementary School, the Worshipful Master’s report from Grand Lodge, and last but not least, were able to share our Grand Master’s 2015-2016 Lodge of Excellence Award for the first time in Stated Communication.

Pictured above, left to right: Jim Fletcher, DDGM 19; Geary Laird, Grand Junior Warden; Tom Roundtree; Larry York; Coleman Waford, Grand Senior Deacon; Chuck Yokum; Robby Ratliff; Jason Wallace; Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Kentucky, Todd Jones; Sammy Meyerratken; Brad Drew; Buddy Wallace; Dave Cassesa; Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton; Ken Rogers; Jim Herzog; Travis Bush; Mel Kinser; Garry Kelly; Mark Rosen.
Pictured above, left to right: Coleman Waford, Grand Senior Deacon, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Dave Cassesa, Committee on Education, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Kentucky, Todd Jones; Ken Rogers, Committee on Masons Helping Masons, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton; Right Worshipful Grand Junior Warden, Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Geary Laird.

Our education program for the evening was presented by Worshipful Brother Marc Rosen of Poage Lodge No. 325. Brother Rosen is a former District Court and Circuit Court Judge in Boyd, County, Kentucky. His topic was the Grand Lodge of Kentucky Appeals Committee, on which he has served for many years, what is its purpose, and how it performs its functions. Especially interesting was the dialogue between Most Worshipful Grand Master Todd Jones and Worshipful Brother Rosen allowing for an explanation of the checks and balances between the judicial and executive branches of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. As a result of the very unexpected conversational presentation and in following the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky we do not have a transcript of the program to make available.

Pictured above, left to right: Marc Rosen; Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton.

Larry York of Demoss No. 220 shared with us a brief writing he had published in the November 2016 issue of the Masonic Homes Journal:

WHAT IS A MASON? by Larry York, DeMoss No. 220

A Mason is a man who has decided he likes to feel good about himself and others. He cares about the future as well as the past. He does what he can both alone and with others to make sure the future is good for everyone. Recently I found that to be true. I belong to a small Lodge in District 19, DeMoss Lodge No. 220. Our Lodge was in need of some repairs, most importantly a new roof. To help offset the cost, we purchased a shotgun to be raffled. Tickets were printed up for a dollar donation.

We did get our roof replaced and the shotgun raffle was a success because we made enough on the raffle to replace our gutters and downspouts, also. I would like to take this time to thank everyone that participated in the raffle. I would like to especially thank the man who sets the example of a true Mason. His name is District Deputy Dan Kemble of District 18. He was the winner of the raffle. Upon his name being drawn as the winner, he donated the shotgun back to the Lodge to be raffled again later in the year. Thanks again to everyone that made our raffle a huge success.

Pictured above, left to right: Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Kentucky, Todd Jones; Larry York.

An update on our program with Kelley Elementary School: a local church has come forward to help the school and has opted to take over our Christmas program, extending our reach and allowing us to redirect our own focus. As we all know, fine arts programs are the first programs to have their funds redirected or cut entirely. We now have the distinct honor of being able to redirect our support to the Kelley Elementary School Choir program and the school’s Family Resource Center. Thanks to the church for helping with the Christmas program, we are now able to support and maintain the Choir program which has been in danger, as well as support the Family Resource Center and Director Shelly Hoxmeier. The Masons of Elvin E. Helms No. 926 have led by example and now others are joining in the efforts to aid and support our local elementary school.

Pictured above, Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton poses with the 2015-2016 Grand Master’s Lodge of Excellence Award earned by Elvin E. Helms No. 926.



After a long and fruitful evening, Elvin E. Helms No. 926 was closed in peace and harmony at 10:30pm. We thank all of our guests for making the trip to be with us this evening and hope you will return again soon!

October 2016 Stated Communication

Brothers and guests of Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 met on October 11 for the Lodge’s stated meeting. Brothers Adam Gross and Sammy Meyerratken provided a fine chicken dinner for the evening meal.

Our featured speaker for the evening was Ms. Shelly Hoxmeier, Director of the Family Resource Center for Kelly Elementary School. Ms. Hoxmeier thanked the Lodge for the bicycles donated to Kelly Elementary as attendance incentives and for the annual fund raising that we do to provide Christmas for certain students at the school. Ms. Hoxmeier informed the Lodge about the purpose of the Family Resource Center and about her duties as Director. Ms. Hoxmeier’s presentation provided some very timely and penetrating insights as to the challenges faced by students and school staff. Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton presented Ms. Hoxmeier with a Certificate of Appreciation for her services to the students of Kelly Elementary School.

Join us on the evening of November 8, 2016 for our next stated meeting. Dinner will be provided by Brother Mike Boffemeyer. Business will include nomination of officers for 2017. Our featured speaker for the evening will be Worshipful Brother Marc Rosen, Past Master of Poage No. 325 and former member (and chairman) of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky Committee on Appeals.

September 2016 Stated Communication

The Brothers of Elvin E. Helms No. 926 met again in Stated Communication for a busy and productive evening of Masonic Brotherhood. The first order of events this evening was to hear the Fellow Craft Proficiency of Brother Sammy Meyerratken. To the expectations of everyone present Brother Sammy did a fantastic job and is now officially eligible to participate in the District 18 Outdoor Master Mason Degree which will be held on Saturday, September 24 beginning at 10am at Hershell Freeman’s farm, located at 440 Ripple Run Road, Verona, KY. As an added bonus, the Grand Officers of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky will be conferring the first section.

Next, we were honored to have Illustrious Brother Bill Lorenz give his presentation on Magic Squares and Magic Numbers for our educational program.

Page 1 – Melencolia I is a 1514 engraving by the German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer. It is an allegorical composition which has been the subject of many interpretations. One of the most famous old master prints, it has sometimes been regarded as forming one of a conscious group of Meisterstiche (“master prints”) with his Knight, Death and the Devil (1513) and Saint Jerome in his Study (1514).


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Following his presentation, the Brothers of Elvin E. Helms No. 926 had a presentation to make of our own. Illustrious Brother Bill Lorenz was made an honorary member of our Lodge.

Pictured above, left to right: Dan Kemble, District Deputy Grand Master, District 18, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Ernie Stratton, P.M., Master; Illustrious Brother Bill Lorenz.
Pictured above, left to right: Dan Kemble, District Deputy Grand Master, District 18, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Ernie Stratton, P.M., Master; Illustrious Brother Bill Lorenz.

Pictured above, left to right: Ernie Stratton, P.M., Master; Bob Bradford, P.M.
Pictured above, left to right: Ernie Stratton, P.M., Master; Bob Bradford, P.M.

Worshipful Brother Bob Bradford submitted a Petition for Affiliation at our August Stated Communication. At tonight’s Stated Communication he was elected unanimously to membership at Elvin E. Helms No. 926. Brother Bob, we’re looking forward to putting you to work!

We are half way to our goal for the Kelly Elementary Christmas Fund. Keep up the great work Brothers, but remember time is running out. If you like to support this annual charity of our Lodge, please contact our Secretary, Worshipful Brother Ed Tanner by clicking here.

Pictured above, left to right: Vern Gregory; Tom Roundtree; Ernie Stratton, Master; Brad Drew, Master of Latonia No. 746; Chuck Yokum; and Ira Brockman. Not pictured: Lee Onkst.

Last but not least, the Brothers from Latonia No. 746 visited with us this evening to claim the traveling gavels. They had six members present in total, four of them Scottish Rite Masons as well. If you would like to claim the District 18 Traveling Gavel or District 18 Scottish Rite Traveling Gavel for your Lodge, they can be claimed at the next Stated Communication of Latonia No. 746 on Thursday, October 6. Latonia No. 746 serves a fellowship meal at 6:30 with their Stated Communication following immediately at 7:30.

2016 Widow’s and Awards Dinner

Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 celebrated its 2016 Widow’s and Awards Day Dinner on Saturday, August 13, at the Petersburg Community Center. Members and guests enjoyed barbecue chicken provided by the Lodge and prepared by Holly Kemble. An array of sides and desserts were provided by other members of the Lodge.


We had a great turnout for this year’s festivities. Some of the group are pictured above.


Our featured chef, Mrs. Holly Kemble.

Four of our widows were able to join us for the event:


Ms. Marilyn Peters.


Ms. Debbie Wood with Worshipful Brother Travis Bush.


Ms. Patricia Hogan.


Ms. Wanda Walston.


Worshipful Brother Travis Bush was presented with a plaque commemorating his service as two-time Master of our Lodge.



Last but not least, Worshipful Brother Adam Gross won the split-the-pot. He donated his winnings to the Kelley Elementary Christmas Fund.

2016-2017 Back to School in Petersburg

The Petersburg Community Action Commission held a back to school event at the Petersburg Community Center featuring a backpack program. The backpack program is designed to ensure that all students have the proper supplies before they head back to the classroom next Wednesday, August 17. Elvin E. Helms No. 926 regularly participates in this program.


Pictured above is Debbie Bush, wife of Worshipful Brother Travis Bush, standing next to our Lodge’s card on the “thank you” wall.

Brother Brent Thompson’s Family Fund

On Thursday July 7, 2016; DART Police Officer and Brother Mason Brent Thompson was killed in the line of duty during the Dallas, Texas police ambush. Brent leaves behind a wife, several children and numerous family members. These donations will support the family in this tragic event.  R.I.P. our brother in BLUE.

Brother Thompson was a member of Corsicana Lodge No. 174 in Corsicana, Texas.

Click HERE to visit the “Go Fund Me” page setup to provide financial support for his family during this time.

UPDATE: On Tuesday, August 9, 2016 the fundraising goal was reached.

June 2016 Stated Communication

June means it’s time to present the year’s Bernard Hogan Essay Contest winners their prizes. This year our First Place winner is Brooke Daugherty followed by Michael Hutson in Second Place and J.B. Delph in Third Place. This year’s winners brought their families, a fellowship meal was enjoyed by all in attendance, and finally the winning essays were presented by their respective authors.


Pictured above, left to right: Doug Logan, History teacher at Cooper High School; J.B. Delph, our Third Place winner; Michael Hutson, our Second Place winner; Brooke Daugherty, our First Place winner; and Ernie Stratton, Worshipful Master.


Picture above is J.B. Delph receiving his prize for Third Place from Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton.


by: J.B.Delph

There is a lot of things you might not know about Masonry. There are rules that they have to follow and there are something’s you don’t talk about to a Masonry, and where Masonry all started from. And how you could join the Masonry.

Let’s first talk about where Masonry came from. No one knows with certainty how or when the Masonic Fraternity was formed. A widely accepted theory among Masonic scholars is that it arose from the stonemasons’ guilds during the middle Ages. The language and symbols used in there rituals come from this era. “The oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regus Poem, printed about 1390, which was a copy of an earlier work. In 1717, four lodges in London formed the first Grand Lodge of England, and records from that point on are more complete”. (Masonic Service Association of North America). Then it spread throughout European and American colonies. During the 1800s and early 1900s, Freemasonry grew dramatically.

Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. It requires of its members a belief in God as part of the obligation of every responsible adult, but you don’t have to have a certain faith or practice. Masonic ceremonies include prayers, both traditional and extempore, to reaffirm each individual’s dependence on God and to seek divine guidance. Freemasonry is open to men of any faith, but religion may not be discussed at Masonic meetings. The bible is hold holy to them They have the Scared law “the rule and god of life”. Freemasonry is far from indifferent toward religion. Without interfering in religious practice, it expects each member to follow his own faith and to place his Duty to God above all other duties. Its moral teachings are acceptable to all religions.

There are five things you may not know about Masonry. “When meeting, Masons do not discuss religion or politics , “There are certain subjects which are prevented or we simply proscribe from discussing within the lodge,” Piers Vaughan, master of St. John’s Lodge # 1 in New York, told Mo Rocca, “And religion is one, Politics is another.” The Catholic Church condemns Freemasonry, Jacob said the initial response to Freemasonry in continental Europe, particularly in Catholic Europe, was suspicion from seeing “all these men [from] different neighborhoods, different professions meeting in the cafe, breaking bread together, doing rituals, what could this be? Political conspiracy or religion, “In 1738 the Catholic Church condemned Freemasonry, and has since issued about 20 decrees — directly or indirectly — against the fraternity. In 1983 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) re-affirmed this position. Atheists are not welcome. Freemasonry is not a religion per se, but agnostics or atheists cannot belong, said Brent Morris, a Masonic historian, editor oftbe Scottish Rite Journal, and a 33rd degree Freemason, “This is an organization of believers,” he said. “When it was started on a formal basis in 1717, many historians believe that it was trying to bridge the gap between the religious civil wars that had been going on in England at the time, The Catholics would get in power and beat up on the Protestants; the Protestants would get in power and beat up on the Catholics; and everyone was beating up on the Jews. “So when the Freemasons were formed, [they] said, ‘Here’s a group of men that agree that God is central in their lives, they can even agree that God compels them to do good in the community, then they can shut up after that” That was a radical concept — which men could get together and agree on that fundamental level, and then get on with their lives. “So could an atheist join? No, said James Sullivan, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York: “The reason we, I think in the past, wanted somebody that had a belief in a supreme being is because we take certain obligation to be a good man, to support the fraternity. And if you didn’t have a belief in a supreme being, the obligation would mean nothing.” Most of the Founding Fathers were NOT Freemasons. Two of America’s earliest presidents, George Washington and James Monroe, were Freemasons, as were Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and Paul Revere. But many leading figures in the American Revolution – – including John and Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Thomas Paine »­were not Masons. Of the 56 figures who signed the Declaration ofIndependence, only nine were confirmed Masons, according to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania; and ofthe 39 delegates ofthe Continental Congress who signed the draft of the new nation’s Constitution in 1787, only 13 (one-third) were Freemasons”.(cbsnews)

This is how you could join Masonry. You have to be free willing to become a Masonry. You can’t let anyone pressure you in. You must be a man. Another one is that you must be free born. You must be a legal age which is 18 years of age. You must of have a religion and believe in God. The most important one is that you have to show that you want to be a Masonry.

I hope after you read this paper you would like to become a Masonry, and learned some facts about m=Masonry and where they come from and started from.


Pictured above are Dan Kemble, District Deputy Grand Master, District 18, Grand Lodge of Kentucky along with Michael Hutson receiving his prize for Second Place from Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton.

Masonic Essay

by: Michael Hutson

The Freemasons have been around since 1717 and have greatly impacted the way America is today. The Freemasons were there when America was growing into the nation it is today and even helped make it the great nation it is today. Freemasonry impacted the way our Constitution was written and helped in the civil war to end slavery.

During the Continental Congress when we needed to write the articles of confederation they made a committee to do so. This committee consisted of several known Freemasons such as John Dickinson. Chairman, Josiah Bartlett, Samuel Adams, Roger Sherman, Thomas McKean, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Joseph Hewes, Robert R. Livingston, and Stephan Hopkins. These men would make the 4th attempt by the Freemasons to unify the colonies to create the beginning of the United States of America. They created a draft of the Articles of Confederation and reported it to Congress on June 20, 1776 but it wasn’t approved until November 16, 1777 because of Congress’ reluctance to introduce a central government to the sovereign colonies we had at the time. Although the states were even more reluctant to ratify the Articles of Confederation because it was 3 and a half years before all the states ratified the documents. Even though it was a weak central government it was a win for the unionist’s idea to make the states unified into one country.

The Constitution had 56 signers, 15 out of those 56 were Freemasons or were associated with the Freemasons. The Freemasons who signed were Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, Robert Treat Payne, Richard Stockton, George Walton, William Whipple, Elbridge Berry, Lyman Hall, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Nelson Jr., John Penn, George Read, and Roger Sherman. Many of these names are very important to the American Revolution and the development of this nation. There is also evidence that many of the big events of the American Revolution are closely tied to the Freemasons. For example the Boston Tea Party was pi armed at the Green Dragon Tavern, otherwise known as the “Freemasons’ Arms” and “the
Headquarters of the Revolution”. The person who swore George Washington, Robert Livingston, was the Grand Master of the lodge in New York and many of Washington’s generals were Freemasons or were associated with the Freemasons. In fact Marquise de Lafayette, who without his help we wouldn’t have won the war, was a known Freemason. Without Lafayette we wouldn’t have won the war because when he got to America in 1777 he was appointed Major General and eventually met George Washington and became very close friends with him. Lafayette would later go to Valley Forge with Washington and his army to help in the war efforts. Another great noted Freemason from this time period is Benjamin Franklin who was one of the main people to help write our Constitution. The Freemasons’ principals are also found in our Constitution as they stand for orderly civil, religious, and intellectual liberty. These can be seen as our 1st Amendment, giving us freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

The Freemasons’ ideas are found throughout our nation today. Like the idea of man religions and races’ under one nation. This is seen in one of Washington’s letter to a synagogue as quoted, “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it was the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily, the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens…” In other words this is saying in our new nation every religion is accepted and welcomed. They also stand for equality among men regardless of their social status, wealth, or appearance which we follow today.

After the Morgan affair where William Morgan threatened to reveal many of the Freemasons’ secrets and rituals after being denied from the New York lodge. After he threatened to do so he mysteriously disappeared and many blamed the lodge which led to a mass protest of the Freemasons mainly in New York and the neighboring states. This protest lasted from 1835 and burned out in the late 1850’s where Freemasonry started to gain its popularity back going from 66,000 members to 200,000 members and over 5,000 lodges nationwide. The Freemasons were also a big part in the abolishment of slavery. They would help free slaves from the South and get them to the North working with the Underground Railroad.


Pictured above is our First Place winner, Brooke Daugherty, receiving her prize from Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton.

Freemasonry and the Construction of America

by: Brooke Daugherty

July 4th, 1776, will be a day that everyone will always remember. It was the day where thirteen representatives from the colonies joined together to sign the Declaration of Independence to gain freedom from the English crown. However, one may not know that many if not all were actually freemasons, but with well documented research only eight of the fifty six signers were proven to be of Masonic membership.

Even though there is only proof of eight freemasons that signed the Declaration of Independence, the biggest name of all would have to be the first President and founding father: George Washington. Freemasonry played a huge role in the formation of this great nation. To start off, Washington entered the Order of the Freemasons when he was twenty years old in 1752. He became deeply rooted into it for the rest of his life and even while taking oath to become President Washington used the Bible of the st. John’s Masonic Lodge No.1 of New York. The Masonic fraternity played no part in the Revolutionary War as they decided not to choose a side, it can easily be shown that in many ways the revolutionary ideals of equality, freedom, and democracy were created through the Masonic fraternity long before the American colonies began to grow angry about the injustices of the British crown.

Another great effect that the Freemasons had on the building of the United States was their radical thoughts of different faiths within a single nation. Washington and other Freemasons rejected the idea that one government has the power over people and their ideas. Today however, Freemasonry is a quieter organization and is more prone to charity events then political and religious cases. However, while Washington and the Freemasons were fighting against the use of just one religion throughout the nation, the eye-and-pyramid of the Great Seal of the United States, familiar today from the back of the dollar bill was being designed. The design began on July 4th, 1776 by Benjamin Franklin (a freemason), Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. The Latin maxim states “God Smiles on Our New Order of the Ages” which is Masonic philosophy to the core: It required a break with religious order from the Old World and that something new was starting in this newborn nation.

Another way the Freemasons influenced the creation of the United States was that they supported state supported school systems. However, there was not enough support to create them so the Freemasons ended up building schools that were not supported by state or political units. George Washington founded a free school in Virginia and then went on to support the creation of the Military Academy at West Point. The Masons of the revolutionary generation were not able to see their dream of state supported schools but by creating their own schools it was the start of it.

When Washington became president he chose four masons for his cabinet: Secretary of State; Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of Treasury; Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of War; Henry Knox, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph who was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia. By choosing such men for these positions it was evident that the man was very trusting of Masonic fraternity brothers.

Throughout the course of the revolutionary war between Britain and America, Freemasonry had made a large impact on the foundation for the new nation after the war ended. Freemasonry paved the way for how Washington wanted this nation to look, in the same way that the Freemasons did not participate in the war, Washington also called for peace during his farewell address. He left three pieces of advice: Don’t start political parties, do not get involved in other countries’ affairs, and do not go into debt. Freemasons valued the idea of everyone having their own values and beliefs and they also valued such things as education being provided to everyone in this new country. They also developed the iconic seal of the all-knowing eye that is on the dollar bill and as well as the Great Seal of the United States.

Today Freemasonry has changed since the revolution and some of the things that they do is help support their community. They volunteer, donate, and become engaged in their neighborhoods, government, and places of worship. Freemasonry has influenced the beginnings of our government, our founding fathers, and as well as the freedom for our religion during the writing of the constitution. Freemasonry creates everlasting friendships and bonds with people who have the same common goal in life and this is why it still thrives today.


Our guest speaker for the evening was Brother William Kouns, a Brother from Lexington No. 1 that we all hold in very high esteem.


Pictured above, left to right: Brother William Kouns, Lexington No. 1; Ernie Stratton, Worshipful Master; Ed Tanner, P.M., Secretary.