Why I joined" stories

Name Story

Willie Gus Wilson

Sr. Deacon Felix Lodge #3 Wash. DC

I am making this comment as my own personal reason why I became a Freemason. One of my co-workers is a Freemason, we were and still are the best of friends and co-workers. He was always selling raffle tickets or tickets to an event. So one day at work I said to him that I was ready to join the Masons, I had no idea what I was getting in to.

I am now in my 6th year as a Prince Hall Mason, I have been appointed Sr. Deacon in my lodge. It has been more than I ever imagined. This has been a really and truly wonderful experience. The phrase "Masonry takes good men and makes them better" was true in my case. So whoever read this do not let this statement sway you but make up your own mind.

Bruce Abanathie, PM

I am a third generation Mason. I grew up with the influences of Masons who were my Grandfather's friends and brothers. My Grandfather died when I was six, but his friends and brothers still kept in touch with our family through my Grandmother. When I was old enough to join DeMolay, I had at least six Masonic sponsors waiting in line. While a DeMolay, I learned of the importance and positive influence of Masonry, and how it affected those touched by its precepts. Joining Masonry was always a foregone conclusion, it was just a matter of when. I was one of those people that said I would join "as soon as . . ." At 38, I finally realized that there is never a perfect moment in life's organization to join, yet every moment is a perfect moment to enter into a life-improving environment.

I am frequently asked "what do you get out of Masonry?" I tell people that Masonry's major benefit to those outside the fraternity is our philanthropy; and the greatest benefit to those that are members of the fraternity is the inner fulfillment of belonging to an organization that improves the quality of a man's life through the emphasis of the fatherhood of G-d and the brotherhood of man. An organization that accepts every man as an equal. An organization that can support (without interfering in) a man's personal spiritual belief while at the same time not insulting or excluding another's.

In short Masonry is the antithesis of the old adage that "you get out of it what you put into it." No matter how much I put into Masonry, I still get more out of it. All this at the bargain price of my annual dues, which cost less that going to see a movie once a month.

Joe V. Bolin

Berlin 465, Doerun 151, and Moultrie 381

When I was but a young lad of 6, I was found to have a crippling hip disease that, if left untreated, would rob me of the ability to walk. With parents divorced and Momma struggling, the doctor that attend me either was a Mason or knew of the Scottish Rite. The Scottish Rite hospital in Atlanta, Ga. attend to my needs without cost.

While being treated by Scottish Rite and walking on crutches, I fell on a broken bottle and cut my wrist severely. An angel in the form of a grayed-haired mason came to my aid. Without a phone or owning a car, he not only got me to the hospital in time, but solicited strangers off the street to give blood... for in 1957 there were no blood banks as they are now. I lost 50% of my blood supply, so I owe this Mason my life.

When a lad of 14, my Dad fell ill to a heart attack and was unable to work. We lived in the country, Dad was self-employed and Momma didn't drive. She had to stay with him during his rehabilitation period. The Masons of our community, every store owner in the small town where we lived and many neighbors came to our aid. They provided me with clothes, shoes and saw that my school lunch was provided. For weeks, food would "show up" on our door steps every day or so. When Dad was able to care for himself, Mom got a job she didn't apply for and was provided transportation in a carpool with several other ladies.

Why did I join Freemasonry? How could I not?

Braden, Douglas PM

Wichita Falls # 635 AF & AM

My Father, his father, Grand father and Great Grand Father were Masons , as was my Mothers father, his Father and Grand Father. When I was born all but my Dad and Mothers Father were already deceased and both of them were gone by my 12th. birthday . My mother was raised in a Masonic family , and had a older cousin she much admired who was in DeMolay, so when I reached DeMolay age she had me invited to a DeMolay rush party and I joined Hope Chapter , so with all the Masons in my family and my membership in DeMolay I was drawn to the Fraternity. My 21 St. birthday was on the Stated meeting of the Lodge my DeMolay Chapter met in Faith Lodge # 1158 AF&AM ,so I presented my petition to them on that date.

It was I also believe an attempt for me to become closer and learn more about why all these men in my family were Masons, or as we say in Masonry " In Search of More Light " now today after 36 years, I truly do know what kind of Men they were, and much about what they stood for. I have been lucky to Sit in the East of my Lodge and also in the Lodges in Texas and Mississippi were they were members and raised. I do feel closer to them and to the 111 men who preceded me in the East of my Lodge as well as the many Founding Fathers of this Country and the Republic of Texas .

Swanson

I started my Masonic journey late in life, much later than I would have if I had known of the potential and the opportunities involved.

My father had a life long friend who was a Mason and a Shriner. In my youth he entertained me with stories of both groups. When I grew up I followed the path of working and going to school, then I transferred to a state school where I could afford to enjoy school without working at the same time. When I eventually ran out of money I joined the Navy. After a few years I returned to my home area to be a Navy Recruiter. While visiting a funeral of a great uncle on my Dad's side, I caught him looking for something. He said he would explain later. It turned out he was an EA who never finished, however it put me to asking and I found out that most of my close male relatives were MM's! I had been in the dark for years and so many of my relatives could have enlightened me, but they did not because of the stigma of secrecy.

I finally kicked down the preverbal door of a lodge, in full uniform on a Saturday when they were serving a pancake breakfast. They said I would do for the patriotic portion of the requirements since I was in Navy Whites, but I needed signers. My great uncle on my mothers side just happened to be a PM of a lodge in Des Moines, 30 miles away. He attended my raising. And so I was raised a MM on Nov 8, 1990 in Newton Lodge, Newton Iowa. In my Masonic wanderings around Central Iowa I managed to drop in on numerous lodges and lend a helping hand for a degree. I also learned that the secrecy which I encountered holding back my family from telling me of the craft positioned my best friends to turn away from the craft, to this day. Both are children of MM's who found the aura of secrecy repugnant and have not changed their minds to this day.

I am writing a book which I will suggest many ways we can change our public perception and perhaps start taking in more members than we are losing. Look for it in the near future.

Raymond

The Reason why I wanted to be a Freemason was to Become a Better Man, before God, Country, Neighbor, Family and MY Self. My Search for More light was just that. A Search. I wanted to become a mason for a long time. This past Summer was indeed that right time. I worked with several masons in the Atlanta area but i lived in Covington which is east of Atl. So I knew the Lodge I wanted to become a member of. So the search began.

I know to become a mason you must ask a mason. One Sunday i spent looking for either rings or lapel pins of brothers that might attend my church so I could ask. NOT ONE. so then I called my minister and asked him if he knew of one in our congregation. He did not know of one but has worked with one at one time with the Advocate. He gave me his name and number. I called him and He did not attend the lodge i wanted to join but he knew of a brother i could get in touch with. His Name was Al Head. I called Al and he asked me to come right over. I went to his house and spent 2 hours with him. He then said well let me make some calls and Ill get you a petition.

He called me that next Sat and said we are having a Friendship Breakfast at the lodge and I want to invite you to the Lodge. I was Excited. I met a lot of the brothers and turned in my petition in and paid the Fees... I was balloted in and was initiated Sept 27... Passed Oct 18....Raised Nov 20 . My First full meeting as a master mason was in Dec. there I was asked to become a Jr. Steward. Yep Getting my feet wet in a hurry. I just turned in my Masters Cat. a week ago and got my bible and Apron... Man the journey to the East has been Fun and I cant wait to continue my Journey the rest of my Life...

GRAHAM, DEXTER

155 SONS OF SPENSER

I JUST WANTED TO TAKE A MINUTE TO SHARE THE REASONS FOR MY BECOMING A FREEMASON. I USE TO BE ONE OF THOSE GUY THAT WAS ALL WAYS BY HIMSELF AND DIDN'T MIND GOING TO THE MOVIES OR ANY PLACE FOR THAT MATTER BY MYSELF. NOW I HAD A LOT OF FRIENDS BUT, YOU KNOW SOONER OR LATER THEY MOVE AND YOU LOSE CONTACT.

WELL ABOUT 8 YEARS AGO I WORKED AROUND SEVERAL MASON AND I NOTICED HOW TIGHT THEY WERE AS FAR HANGING TOGETHER AND LOOKING OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER. THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN SOMETHING THAT I WANTED WHICH IS THAT BROTHERLY LOVE AND BECOMING A FREEMASON I HAVE FOUND THAT.

Bro. Daryl J. Harper

Alpha Omega #121

I entered into masonry to learn what it was all about and to bring to the table anything that I had already learned in my life. Now, as worshipful master of my lodge, I'm trying to put into action, what I've been taught, to make a difference. I don't have to personally achieve all the highest degrees in masonry to fulfill why I came into masonry. I'd like for my lodge to say they prospered simply because I was a member and a good mason.

Lee Edward Neal

King David Lodge

Hello Thank you for taking the time to Read My Story.  At the age of 01 masonry became interesting to me, I visited the GW Memorial after the 09/11 attacks, while we were in new york, passing out fliers to the people who lost their families, I noticed a church that had not been torn down or affected by the downfall.

At the age of 23 i move back to Washington, DC and visited Howard University and looking at some of the great Halls on the campus and began reading stories like the one i am posting today here at Lincoln university. today i am living in Washington DC after joining the King David Lodge in Camden, New Jersey at the age of 31.

Why I joined?  Masonry makes a good man better and after seeing the world a little, I know that the best way to go anywhere in life is as a Masonry in good standing, with out it (Freemasonry) you will be in the dark, and with it you will become a beckon of life.

Nicholas V. Cardillo

Copestone-Ophir #108

I am a firm believer in what goes around will come around tradition is very important to me and the way I take care of Family, business and Life in general. Masonry offered me a traditional way of Faith in God, Hope in that all things that seem horrible at the time will eventually become better and Charity to all that cross my path who are in true need. I have been a Mason for many years with great satisfaction as of late I have not been able to attend my Blue Lodge due to multiple restraints on my cable tow, I truly hope my lodge and the Grand Lodge understands.

Miller, Daniel B.

Cincinnati Lafayette #483

I joined Freemasonry because I had done extensive reading/research on the subject of Freemasonry. I had enjoyed the reading, and learned a great deal about the history and beginnings of the rituals. but also had more questions than answers, and approached a friend who is a Freemason for information. After finding out about all the good that comes from the Lodges and the Brothers, I joined to make myself a better man, and do to good for my community (and the community - at - large).

Penn, David C.

Pythagoras 134 - Chicago, IL

I joined Freemasonry because I believe in the principles of brotherhood among Africans in America. It has been one the best decisions I have ever made in my life. The time has come where men of African descent should stand together in every perspective of life including the spiritual dimension. Too long have we allowed others to separate us from matters that are essential to our holistic welfare. Again, I rejoice greatly in my becoming a Mason.

Bernard J. Heavey, Jr.

Seaside Lodge #419, Myrtle Beach, SC

I joined the Masonic Lodge because of a Great Uncle of mine. He was a 33rd degree and always impressed me with his kindness and love of people. I do not know if I will ever make it to the a 33rd, but I am trying. My Mother Lodge was Moriahyama No. 3, Tokyo, Japan. I joined in 1954. I now live in SC and that is why I belong to Seaside. I am a Past Master there. I joined Eastern Star because my wife would not join alone. I have been Worthy Patron five times. Once in Massachusetts (West Springfield), twice in New York, Long Island, and twice in SC. I am currently serving my sixth time.

Bro. Ed Horwitz Howard

#101, Elkridge, MD

For me, becoming a Mason has been a lifelong goal, although I didn't realize it until my uncle died in December, 2003. He was 90 at his death, and he was a Mason. He had some Masonic rites performed at his funeral. I, at age 49, had never really thought about the Masons, but, all of a sudden, it was a worthwhile goal that I just felt compelled to pursue. I knew, and still do, that the Masons would make me into a better man, husband, father, and son (my father is a Mason, too). I was raised to Master Mason on 4/4/2005, and my journey has just begun! I am looking forward to learning a lot and contributing, too.

Duncan

LaPorte Lodge #857

I joined because it had been a big part of my Dad's family, and all the people I had met and knew that were Masons always seemed to be good people which made me want to find out what I had to do to be part of this!

Brother Larry Farmer

Giblem Lodge # 2, MWPHGLNC

I was initiated as a Prince Hall Mason in Japan in 1976 and raised in Massachusetts in 1978. I was in the United States Army at the time and traveled to Texas, Germany and visited and served with brothers there. I am now back home in North Carolina.

There is a particular issue I want to address in this forum. I am white and I made my decision to become a Prince Hall Mason because of my belief in God's word which tells me God is no respecter of persons and I can not have more authority than God. When I first made my decision, I was redressed by white peers and even told it would destroy my military career. I have not once regretted my decision. My brothers have been wonderful no matter where I traveled. I have enjoyed fellowship and true brotherhood literally all over the world.

I am very concerned that all jurisdictions have not crossed over and broken down that invisible wall that has for so long separated the Prince Hall Masons and the main stream Masons. Because of my unique status I feel very strongly about this situation. If the mainstream Masons and the Prince Hall Masons tore down all of those invisible walls and began to work together we have the power to literally change our country.

Look at history, my brothers, the country was founded by brothers. If we could just come into the current century and get over all the old garbage we have been living with for so long, great things could happen. I urge all of my brothers, world-wide to support their Grand Masters in making this a reality. If we are going to claim to live by the Great Light in Masonry, then we can be no respecter of persons, after all we are not my powerful than God. God bless you all.

John Winston Jr.

ST. JOSEPH # 15

I first joined masonry because I thought it was a mysterious club, then I discovered in time how beautiful the symbolism expressed through the VSL how to travel this one life cycle to that eternal home. Our fraternity can lead young men through "brotherly Love" to a path that would make T.G.A.O.T.U. proud to send out blessings.

Bro. Ryan T. Frazier

Central Lodge #1 Indianapolis, IN

I joined PH Masonry because of the desire that I had to maintain my involvement in and with my community, to fulfill my need to make a significant difference within my home, my family, my community and ultimately-the world! It is said that Masonry takes a "good" man and makes him a "better" man.  I believe that to be true. Knowing the foundation of Masonry better informs us that it takes a "good" man to even be interested in Masonry.

The rewards of Masonry are infinite. The fellowship shared within the brotherhood is, in my opinion, the most cherished part of Masonry. The ability to know that there are people with whom you share a commonality with that cares for you and in turn, you them. For all of you who are interested in becoming Masons, just know that it can and most cases will be the most proud and endearing experiences of your life. Good Luck. Peace for your journey.

Bro. Rod Brown, MM

Eastern Star Lodge #13, Hampton, VA

My reasoning for becoming PHA is that brotherly love that exists between us all. The more I dig into the meanings and words, I realize more and more of why I did it. I have done the Greek thing and knew that there was something more that I craved. I found it in Masonry. My life has changed and so should yours.

Ed Howard

#101 Elkridge, MD

I served in the Navy for 24 1/2 years, and have always enjoyed serving others. I feel that Masonry will allow me to still do that, and at the same time, to build my character and thus become a better person. I just completed Labor in the EA Degree a couple of weeks ago, and I'm now immersed in the teachings. What a ride! After I become a Master Mason, I'm thinking seriously about joining the Scottish Rite.

WM C Welch

Celestial Lodge #80 PHA Illinois Jurisdiction

The reason I became a Mason was after being raised in a family that held this thing called masonry in such a high esteem I wanted to know what it was all about. My grandfather in Mississippi was a 33rd degree mason and when he died there was a parade and his body was carried thru the streets. This was a memory that stayed in my mind.

I began to read about and ask questions about until this statement was put to me in order to be one ask one and I did. I have found this to be the most beautiful institution in the world. The brotherhood ,dedication ,education and knowledge has indeed taken a good man and made him better. I have been a brother for 15 years I am currently Worshipful Master, Royal Arc, Royal Select and Knights Templar 32nd and a Noble of Mystic Shrine and enjoying every moment. To all brothers stay strong focused and committed.

Bro. R. Minniefield

King Solomon#2 under ST. JOHN'S GRAND LODGE

I became a freemason (A.F.& A.M.) because I liked the masonic symbol, and at the same time know one would or could tell me the of it. One day I had met a man with the masonic symbol on his car, I asked him if he would tell me the meaning of it?, he said that he would tell me everything I wanted to know about that symbol IF I become a mason! Well, when I became a mason I never saw him again, and I would like to have thanked him for not telling me what I wanted to know. I've learned about a great deal more than just that symbol on his car...

Timothy Lenker, USAF

Otis Hopkins Mil. Lodge 10

I joined Masonry to straighten out my life. I have a dear friend whom I met in Korea and he spoke with me about Masonry and the knowledge about life he gave to me as a friend was great. I wanted to know what it felt like to change someone's life like mine was changed.

M.W. Casey Thomas, 32┬░Jurisdiction of GA

When I investigated all of the arts and parts of masonry, I saw a whole system of beauty revealed to me. I had been interested in finding out what masonry was all about since the day of my youth, when my uncle, with whom I lived with at the time. I saw that he was a Shriner and 32┬░Mason and that he was very active in the community and church.

I always wondered why people looked up to him with such esteem. I often found myself asking questions about what it was that he was apart of, only to be answered "you'll find out one day". This matter laid dormant for some time and was found again while I was in college and ran into one of my long time friends who had recently joined the order. I asked him questions, much of which were the same as the ones I asked my uncle. Only this time, he replied, "come find out".

I did! Needless to said, I have found that this fraternity is one of friendship, love, admiration, respect, loyalty, and honor. Much more so than any other fraternity that one could be apart of. When asked why I joined the Masons in college rather than a Greek fraternity, I always reply, "we make good men better!", can any other fraternity say that. The virtues, history, and art that is this fraternity we call masonry is the reason it is the oldest and one true fraternity on earth. I was born to be a Mason!

Ray Williams

Asheboro 699, Asheboro N.C.

I never really knew what a Mason was until 1990. Two of my best friends were quite active in Masonry and from time to time would mention some of the projects their Lodge was undertaking. I kept waiting for them to ask me to join, but they never did. Finally, curiosity got the best of me and I asked the familiar question, "How do you get to be a Mason?" The rest as they say is history. I asked for a petition in December 1990 and was initiated in January 1991 at age 54. One of these friends served as Master in 1993,the other in 1994.

I followed right behind them and was Master in 1995.All my adult life I have been affiliated with one civic club or another. I would go through the officer's line-up, get bored and move on to the next club. I have never gotten bored with Masonry or the appendant bodies. I have wished a thousand times I had known about Masonry when I was 21 year sold.

It has literally changed my life by changing my outlook on life. The main thing Masonry teaches you is to take a look at yourself and if you don't like what you see, change it. I looked, I didn't like, I changed. For the better. I am a firm believer in the old adage, "The more you put into it, the more you'll get out." In August, 2002 at age 65 I received my certificate as Certified Lecturer. Last month (January 2003) I was appointed District Deputy Grand Lecturer of the N.C. 24th Masonic District. There is truly "light added to the coming light."

God willing I shall serve this Fraternity until they out me in the ground. Masonry is one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. "TRY IT, YOU'LL LIKE IT!!"

Jason Orton

Welcome Lodge #255

I joined the craft last year at the age of 25. I had become interested in joining through my research on the American Revolution. As a living historian portraying a private in the 23rd Regt. Royal Welch Fusiliers in America 1775 I have done a lot of reading on the war. One thing that kept coming up in my research was the fact that many men of all different backgrounds on both sides of the war were freemasons. Especially interesting for me was the fact that an Indian Chief of the Iriquios named Joseph Brandt was allowed to join.

Realizing that for Native Americans and freed slaves to be able to join a large fraternal association along side Englishmen and colonists of different religions and economic backgrounds during the 18th century shocked me to say the least. This was the 18th century not the more enlightened 21st century!

My interest in the craft was even more piqued after traveling to Lexington and Concord in April of 2000 to March on Battle Road with 500+ other costumed red coats. While in Lexington I had a chance to go through the Museum of Our National Heritage operated by the Scottish Rite. Their exhibit on Fraternal Societies really got me interested.

A few months later I was invited to attend the installation of my sister as the Worthy Advisor in her Assembly of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. I found out that this was a Masonic sponsored youth group and was impressed with what I learned about the program and what my sister was having the opportunity to learn.

After consulting with my wife, I contacted an older friend who I new was a Mason and asked to join. This next year I will be the Junior Deacon in my Lodge. I participate in our lodge's child Id fingerprinting program and have even had the opportunity to give Charges in my Lodge along with the Senior Deacons work on the Second Degree.

The memorization wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and my mind is now sharper than it ever was before. I have a whole group of friends and brothers that I never had before. I find that Lodge activities provide a release from the stresses of the work week. My family and I attend Lodge dinners and other activities together.

The real key to enjoying the lodge is joining one where the members are active, where they are doing things in the community, and where members are excited about what's going on.

II highly recommend Freemasonry to all good men everywhere. It lives up to the promise of "Making Good Men Better!"

Brother Stockley

Sydney Australia

Brotherhood symbolizes the feeling experienced when Brethren share common beliefs and aspirations.

It endeavors to impart to a Masonic Brother, the special relationship which exists between him and his fellow Freemasons, a relationship which he is able to recognize as being one where he can rely absolutely and without question on another Masonic Brother, no matter what the consequences or the risk.

It endeavors to illustrate that special security which can never be found anywhere else in life - a security that will endure for our entire life.

Brotherhood is the cement which binds the structure together, joining every Brother together in an unbreakable chain.