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Frequently Asked Questions About Free Masonry
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 • Posted July 2, 2014

ger/july 2 free masons

What is Freemasonry? Free Masonry is a men’s fraternity. It exists to take good men and help them to become better men. Masonry is believed to be the oldest surviving fraternal organization in the world. Freemasonry can be easily traced to sixteenth century Scotland. Masonry teaches the importance of helping the less fortunate. It especially stresses care for the widows and orphans of Masons.   Indeed, most Grand Lodges have within their jurisdiction a home for aged Masons, their wives and widows, and also a home for Masonic orphans.

In March 1835 the first Masonic meeting was held in Texas for the purpose of establishing a lodge in Texas. Six Masons met under an oak tree near the town of Brazoria. In December 1838, Mirabeau B. Lamar, a Mason, became president of the Republic of Texas and distinguished himself as the “Father of Education in Texas” for his support of a public school system.

In the early days of the Republic when a Masonic Lodge was built in a community, it was usually a two-story structure. The building was designed to provide a lodge meeting room upstairs and a schoolroom downstairs for the children of the community. Masons provided the physical space for the school and, in many instances, paid all or part of the teachers’ salaries. 

The role of Masons in public education in Texas has benefited Generations.  As individuals and as members of the fraternity, Masons were influential and instrumental in the establishment of a strong public education system.

There are now over 122,000 Masons in Texas with a total of 914 lodges. In the U.S.A. alone, all branches of Masonry combined provide over of $1.5 million of charitable aid per DAY!

Texas was founded by men who were Masons. From the Father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin, to every single president of the Republic of Texas, and often over half of the elected and appointed officials of the Republic, Masons held offices in Texas government.

13 of the 39 individuals who signed the Constitution were Masons. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were just 2 of that group. Sam Houston, the leader of the Texas Revolutionary victory at San Jacinto was also a Mason. Many Presidents, Senators, Congressman and Governors have been Masons.

One of the requirements to become a Free Mason used to be that you had to be 21 years of age. That has been lowered to the age of 18. You can be a Mason for only a short time or for a lifetime. Senior officers are elected annually by the membership and can be re-elected to the same office or another office. They also have the right to decline to serve as an officer. In the last 150 years, many who have served as “Worshipful Master”, the title for the president of the lodge, have served more than once as “Worshipful Master”.

What do Masons believe? Masons believe in the existence of God, the immortality of the soul and the Divine authority of the Holy Bible and the brotherhood of man.

Is Free Masonry a church? NO! Free Masonry is a men’s fraternity that believes in God and allows each person to use the Bible to guide his personal faith. All of our memory work is based on the construction of King Solomon’s Temple. Our passwords come from the Old Testament and our obligations walk hand in hand with the 10 Commandments. Every meeting of a Masonic Lodge begins and ends with prayer. There is nothing in Freemasonry to interfere with a man’s religious life. Persons of all faiths and Christian denominations are a part of the worldwide Masonic fraternity.

Do we have Masons in Mason? Yes, we have “Masons” in Mason. The lodge in Mason, McCulloch Lodge # 273, has just under 45 members. The name of our lodge, McCulloch, has an interesting history. In 1863, just five years after Mason County was established, Masons living in Mason County, petitioned the Grand Lodge of Texas which is located in Waco for a charter of membership. They were told of an abandoned lodge on Lost Creek, just across the county line in McCulloch County. The lodge became known as McCulloch Lodge and the number 273 indicates that it was the 273rd charter issued by the Grand Lodge of Texas. Free Masonry has been in Texas since the 1830’s and in the United States since before it was a country. In 2013, The Grand Lodge of Texas presented Jordan Zesch with a pin for 65 years of membership. On July 26th, 2014, McCulloch Lodge #273 will celebrate 150 years of Free Masonry in Mason.

Where do Masons meet? The Masonic Lodge in Mason is known as McCulloch Lodge #273 and is located on Spring Street, just across from the First United Methodist Church. The lodge meets on the third Tuesday of each month, but could meet elsewhere in the county as long as we have our charter and the “jewels” of the lodge present. The “jewels” of the lodge are the Holy Bible, the Square and the Compass. Masons regard the Holy Bible as the rule and guide to our personal faith and practice. The square reminds us to act squarely toward all men and the compass teaches us to control our desires and keep them within legal bounds.

Why do Masons keep their rituals a secret? Just as the ancient stonemasons kept their trade secrets to help maintain a better quality of work, our secrecy today helps us to make a good man better. It is difficult to believe that the secrets of Masonry are evil when you consider the heritage of Masonry that includes a long list of influential leaders such as Paul Revere, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Douglas MacArthur, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston.

As you look over the list of the Past Masters, think about Mason County’s history and its businesses. Ask your parents or grandparents about them and see what you can learn about their participation in Mason county history.

Come help us celebrate 150 years of Free Masonry in Mason County!!! On July 26th, 2014 the McCulloch Lodge #273 will have a BBQ lunch (by donation) that will start at 11:00am in the dining area of the lodge on Spring Street. The lodge will be open to the public and at 1:00pm, the Grand Master of Texas, Most Worshipful Master Jerry L. Martin will be attending to present the lodge with the 150th Year Award.

Past Worshipful Masters of McCulloch Lodge #273

  • W. D. Reed
  • *. F. M. Miller
  • W. D. Reed
  • *. J. F. Conner *. David Doole

John C. Butler

J. W. Todd

Wilson Hey

James L. Latham

Erv Hamilton

  • F. C. Fellmore

John Schuessler

Morgan Hamilton

J. W. White

    *. E. M. Reynolds, Sr.

B. M. Westbrook

Herbert Zork

John T. Wilhelm

  • Alvie Tinsley

Henry Doell

J. W. Leslie

R. J. Baze

J. D. Payne

C. S. Vedder

Oscar Seaquist

H. C. Durst

J. C. (Arthur) Wilhelm

F. W. Lemberg

S. F. Bethel

    *. A. O. Hensch

J. C. Lemberg, Jr.

Alex Grosse

Banks Reynolds

  • Carl Runge
  • Hugh Shearer

Charlie Doell

Ned Polk

Robert E. Lee

Roy E. Doell

Harold Zesch

John T. Banks

Paul O. Ingledue

Arthur Eckert

O. D. Tinsley

Oscar Shearer

Henry Keller

  • Lee (Buck) Shearer
  • S. K. Shearer, Jr.

W. P. Jones

Dr. G. G. McCollum

Charlie Bell

E. J. Lemberg

Otis Shearer

Oscar Huff, M. D.

Dayton Brandenberger

W. O. Moss

  • W. R. Donop

Paschal Rogers

Ember Leifeste

Fred Key

  • Alan Bloodworth

C. C. Pluenneke

  • Wilburn Shearer

David Webster

Foster Casner

Elmer Goff

J. W. Hoover

R. H. (Ruben) Lange

John H. Wilhelm

Ben F. Polk

Stanley Brown

Dorman O. Smith

LeRoy Loeffler

Marvin Eckert, Sr.

  • J. M. McLemore
  • Marvin Eckert, Jr.

Al V. Garrett

  • Gordon Gail Jones

Amos Kidd

Oran Schwanke

Willie Lyles

Lloyd McMahan

David Kothmann

Woodrow (Woody) Arnold

B. L. (Leroy) Garrison

  • Ray Gormley

Luther Kuhlmann

Quinn Jones

Jay Brown

Jimmy Allen

Kerry Peterson

Joel Allen

  • David Hoerster

Steven Gamel

  • Eldon Kothmann

Sid Schmidt

James D. (Spider) Johnson

Richard Arnold

Teddy Ray Doyal

Lindy Lange

Juan McGowan

David Eudaly

Travis Willy

Billy Cates

Michael Brown

James Morris

Andy Delcuze

  • Denotes more than one year as Worshipful Master of the Lodge.
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