About our fraternal organization.

Freemasonry (or Masonry) is dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God. It uses the tools and implements of ancient architectural craftsmen symbolically in a system of instruction designed to build character and moral values in its members. Its singular purpose is to make good men better. Its bonds of friendship, compassion, and brotherly love have survived even the most divisive political, military, and religious conflicts through the centuries. Freemasonry is a fraternity which encourages its members to practice the faith of their personal acceptance. Masonry teaches that each person, through self-improvement and helping others, has an obligation to make a difference for good in the world.

Freemasonry is the oldest Fraternal organization in existence. Written records about the Order date back to 1390, and the traditions of Masonry are even older. The Grand Lodge of Virginia is the oldest independent body in the United States. A roster of Masonic membership during the early years of our country reads like a study in American history. It is led by George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Chief Justice John Marshall, Edmund Randolph, and a host of signers of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Since those early years of our country’s history, Masonic membership has continued to include many famous Americans, including United States Presidents, Congressmen, State Governors and other well-known men in leadership positions. The Masonic Fraternity includes men from all walks of life; professionals, tradesmen and laborers.

Freemasonry is a charitable organization. Masonic organizations in North America collectively contribute well over two million dollars every day to charities throughout North America.

What Freemasonry is NOT. . .

Freemasonry is not a religion–it does not promise salvation. But, while not a religion, Freemasonry is religious in the sense that Masons revere a supreme being, and urge every man to attend the Church or Synagogue of his choice. We learn that our strength is to be found in our God, no matter how we may view Him.

Freemasonry is not a secret society as some would accuse. Masons proudly wear the ancient insignia of Freemasonry, the Square and Compass, publicly. The location of our Masonic Lodges is known and our membership rosters are printed. We do keep secret our modes of recognition and the ceremonies of initiation to prevent imposition by impostors.

In sum, Freemasonry teaches the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God, marveling at the Divine order of the universe. It brings together men of all creeds and teaches the many aspects of the Great and Golden Rule common to all Faiths.

Where Did Freemasonry Begin?

No one knows just how old Freemasonry is because the actual origins have been lost in time. Most scholars believe Masonry arose from the guilds of stonemasons who built the majestic castles and cathedrals of the middle ages. In 1717, Masonry created a formal organization when four Lodges in London joined in forming England’s first Grand Lodge. By 1731, when Benjamin Franklin joined the Fraternity, there were already several Lodges in the Colonies, and in Canada the first Lodge was established in 1738. Today, Masonic Lodges are found in almost every community throughout North America, and in large cities there are usually several Lodges.

A Mason can travel to almost any country in the world and find a Masonic Lodge where he will be welcomed as a “Brother.”

What Do Freemasons Do?

The Masonic experience encourages members to become better men, better husbands, better fathers, and better citizens. The fraternal bonds formed in the Lodge help build lifelong friendships among men with similar goals and values.

Beyond its focus on individual development and growth, Masonry is deeply involved in helping people. The Freemasons of North America contribute over two million dollars a day to charitable causes. This philanthropy represents an unparalleled example of the humanitarian commitment of this great and honorable Fraternity. Much of that assistance goes to people who are not Masons. Some of these charities are vast projects. The Shrine Masons (Shriners) operate the largest network of hospitals for burned and orthopedically impaired children in the country, and there is never a fee for treatment. The Scottish Rite Masons maintain a nationwide network of over 150 Childhood Language Disorder Clinics, Centers, and Programs.

Many other Masonic organizations sponsor a variety of philanthropies, including scholarship programs for children, and perform public service activities in their communities. Masons also enjoy the fellowship of each other and their families in social and recreational activities.

Our Masonic Principles

  • Faith must be the center of our lives.
  • All men and women are the children of God.
  • No one has the right to tell another person what he or she must think or believe
  • Each person has a responsibility to be a good citizen, obeying the law.
  • It is important to work to make the world a better place for all.
  • Honor and integrity are keys to a meaningful life.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Freemasonry is how so many men, from so many different walks of life, can meet together in peace, always conducting their affairs in harmony and friendship and calling each other “Brother.”