Three-hundred years ago, on June 24, 1717, four groups of London Freemasons joined together to celebrate the feast of St. John the Baptist. At that gathering they founded the Grand Lodge of London and brought the ancient fraternity of Masons into the public eye.
Masons from Champaign County, Clark County and Union County are celebrating this anniversary with a feast on June 24 at the Ohio Masonic Home in Springfield. Those interested in attending should contact the District Secretary at 614-208-7339.
Over the 300 years, Freemasonry has become the world’s largest men’s fraternal organization. Masonry today is a multi-generational organization that unites men of good character regardless of their race, religion, politics or social standing. Masons learn from one another the art of morality, harmony, ethics and how to be both good persons and good citizens.
Freemasonry consists of three degrees that impart lessons of morality using allegories and the tools of stonemasons. These degrees are given in Local Lodges, which are the foundation of all Masonry. To become a Mason, a man must believe in a supreme creator, be a good citizen, and must request membership.
Masonry came to Ohio with the Revolutionary War veterans who founded Marietta and Chillicothe. It came to Champaign County over 200 years ago, in 1809, with the founding of Harmony Lodge No. 8 at Urbana. By the 1890s there were Masonic Lodges in Urbana, Kings Creek, North Lewisburg, St. Paris, Mechanicsburg and Christiansburg.
Today Champaign County Freemasons meet at Harmony Lodge No. 8, Urbana Masonic Temple, on the first Thursday of the month; Mechanicsburg Lodge No. 113, Mechanicsburg Temple, on the first and third Tuesday; Mount Olivet Lodge No. 226, Christiansburg, on the second Wednesday; and Golden Square Lodge No. 23 PHA, at the Urbana Masonic Temple on the third Thursday.
While there is no higher degree than Master Mason (the 3rd Degree), there are many affiliated groups, such as the Eastern Star, York Rite and Scottish Rite that provide additional insight into Masonry. Champaign County hosts York Rite bodies at Urbana and Mechanicsburg, and Eastern Star Chapters in Christiansburg, Mechanicsburg and Urbana.
Men interested in Masonry are invited to visit the following website for more information: www.urbanamasonic.com.
Submitted by Harmony Lodge 8.