Sharon Lodge #182
A. F. & A. M.
Reisterstown, MD 21136
What is Freemasonry ?
When did Freemasonry begin?
Some historians trace Freemasonry to the 10th Century B.C. during the building of King Solomon’s temple. Records reveal that Freemasonry was introduced into England in 647 A.D. Freemasonry is directly descended from associations of operative masons, the cathedral builders of the Middle Ages, who traveled through Europe employing the secrets and skills of their crafts.
In the 17th Century, when cathedral building was on the decline, many guilds of stone masons, known as “operative or free masons,” started to accept as members those who were not members of the masons’ craft, calling them “speculative masons” or “accepted masons.”
Is Masonry a religion?
No, it is not a religion. This is not to say that masons do not have religious beliefs. One of the tenets of the Masonic Fraternity is that its members are free to express their beliefs in the religion of their choice. However, it is also a condition of membership that each recognize that the wonders of the universe are not here as a result of the doings of man; but rather as a result of a Supreme Being, who brings order and purpose to our existence.
Is Masonry a secret society?
This is a widespread misconception, and is completely untrue. The so-called secrets of Freemasonry have actually been in print for well over a century.
The fraternity does nothing to hide its existence, its purpose
or its membership. The lessons taught in our meetings are meant for the improvement and education
of our members.
You will often see Masons displaying our square & compass symbol on jewelry, clothing and vehicles.
What do Freemasons Do?
The history and traditions of Freemasonry date back to antiquity, with the singular purpose of making
good men better. The tenets of our fraternity; Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth have stood the test
of time. Freemasons as always provided aid and support to each other and their communities.
Is Freemasonry compatible with being a good American?
Freemasons have been a loyal source of support since the time of our country’s founding. The Boston Tea Party was planned at the Green Dragon Tavern, also known as the "Freemasons' Arms". Fifteen of the fifty six signers of the Declaration of Independence and twenty eight of the forty signers of the Constitution were Freemasons. George Washington and most of his Generals were Freemasons.
Many American military heroes were Freemasons: Sam Houston, Colonel William Travis, David Crockett and James Bowie (defenders of the Alamo), General Henry "Hap" Arnold, Eddie Rickenbacker, Audie Murphy, John Paul Jones, General Omar Bradley, General John Joseph Pershing, General Douglas MacArthur, and the list continues. Many Presidents as well as Supreme Court Justices; Woodbury, Woods, Warren, Thurgood Marshall, Hugo Black and several others were all Freemasons.
Freemasons were among America’s explorers too. Included are; Astronauts, Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Admiral Richard Byrd who flew over North Pole, Robert E. Peary, who was the first man to reach the North Pole, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark who opened the Northwest Passage, Christopher “Kit” Carson, and William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, and there are so many more. Leaders in American entertainment include William Wyler and Lewis Wallace who were the director and writer of "Ben Hur. as well as Jack Warner, Darryl Zanuck, John Wayne, Paul Whiteman "King of Jazz", Roy Rogers, all seven Ringling brothers and their father and many more were also Freemasons.
Freemasons have been involved in helping American youth too. Men like Daniel Carter Beard, the founder of the Boy Scouts of America, Dr. William and Charles Mayo who founded the Mayo Clinic, Robert Baylor, the founder Baylor University. In Music, such familiar names as Gene Autry, Louis Armstrong, Irving Berlin, John Philips Sousa, and many more including Francis Scott Key were all Freemasons.
Freemasons helped build American industries too. Men like Thomas Watson (Founder of IBM), Walter Chrysler (of automotive fame), Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy’s),J. C. Penny, King C. Gillett (Gillett Razor Co) and so many more.At the turn of the 20th century, the Freemasons were 860,000 members strong. By the 1930s, there were more than two million Masons in the United States, and their numbers continued to grow.
Freemasonry always has and always will promote good American citizenry.
What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is a way of life. It is kindness in the home, honesty in business, courtesy in society,
fairness in work, pity and concern for the unfortunate, resistance toward evil, help for the weak,
forgiveness for the penitent, love for one another and, above all reverence and love of God.