Vinton County (Ohio) is home to two Masonic Lodges, joined other fraternal orders in a year long celebration of the groups 200 year anniversary in 2008. In District 13, of which Vinton County is a part, Delta #207, of McArthur, and Orphans Friend Lodge of Wilkesville meet monthly at their respective lodges. According to the State of Ohio Masonic Lodge informational site, 2008 will mark the anniversary of the establishment of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio. As the governing body for Ohio Freemasonry, the Grand Lodge has chartered just fewer than 800 Lodges, with 530 active Lodges and, a total membership of 120,000.
“Several years ago now, someone asked me what the Masonic Lodge was all about,” Delta Lodge #207 officer, Tim Reid stated. “Basically, you get out of it, what you put into it. If you work take the time to learn a lot about the different degrees, and really get involved in the organization, you will get a lot in return.”
Of the many organizations and clubs adult men can join, the Masons are among, if not, the oldest fraternal organization, who work year around to promote their goals. Mason’s also support a multitude of charities and scholarships, having given away millions of dollars in college tuition assistance for decades. Shriners, and the Order of The Eastern Stars, are also a part of the organization. Those who are not familiar with the group may have the misconception that it is only a group for older men, which is surely not the case. While many members join when they reach adulthood, and continue on through the various levels of accomplishment, the group also has a thriving membership of men of all ages. Ohio has one of the largest memberships of any state, in the world wide organization, and was also the first state to include pod casts as a part of sharing information with members.
“I joined the lodge in 1987, are there are a whole lot of members who have been in way longer than me,” former District Deputy, Bill Campbell said. “I can remember, years and years ago, seeing the men go into their meeting hall, all dressed up in suits and ties, and thought, boy, they are something. The men were, and still are, super men. The philanthropy, and good works that the Masons accomplish, is a great source of pride for all of us. Our Delta Lodge #207 has had seven District Deputies come out of it that is more than any other lodge in our whole district. Lodge member, Mike Jones, is now the District Deputy.”
Guidelines for joining a Masonic large are intricate, with the mission of the organization having been set in stone for all who wish to be considered. According to doctrine, Freemasonry unites men of good character who, though of different religious, ethnic, or social backgrounds, share a belief in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of mankind. Traditions of Freemasonry are founded upon the building of King Solomon’s Temple, and its fraternal ceremonies use the working tools of the stonemasons to symbolize moral lessons and truths.
The organization is meant to provide a positive environment that reminds every Mason of his duty to God, his community, his family and himself. Opportunities for sincere, honest, forthright men who believe in God and desire to contribute to the improvement of their communities and themselves, is the main initiative.