My Story

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    When I was growing up, my mother always talked about her Grandfather. He was a Baptist preacher in Sweeetwater, TX and a Mason (Lodge 571). Freemasonry has always intrigued me but I never knew how to take that first step. Time passed, I found the love of my life and had two wonderful boys, but Freemasonry was still in the back of my mind. In October 2007, I noticed an acquaintance of mine had a Masonic ring and those memories and stories of what a great man my Great Grandfather was came rushing back. I asked what was required of me to become a Mason, and with a warm grin he said "You've already taken the first step". Less than two months later I was a Mason. Even as an Entered Apprentice I wanted to contribute something back to the Fraternity which I now embraced. How could a simple Entered Apprentice make a difference? I came to the conclusion that inaccessibility was the plague which my Lodge suffered from. Why was it so difficult to become a Mason in my community? The answer was right in front of my face. Many Masonic Lodges are closed off from the community. How can they expect potential candidates to petition when they have no way of contacting a Mason for more information, the Lodge has no phone, and there is little community involvement? Unfortunately many Lodges throughout Texas suffer from this complacency. How are we supposed to grow when it's almost impossible for someone to take the first step? I was lucky, but Petitioning and obtaining information should not be difficult. So what was the solution? A website for starters. Brother Joey Moss and I created a website that was inviting for both Masons and Non Masons. If you google "Freemasonry", almost 50% of the results are Anti-Mason. How are we as a Fraternity going to counteract this? We have to create websites for the Mason AND non Masons. People seeking information want to know HOW to take that first step, what we're all about, the history, etc. So much is being lost in Freemasonry today because of the lack of information. In Massachusetts the Grand Lodge actually runs commercials. What tools do we have? It's not about handing out pamphlets, it's about the electronic age. People who are eager to learn about Freemasonry will try the Internet. Less than two months of being an Entered Apprentice, we had a fully functioning website. That was the first step, but how would a rural Lodge get the word out? Simple, the newspaper. The Brethren of our Lodge submitted an article highlighting the launch of a brand new website, and we had hundreds of hits within a month. We are now blessed with having new members since then, and a handful petitioning. But that wasn't enough. After brainstorming, Brother Joey and I decided to launch a brand new forum, an avenue where Masons from Texas and the World could come. We wanted to create an environment where fellow Masons could share their Lodge events, answer questions, ask answers, share photos, participate in polls, and much more. The result was the Masons of Texas Online Forum (www.masonsoftexas.com). We at Masons of Texas are growing at a tremendous rate and include many high tech features within the forum such as numerous themes, online arcade, mobile device support, online store, SMS texting and much more. It not only caters to our fellow Brethren, but to non Masons. We offer a section specifically for Non Masons where they can ask questions about the Brotherhood. There is no cost for the site, it's our contribution to the Fraternity and we hope that it will help promote the Brotherhood we all love. With my faith and the light my Lodge has bestowed, I feel that I'm a better Man, Husband, Father and Friend. Thanks to Brother Joey Moss, a man of wonders. He's the kinda guy that will be there when it hits the fan and I'm fortunate to have him as a friend, the Moderators and everyone else on the forums. This place is for you guys and if I may be of service let me know. So Mote It Be.
     
  2. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    Great Job Brother Blake, this is just what the fraternity needs, more information.
    Keep up the good work and if I can do anything PLEASE let me know.
     
  3. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

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    Good job Blake! I wish every Lodge in Texas had the talent and commitment that you guys have available to them.
     
  4. Ruger

    Ruger Guest

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    Excellent job Brother Blake. I could not agree with you more about getting the information out to the people. This is a great web site for promoting masonry.

    Our lodges need to become active in their communities again and we need to promote visitation to other lodges. I have yet to walk into a lodge and not have all the stress from the day disappear. I always feel welcome and know I do not have to constantly watch my back. I am among brothers in whom I trust.
     

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