Your Prediction: Freemasonry in 5-10 Years

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

    4,390
    1,214
    183
    Re: Your Prediction: Texas Freemasonry in 5-10 Years

    Well, your license plate prediction came true, you clairvoyant Brother, you! :wink:
     
  2. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    5,619
    1,040
    113
    Re: Your Prediction: Texas Freemasonry in 5-10 Years

    LOL...we all got the word out, people listened and walla! I'm very proud of my set ;)
     
  3. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

    4,390
    1,214
    183
    Re: Your Prediction: Texas Freemasonry in 5-10 Years

    As am I of mine.
     
  4. sands67

    sands67 Premium Member

    155
    4
    18
    Re: Your Prediction: Texas Freemasonry in 5-10 Years

    Brothers, I apologize for butting in on a thread that is meant for Texas, but the issues you are having with respect to membership are commonplace everywhere it seems. I was raised 3 short years ago and as I look around my lodge the average age of the brethren is between 60 & 65. There is approx 10 members under the age of 50 including myself. I am in a rural area and I fear for my lodges future and have voiced my concerns, but for now it is falling on deaf ears. Our Lodge has been around since 1869 and I fear without new younger quality members that believe in the masonic principles it will go the way of the dodo bird and the dinosaur. Have any of your local lodges found a way to rejuvenate its membership? Life for younger people seems to be so hectic these days with kids and their afterschool activities, the organizations associated with them, work etc. Organizations like Masonry seem to dall to the wayside :(
     
  5. masonicknight

    masonicknight Registered User

    30
    0
    6
    Re: Your Prediction: Texas Freemasonry in 5-10 Years

    So far in my area of California we have just consolidated two lodges and two more are looking at merging also within the same district. Within a three county area I know of three more possible consolidations. In addition to this one lodge building with two different lodges have merged over the past six years.

    One of the lodges has been consistent in getting younger members but the new members have so much going on that they seldom appear for a meeting. Since many of the new brothers work in retail and odd hours it is hard to get the right time and right night coordinated.

    We have seen some growth in the state but like earlier mentioned it is in the larger cities and not the rural areas. Ironically what I have seen is the two following groups growing: Odd Fellows and Knights of Columbus. Granted the latter requires membership in the Catholic church, it is growing with younger men. The Odd Fellows seems to be because they have a monthly breakfast that is a money raiser to offset cost of building upkeep, they get an opportunity to meet and greet and chat about what they are doing, and they can ask you if you desire and application. Also working the meal gets a chunk of dues taken off the members required payment at the end of the year.
     
  6. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

    540
    25
    18
    I personally see a trimming down of lodges, and I hope that either that happens, or membership rises to the level needed to maintain our temples. In my city, for example, we have five or so Lodges, all within a few miles of each other. There's no need for that. As our numbers drop, and as we focus more on quality masonry, we are simply not going to be able to pay for 5 separate buildings. I think here we could easily do with 2-3 lodges. Instead of spreading ourselves thin across different lodges, we could throw our efforts behind just 2 or 3 and really raise the quality.

    Why keep doing fish fries to stay alive when you could partner with a nearby lodge and make a stronger group?
     
  7. jrsaldivar

    jrsaldivar Registered User

    5
    0
    0
    An Idea

    I have been in search of becoming a member for about 6 months. I visited a lodge in Dallas and the whole group seemed excited to see a person like me visit, do to my back ground ( Hispanic ) I do not have any sponsor that would help me in the quest. I'm a 38 year old male looking to become a better person as in the members I meet at the lodge. There is a lodge that will allow me in as a member, but as a member I would not be able to visit Scottish Rite lodges. I am in the works to volunteer family and my time to help the Scottish Rite Hospital .. To the point, there are a few of us that would love to join but did not have a member or friend that would help in the quest.
     
  8. towerbuilder7

    towerbuilder7 Moderator Premium Member

    251
    24
    38
    Good evening Brothers.....I joined this site on Feb 8th, 2012, and have been browsing almost daily, as it is quite easy to find an article or thread that is interesting to read. I read through each of the entries on this particular thread, so I could see the various responses. As a member of a Prince Hall GLoTX subordinate Lodge (Bayou City #228, Houston, Texas, chartered July 19, 1906,) I paid special attention to Brother Bowden's prediction of FULL recognition for Prince Hall Brethren in the near future. I was very happy to read that, and I appreciate Bro Bowden's level of knowledge and dedication to research, as witnessed by his posts on PH Masonry attest. This issue is rather delicate, but it is paramount that it be brought to the forefront of Masonic Business in BOTH Grand Lodges. The mere concept of "separate but unequal" as it relates to RECOGNITION under Masonic Law brings up an ugly but truthful past about how Masonic relations were in 1878, when the PHGLoTx was established in Brenham, Tx. and continues in some regions of the country even today. As PH Masons, a sad but true fact with which we are all quite familiar is that we are not "recognized" in all 50 States, even though the Charter obtained by Prince Hall was issued in Sept. of 1784, and is the only Charter issued by the GL of England possessed in the United States. It is that lineage which has allowed each and every PH subordinate Lodge formed around the world to receive dispensation and authority to work. Brothers on both sides of this discussion have acknowledged that things must change, but when will this step be made, and what will it take?? In 2005, there was a step made as "mutual recognition" was agreed upon and territory was agreed to be "shared" by both GL's. HOWEVER, mutual recognition was agreed upon without visitation. So, according to current GLoTx and PHGLoTx Masonic Law, I can be "acknowledged", and I'm allowed to "acknowledge" a GLoTx Brother, but neither of us can take a step toward educating ourselves about one another, our histories, and our teachings IN A MASONIC LODGE ENVIRONMENT. Brothers in GloTx and PHGLoTX Lodges are all comfortable in their Masonic environments, but I must wholeheartedly and respectfully disagree with Brother Ebeling from El Campo on ONE point. On his Post (2010), he stated that he was in favor of full recognition of PH Brothers, but not in favor of Lodge visitation due to "dues cards that would be unable to be checked". I must inform the Brother that our Dues cards in PHGLoTx, commonly referred to as Traveling Cards, state the Brother's name, Lodge Number, Member Number, and the Seal and Stamp of the PHGLoTX, with the date of the Brother's Masonic Relief payment to the PHGLoTx. The cards are the same, and are issued ONLY by the PHGLoTX. There is a website known to most, which lists each subordinate PH Lodge in the State of Texas, along with a contact person and phone number. Should that person be unavailable, the PhGLoTx has an office staff, who are available during the week to answer inquiries regarding Lodges or the status of Brothers. A PH Brother's membership and status can be verified. And, to our disdain, there ARE quite a few clandestine Lodges, who claim membership in separate "Grand Lodges", and are NOT members of the Prince Hall GL of Tx. THEY WILL NOT HAVE DUES CARDS SIMILAR TO OURS. We do not recognize, nor do we conduct ANY MASONIC BUSINESS with any Brother or Lodge that is not a member of a REGULAR and duly constituted Grand Lodge---of which there are only TWO. (GLoTX, and PHGLoTX) These clandestine "Grand Lodges" are unable to trace the lineage of their Grand Lodge back to the UGLE; hence, we will not recognize them. Mutual recognition AND mutual visitation should not be viewed as "feel good moves by Thumper Brethren". It is something that is more than just an opportunity to fellowship and learn from one another; it is a focal point of TWO of our three basic tenets----Brotherly Love (one Universal Brotherhood on ONE planet), and TRUTH. When a Brother extends a right hand of fidelity to another Brother for the first time, and the Brother is allowed to Meet, Act, and Part with him in his Lodge, both have the possibility of seeing the TRUTH about each other----that where there are TWO, GOD sees ONE.......ONE COMPASS, ONE SQUARE, ONE BIBLE, SAME INFORMATION, ONE BROTHERHOOD.....Change never comes easily, and there will ALWAYS be those who will not like this change for various reasons. I don't need to bring those issues up Brothers......we all know that on both sides, there are those who will oppose this change, yet will claim Masonry AND the Christian way of life are two of the most important things in their lives. Each Man, as a Freemason and FREEthinker, has a right to fellowship with whomever he pleases, and also has the sovereign right in his heart to FEEL a certain way according to his own conviction. If that conviction dictates that you agree with Bro Bowden, myself, and others, that is fine. If you can also see a Masonic future where mutual recognition, mutual visitation, dual Lodge Charity Events, dual Lodge Social Events, and even dual membership in some areas, which can lead to exposure and growth for both GL's, then you see the future that I am hoping to see. I do NOT want to knock on a door where I will NOT be welcomed; make NO mistake---I would enjoy fellowshipping and visiting other Lodges where Brothers would welcome a PH Brother, but I do not NEED "recognition" to know that I am a legitimate and regular Mason. If this is something both GL's can work on and resolve, I will come back to this forum, and be one of the first to propose a joint service project, bowling night, meet and greet, etc., with another Brother on this forum here in Houston if there is another Brother willing to do so........positive change has to have a starting point, and I dont see it as Younger Brothers being "Thumper" Brothers....... Brother Ebeling was right in his view that NO Brother or petitioner should be judged differently simply because he looks different...........I think that this website is a GREAT start for Brothers to network, and get to know others who you would otherwise never get to meet. I cannot thank the founders of this site enough for having the vision to create a forum where Brothers from all over can fellowship via laptop or even IPhone. Please do not consider this lengthy message as disrespectful toward any Brother in any way. It is actually the opposite; it is my perspective on the Brotherhood that I love dearly. I do not feel that a State with walls up around what is truly supposed to be the greatest Brotherhood ever known to Man can prosper without "further LIGHT" within the realm of our Bonds. Will a State with only "mutual recognition" ever be conducive to growth and positive change?? Brother Ebeling, El Campo is not far from Houston. If Masonic Law is ever changed on both sides, and you should change your view, I will make that drive in an effort to Meet, Act, and Part with Brothers that I don't know, but who have learned the SAME Masonic History and Information in a different Lodge. If not, I'm Man enough to respect your right to have your view and opinion...........Fraternal Regards to ALL, Bro. Vincent C. Jones, Sr., Bayou City Lodge #228, PHA
     
  9. cog41

    cog41 Premium Member

    754
    16
    38
    I agree with the rural decline opinion. I also agree with Mac's idea of urban lodges uniting. Sure urban or big towns may experience a slight boom in membership but I think you'll see the closing of one or two to join with a third to become one.
    I also agree the appendant bodies will decline. Most of their members will certainly come from the larger populated areas.

    Change? Change what exactly? All types of change have been discussed over the past years.
    Prince Hall affiliation/recognition? Should've been solved years ago.
    Codebooks? Hope practice only, not in lodge.

    No doomsday prophet, no secret speculation, But It wouldn't surprise me to see in rural areas some attempts to form independent "masonic" bodies outside of Grand Lodge. You know,Some folks saying they know what needs to be done, what needs to be changed and they drag, or "hoodwink" a few folks and try to start anew.
    I think Texas has pretty much dodged this kind of stuff but like I said, not saying it will happen, but wouldn't be surprised if it did.
     
  10. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

    540
    25
    18
    Honestly, I think brothers would be better served if the small lodges would sell their buildings and move into the largest one that's close to them (if there are several in the same area). A Masonic Center (call it a temple, even!) that houses several Lodges would be better taken care of than several 50 year old little buildings that are aging and decaying, and the members can't afford to repair and revitalize them.
     
  11. towerbuilder7

    towerbuilder7 Moderator Premium Member

    251
    24
    38
    In response to Brother cog41, there have been Men masquerading as Masons in said independent "masonic" bodies in the Black Community for a little over 100 years now. They claim to be "Ancient Free and Accepted Masons".....the story behind all of the raging debate centers around ONE man, John G. Jones, from Chicago, Illinois. He was a 33rd degree PRINCE HALL Freemason, who was raised as a Prince Hall Mason in John Jones Lodge #7 (his Uncle's Lodge). He was an attorney, and eventually received his 33rd degree. He was highly respected in the Craft. For a reason unable to be located in ANY Lodge record in either Illinois or Wash DC., began "making" Ancient Free and Accepted Brothers in Washington DC on April 5, 1869. He created a "Southern and Western Masonic Jurisdiction", and was eventually expelled from the Fraternity in October of 1895. Long and short, that began part of the divide between Black Masons in this country----those who were with the long established Prince Hall Affiliated Masonic Body, which is regular and duly constituted in each of the 50 States, and the innumerable Black AF and AM bodies or so-called "grand lodges" in each and every State. Bro Joseph A Walkes (deceased) made it his life's mission as a Masonic writer/researcher to expose clandestine and spurious Masonic bodies across the US. He founded the Phylaxis Society, and was the first president. The website, if anyone cares to look, has many links which explain the web of clandestine Masonry that has infected our Long and Illustrious Legacy established by Bro Prince Hall in 1784. the site is www.phylaxis.org It is unknown if there was some sort of falling out in 1869, which caused Jones to commit this act of Masonic Invasion which led to his expulsion. We as Texas PH Masons do not recognize ANY Masonic body that is not affiliated with the GLoTX or PH GLoTX..........regards, Bro Vincent C Jones, Sr. (NO relation to John G Jones)
     
  12. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    1,144
    622
    113
    - As membership naturally decreases, Grand Lodge will become more strapped for cash and thus more eager for more members

    - Accordingly one day ceremonies will become allowed or requirements to join and advance in degrees will be greatly reduced

    - Appendant bodies, especially Yorkrite, will have to consolidate, be re-arranged, or face extinction

    - On the same note, smaller Blue Lodges will have to consolidate or close their doors

    - Few, if any, changes will take place with the GLTX/PHGL relationships

    I like to be pessimistic, that way if I'm wrong then I'm pleasantly surprised. Here's a positive prediction though:

    - Traditional Observance or European Lodge concepts will begin to gain more attention and steps will be taken in more lodges to implement aspects of them
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  13. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

    1,135
    257
    103
    I am not a Texas Mason. But the problems you are experiencing are similar all across the USA. In Kentucky, small rural lodges are closing up and consolidating. I have belonged to two lodges (one in NY and one in VA) which have consolidated. Disappeared, and gone with the wind. The absolute numbers of Freemasons in nearly all states are declining. I am anxious to see the statistics for 2011, but I am sure they will be just as bad.

    The death rate for Masons is 100%. Every current mason will either demit, be dropped for non payment of dues, or die. Unless all Grand Lodges get a reality check, and begin to recruit younger men to replace us old "coots", the Craft will die away with us.
     
  14. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

    1,135
    257
    103
    Here is the information on Masonic membership in 2009/2010. Read it and weep.

    U.S. Grand Lodges Membership



    STATE


    MEMBERSHIP 2010


    MEMBERSHIP 2009


    GAIN/LOSS



    ALABAMA *

    28,684

    28,386

    298



    ALASKA

    1,935

    1,935

    0



    ARIZONA

    8,651

    9,023

    -372



    ARKANSAS

    14,429

    15,027

    -598



    CALIFORNIA

    57,267

    58,889

    -1,622



    COLORADO

    10,356

    10,742

    -386



    CONNECTICUT

    12,895

    13,432

    -537



    DELAWARE

    5,110

    5,150

    -40



    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA *

    4,341

    4,312

    29



    FLORIDA

    45,940

    47,471

    -1,531



    GEORGIA

    43,578

    44,523

    -945



    HAWAII *

    1,742

    1,643

    99



    IDAHO

    3,962

    4,191

    -229



    ILLINOIS

    65,564

    68,308

    -2,744



    INDIANA

    65,443

    66,006

    -563



    IOWA

    21,695

    22,466

    -771



    KANSAS

    23,074

    24,091

    -1,017



    KENTUCKY ^

    46,362

    47,747

    -1,385



    LOUISIANA ^

    21,004

    20,070

    934



    MAINE ^

    20,294

    19,968

    326



    MARYLAND

    16,235

    16,477

    -242



    MASSACHUSETTS

    35,944

    36,518

    -574



    MICHIGAN

    37,709

    39,189

    -1,480



    MINNESOTA

    14,721

    15,182

    -461



    MISSISSIPPI

    19,341

    19,774

    -433



    MISSOURI

    50,500

    51,000

    -500



    MONTANA ^

    5,990

    6,342

    -352



    NEBRASKA

    12,716

    13,038

    -322



    NEVADA

    4,225

    4,316

    -91



    NEW HAMPSHIRE

    6,898

    6,928

    -30



    NEW JERSEY

    24,775

    26,073

    -1,298



    NEW MEXICO *

    5,553

    5,227

    326



    NEW YORK

    45,801

    48,051

    -2,250



    NORTH CAROLINA

    45,096

    45,685

    -589



    NORTH DAKOTA

    3,055

    3,151

    -96



    OHIO

    106,870

    108,332

    -1,462



    OKLAHOMA

    25,739

    26,572

    -833



    OREGON

    9,541

    9,970

    -429



    PENNSYLVANIA ^

    113,279

    114,447

    -1,168



    RHODE ISLAND

    4,213

    4,326

    -113



    SOUTH CAROLINA

    39,927

    40,798

    -871



    SOUTH DAKOTA

    6,094

    6,262

    -168



    TENNESSEE

    44,691

    46,156

    -1,465



    TEXAS

    91,632

    92,656

    -1,024



    UTAH *

    2,035

    1,920

    115



    VERMONT

    6,444

    6,466

    -22



    VIRGINIA

    38,498

    39,238

    -740



    WASHINGTON

    15,369

    17,109

    -1,740



    WEST VIRGINIA

    21,643

    22,078

    -435



    WISCONSIN

    12,694

    13,328

    -634



    WYOMING

    3,899

    4,070

    -171





    1,373,453

    1,404,059

    -30,606




    * Increase over 2009 ^Adjustment from Previous Year

    -------------------
     
  15. cog41

    cog41 Premium Member

    754
    16
    38
    Bleak figures indeed.

    ?? Hummm??
     
  16. Brother Mark

    Brother Mark Registered User

    73
    0
    0
    I am a proud Mason of Texas. I am 22 years old, and i have noticed that guys my age jsut dont know about the Masonic Lodge, its a true shame that they dont. I am trying my best to find men my age or a little bit older to invite, but it is hard to find them. Guys my age are more worried about going out and getting drunk. Maybe the 30 to 50 year range will have more luck in finding them. I think that we can grow, we have to get the word out that Masonary is not just for old guys.
     
  17. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

    433
    16
    18
    I think outside Masonic organizations will die off first before the blue lodge. Including the female centric organizations, Grotto, etc. I think that the invitational bodies will also start to become regional or state versus city or state.

    Blue lodges in rural areas are getting smaller and smaller (like rural areas themselves, it isn't anything new). I see those lodges moving to more suburban areas (like Cibolo, etc) which are currently experiencing a population boom.

    S&F,
    -Bro Vick
     
  18. Brother Maples

    Brother Maples Registered User

    38
    1
    6
    Has your DDGM visited your lodge yet? If so your secretary should have the CD for "Just pass it on" Check it out...some good info.
     
  19. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

    780
    4
    38
    Actually, lately I have noticed a lot more younger men (I'm only 30, so I'm trying to hold on to that "young" title...lol) findng Masonry and getting interested in it. It may be just around my area, which is pretty rural, but seeing this excites me about the craft. I had the pleasure of receiving two of my close friends into the Fraternity recently, and after visiting a couple of the lodges in my area, I could see there are a few other younger guys going through the different first degrees.

    I think if the younger guys see our shirts or rings (of other younger guys), and we can act a certain way in front of them, the curiousity will be there. I really try my best to act a certain way and apply certain lessons of the Craft to my life in everything that I do. My friends have seen that, and later find the time to ask me about my ring. Then I explain that Masonry is a big reason why I walk through life like I do. I tell them its the lessons I take from Masonry. They of course start asking about the conspiracy things or the Robert Langdon/Nicholas Cage stuff, but it offers me the chance to explain to them what Masonry has offered to me. I am proud to say that shortly after having that kind of talk, several people that I have known have asked for petitions and I had the privelage of getting them in touch with a lodge in their area that could guid them to where they can get what the seek.

    I tell you what, other than having my father assist in my raising, the proudest moments I have had in Masonry were when I got to be SD for my two friends coming into the Fraternity. Whenever I see pictures or videos of Masonic events and I see younger men, like myself, who are Masons, I can't help but feel a lot of pride as well.
     
  20. Brother Mark

    Brother Mark Registered User

    73
    0
    0
    Thats the rare, people in my town are not finding masonary yet. I am one of the youngest guys at my lodge
     

Share My Freemasonry