Visit "Our History"
Page For A History Of
Scottish Rite Masonic Center
By Clicking The Our
History Page Button Below.
The four Co-ordinate Bodies of the Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite of Freemasonry sitting in the Valley of Jacksonville, Orient
of Florida, derive their charters from and acknowledge and yield allegiance to
the Supreme Council (Mother Council of the World) of the Inspectors General
Knights Commanders of the House of the Temple of Solomon of the Thirty-third
Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern
Jurisdiction of the United States of America whose See is at the Grand Orient of
Charleston, in the state of
South Carolina, now sitting in
Washington, D.C., of which .... Illustrious Ronald A. Seale,33° is Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern
Jurisdiction, U.S.A.; Illustrious David Kruger, 33° is Grand Secretary General of the Southern
Jurisdiction, U.S.A.; Illustrious Robert L. Goldsmith, 33° is the Sovereign Grand
Inspector General in the Orient of Florida, U.S.A.; and
Illustrious Roy Conner Sheppard, 33° is the
Personal Representative of the
S.G.I.G. and chairmen of the Executive
Committee in the Valley of Jacksonville.
About The Establishment of Our
Jacksonville Scottish Rite Bodies
The material presented in this section is extracted from a pamphlet written in 2000 by J. Roy Crowther, 33 degree and thereafter published with the approval and authority of Illustrious Robert Louis Goldsmith, 33 degree, Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Florida.
When the United States purchased the
two Territories of Florida from Spain in the year 1821 it gave the Supreme
Council of the Southern Jurisdiction automatic jurisdiction over the new
territories. The two territories were consolidated into the Territory of Florida
in 1822 and together they would become the 27th State of the Union in 1845.
Brother Edward Rutledge Ives is credited with the establishment of the first bodies in the Orient of Florida and our Supreme Council History, records a Lodge of Perfection; a Council of Princes of Jerusalem, and a Chapter of Rose Croix as being organized in the City of Alligator, Florida In compliance with petitions dated April 22 and 27, 1853. The name of the City of Alligator was changed to Lake City on January 15, 1859.
Brother Ives was recognized as organizing the St. Johns Lodge of Perfection, a Council of Princes of Jerusalem, and a Chapter of Rose Croix, in Jacksonville, soon after the end of the War Between the States. On January 15, 1870 Illustrious Brother Ives passed away. Buried in the Oakland Cemetery of Lake City, his grave is marked with a monument with the emblem of the Double Eagle at the top and the Square and Compass beneath the lettering.
In 1901, the one hundredth anniversary of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, charters were issued to the following bodies in the Orient of Florida: Alpha Lodge of Perfection No.6 at Gainesville; Tau Lodge of Perfection No. 7 at Tampa; Bruce Council of Kadosh No. 1 at Plant City; McLean Council of Kadosh No. 2 at Jacksonville; Tampa Consistory No. 1 at Plant City; and Florida Consistory No. 2 at Jacksonville.
In the year 1919, the Supreme Council charted Venus Lodge of Perfection No. 12, to meet at Lake Worth, Florida. Two years later, in 1919, permanent charters were issued for the Akairous Chapter of the Rose Croix No. 6 at Lake Worth. In 1923, charters were issued for Menthra Council of
Kadosh and Lake Worth Consistory, both to be located in Lake Worth.
In the early mid-fifties, to comply with Supreme Council Statutes, all bodies in the Orient of Florida changes their names to the name of the city or town where they held their meetings.
From the mid-fifties through the end of that decade, Florida Scottish Rite of Freemasonry grew by leaps and bounds. Charters were issued to the Ocala Council of Kadosh, Orlando Consistory, Panama City Chapter of Rose Croix, and the Tallahassee Chapter of Rose Croix. In 1959, a charter was given to the Fort Myers Lodge of Perfection, the Panama City Council of Kadosh, the Panama City Consistory, and the Tallahassee Consistory.
Most Worshipful Robert Louis Goldsmith, who served as Grand Master of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida, in 1983, became the seventh Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Orient of Florida. Brother Goldsmith had received the 33-degree Honorary, on December 10, 1983, and was appointed Deputy of the Supreme Council on May 3, 1988. He was crowned an Active Member of the Supreme Council and Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Florida in October 1989. Brother Goldsmith presently serves as the Grand Orator of the Supreme Council and Grand
Representative to the Supreme Councils of Slovenia and Italy, has served on various committees and presently serves as Chairman of the Committee on Jurisprudence and Legislation, the Committee 2001 Bicentennial, and on the Committee on Benevolence and Fraternal Assistance.
The Scottish Rite Foundation of
Florida, Inc. was established in 1975 and the first Aphasia Clinic was opened in
Tampa. Since that first clinic opened, the Florida Scottish Rite Brethren have
established additional clinics in Jacksonville, Tampa, Ft. Myers, Lakeland, New
Port Richey, Orlando, Palm Beach, Panama City, Pensacola, St. Petersburg, and
Sarasota. During the short period of time since the inauguration of this
program, the Childhood Language Disorder Clinics of Florida have treated
thousands of children, with a high percentage of these being either cured or
City Council Honors Masons
On June 24,
2003, Councilwoman Alberta Hipps presented Resolution 2003-674 to the City
Council of Jacksonville, Florida. This Resolution, as shown below,
was framed an presented to Ill\ Roy Conner Sheppard,
33°, Personal Representative, Valley of Jacksonville, by Councilwoman
Hipps. About 60 Scottish Rite Freemasons were present as the two page
Resolution was read before an audience of over 300. Local television
representatives were present and videotaped the ceremony for presentation
to an area wide audience. Two Council members are Masons, and one is the
Past Master of his Lodge, Ill\Sheppard
made brief remarks as did the Potentate of Morocco Shrine Center, Brother
Gary L. Thigpen, 32°.
The Resolution "recognizing and commending Jacksonville's Freemasons for
their longstanding history of civic contributions" read as follows:
WHEREAS, the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons
is the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world,
holding within its lineage those talented craftsmen of both the
timeless pyramids of Egypt and the magnificent cathedrals built in
Europe during the Middle Ages; and
WHEREAS, many of our country's founders, including
many signers of the Constitution, were Freemasons, and the Masonic
emphasis on patriotism, egalitarianism, morality, integrity,
truth, mutual aid and assistance, and brotherly love is evident in
the basis they provided for establishing and structuring our great
WHEREAS, the Grand Lodge of Florida was formed in
the Territory of Florida in 1830 and relocated in 1870 to
Jacksonville, where its corporate offices are in operation to this
WHEREAS, Freemasonry in Jacksonville and its
various appendant orders, including the Scottish Rite, the York
Rite, the Shrine, Eastern Star, DeMolay and Rainbow Girls, provide
services to approximately 60,000 Florida Masons and approximately
175,000 Masons from other states who reside in Florida, with there
being twenty-two lodges and more than 7,000 permanent resident
Masons in Jacksonville alone; and
WHEREAS, it is estimated that Freemasons in North
America, individually and as an organization, contribute over two
million dollars each day to charitable causes, and the local
fraternity is well-known for its long and generous tradition of
helping people, operating social and relief programs involving
both sides during the Civil War, ministering aid during the yellow
fever epidemic, assisting during and after the Great Fire of 1901,
and, more recently, sponsoring and supporting numerous charitable
and community activities such as a language disorder clinic in
association with Wolfson Children's Hospital, an eye clinic,
hospitals, burn clinics, and crippled children's clinics at no
cost to the patients; and
WHEREAS, Freemasonry in Jacksonville is worthy of
honor and recognition for its invaluable example of selfless
charitable relief combined with high standards of morality; now,
BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of
1. That the City Council does hereby recognize and commend
Jacksonville's Freemasons for their longstanding history of civic
contributions in our community.
Section 2. That the
City Council does further thank Jacksonville's Freemasons for
their exemplary and caring citizenship wishing them all manner of
personal and professional success as they continue to pursue their
noble and exalted ideals of life and service.
Conner Sheppard, 33°, accompanied by many of
Jacksonville's Scottish Rite Masons, is presented the framed Resolution by
Councilwoman Alberta Hipps.
~~~~ A Great
Night for Freemasonry in Jacksonville ~~~~
Ill. Jack M. Newport, 33°,
Ill. David A. Yarborough,
Jacksonville Scottish Rite Masonic Center
965 Hubbard Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32206
Scottish Rite Office Hours-Monday-Friday-8:00 AM-4:00 PM
This Website was last updated on
November 16, 2012