Freemasonry is the oldest, largest and most widely recognized fraternal organization in the world. Founded in London, England in 1717, its current worldwide membership totals 3.6 million members, 1.6 million of which are in North America. With 120,000 Masons and 530 local Lodges, Ohio has one of the largest Masonic memberships of any state in the country.
As a fraternal organization, 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.
The 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. For example, Masons are reminded at Lodge to “meet upon the level of equality, act by the plumb of uprightness, and part upon the square of virtue.”
Like most organizations, one will get out of Freemasonry what he is able to put into it. However, membership in Freemasonry is not meant in any way to interfere with an individual’s commitment to his faith, family, or occupation. Freemasonry is not and never can be a replacement for these important institutions, but rather it is a positive environment that reminds every Mason of his duty to God, his community, his family and himself.
Freemasonry provides opportunities for sincere, honest, forthright men who believe in God and desire to contribute to the improvement of their communities and themselves. Through our Masonic Fraternalism, we reaffirm our dedication and unity to become involved citizens who have a strong desire to preserve the values that have made and continue to make America great.
A Message from MWB Jess N. Raines - Past Grand Master of Masons of Ohio
Thank you for visiting our site and learning more about Freemasonry. With almost 500 lodges and 75,000 Masons, Freemasonry is thriving throughout Ohio. Each year, the Grand Lodge of Ohio welcomes more than 1,000 new Masons into our fraternity.
But what is Ohio Freemasonry? What does it mean to be part of the world’s leading fraternity in a state like ours?
It’s taking a solemn vow to be our brother’s keeper. It’s a promise to yourself and God to live a life of character. To learn to better yourself always, do good by your family and serve your community.
But Ohio Freemasonry, at its core, is something more.
Ohio Freemasonry is men from virtually every city and village of this great state, quietly making a difference in the lives of others. Like-minded men who genuinely care about each other, who are loyal to each other and honor bound to help all those in distress.
It’s also the joy of golf in the early morning, and cigars and scotch as the sun sinks low. It’s sponsoring charity softball games and little league baseball teams. It’s polar bear plunges, muskrat dinners, and the pride of conquering a fear of public speaking or leading a meeting. All this with men, once strangers, now brothers.
Ohio Freemasonry is men who still believe in honor, integrity, truth and love for country. Men of respect, kindness and tolerance, fully accepting of our brothers’ religion, race, age, status or culture. Bound as one in the continual pursuit of light and knowledge to be the best version of ourselves.
The craft teaches men to:
If you see yourself in these words.
If you would like to be part of time-honored principles and traditions.
If you would like to build true friendships, often with like-minded men whom one may otherwise never meet … then Freemasonry may be for you.
As the Grand Master of this great state, I have experienced the power and brotherhood of Freemasonry. I encourage you to explore these pages or visit a local lodge to discover what I and so many Brothers have come to love.
Jess N. Raines
Past Grand Master
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