Knights Templarism In Maryland
In the 1800s within the Maryland Jurisdiction, a Grand Conclave for Knights Templar was called and five Commanderies came together and created what is now known as Saint Andrews Grand Commandery of Knights Templar. It was granted a second charter through the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, to operate within the Jurisdiction of Maryland in 1843.
Due to several fires and inundations, our most ancient records of the organization were lost. For a number of years, it was inactive, even though its members retained the charter, remaining dormant until the 1950s when it returned to active status. Under the leadership of Sir Knight Alfred Dixon and a group of Sir Knights from out of the state, St. Andrews Grand Commandery was rejuvenated and returned to being a viable Masonic entity within the Maryland Jurisdiction. A lot of the information may still be found in the archives of Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and the District of Columbia. Research is continuing in the effort to recover past information and archives of St. Andrews.
We continue in our search for our past.
In 1976, the Bi-Centennial Year of America, and in 1994, St. Andrews hosted the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar. It is the national body of affiliated jurisdictions, which now number thirty-two Prince Hall Affiliated Grand Jurisdictions of the United States and the Bahamas. Past Most Eminent Grand Commander (PMEGC) Sir Knight Alfred Dixon, was the Grand Commander during this era. After him there was Seth C. Robinson, Robert M. Julius, Lewis W. Alton, Elijah Brown, and Donald R. Thompson, Sr. who served twice from 1984-1986 and 2001-2003, serving thereafter were; Benjamin Brown, Frank D. Brown, Nathaniel Cornish, Walter J. Pauls, III, Norman Mullins, and Augustus Scott, who was instrumental in starting the ladies auxiliary (Cyrenes). These men were followed by; Davis Vincent Hill, George E. Thompson; Richard V. Johnson; Bobby L. Edmond, Donald L. Smith Leon R. Stanley, Jr. and currently serving James F. Wescott.
From the five original Commanderies, which formed St. Andrews Grand Commandery, we now have four located within the state of Maryland, five in Germany, two in Italy and one in Iraq.
This gives St. Andrews a total of twelve Commanderies and approximately 200 Sir Knights, with room to grow whenever masons wish to expand their horizons and knowledge of the extending benefits of masonry.
The primary purpose or aim is to protect and assist all in need, Masonic or civilian, to yield our sword in the defense of widows, orphans and those in distress; and to seek truth for the improvement of mankind. We are to yield our swords in the defense of the Christian religion and the protection of the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Maryland Jurisdiction, at all times if he so desires. There is much to do and we gather our Sir Knights for our march against all evil.
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