Priory History

On July 22, 2005, at a regular meeting of John R. Gilmore Priory No. 2, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Knight Donald R. Thompson, Sr., of Maryland, queried the Most Eminent Grand Master General, Henry Choya Small, regarding the establishment of a Priory in the State of Maryland.

Armed with the necessary requirements, Knight Thompson consulted with other Maryland Knights and discovered that there was much enthusiastic support for such a unit. Thereafter, on August 12, 2006, MWGM Shelton D. Redden authorized the priory to be established in Maryland. Seven Knights from the District of Columbia, who were also members of the Gilmore Priory, agreed to join in the endeavor, as did two Maryland knights from Alpha Priory No. 1, of Ohio.

The name chosen for the Priory was Benjamin Brown, in honor of a most prominent York Rite Mason in Maryland. However, before all requirements could be finalized, Knight Perry W. Stewart, Sr., another stalwart within York Rite Masonry in Maryland, passed. Thereafter, the name was changed to Brown-Stewart as a tribute to those two memorable York Rite Masons.

On April 12, 2007, the required materials were submitted to the Convent General with a request for a Charter. At the Grand Conclave held in Norfolk, Virginia on September 22, 2007, a Charter was granted to Brown-Stewart Priory No. 11, with appointments to Knight Donald R. Thompson, Sr., as Eminent Prior; Knight George H. Williams, Sr., as Deputy Prior; and Knight Leighton Miles, as Warder of the Temple. During the year 2010, after the passing of the Priory’s first Eminent Prior, Donland R. Thompson, Sr. and under the leadership of Eminent Prior, Dr. George H. Willams, the Priory membership petitioned the Convent General to add Thompson to its name in honor of the last instrumental figure to form the organization. The request was granted and the name of the Priory officially became Brown~Stewart~Thompson No. 11 in the year 2010.

Maryland Charter Members Andre L. Atkinson, Fred L. Bennett, Theodore R. Chase, Jr., Nathaniel H. Cornish, Bobby L. Edmond, Marshall E. Frazier, George E. Johnson, Nathaniel J. Jones, Leighton P. Miles, Thomas W. Russum, Frederick R. Scott, Herbert B. Stevenson, Donald R. Thompson, Sr., James F. Wescott, and Dr. George H. Williams, Sr.

D.C. Charter Members: Edward L. Barlow, James W. Ellerbee, William F. Hall, George I. Murray, Melvin A. Taylor, Donald F. Tynes, Sr., Anthony K, Wells, Sr., and Charles E. Young.

On November 10, 2007, the first official meeting was held with the following Officers:

Eminent Prior: Donald R. Thompson, Sr.
Deputy Prior: Dr. George H. Williams, Sr.
Warder of the Temple: Leighton P. Miles
Treasurer: Bobby L. Edmond
Registrar: Donald R. Thompson, Sr.
1st Lecturer: Andre L. Atkinson
2nd Lecturer: Theodore R. Chase, Jr.
3rd Lecturer: Fred L. Bennett
4th Lecturer: James F. Wescott
Orator: Thomas W. Russum
Marshall: Herbert B. Stevenson

At this inaugural meeting, the first Investiture Ceremony was conducted upon Companion Jimmie L. Surles. The very next day, another Investiture was conducted upon Companions Albert Blackwell, Mark E. Heath, Calvin I. Harvey, Richard V. Johnson, and Donald L. Smith. With a firm belief in, and a love for, the Great I AM, Brown-Stewart Priory No. 11 proudly commenced its journey of service to this beloved Order.