Danville Masonic Lodge 101, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, installed its officers for 2018-19 Saturday evening with formal services at its Lodge on Stone Road.
Joe David Clark is Worshipful Master of the 166-year-old Lodge and vowed to maintain the Mason’s reputation of unselfish public service.
“We’ll continue to back local education, do fund raisers and support charitable cases in times of hardship or disasters,” Clark stated. He has been a Mason for two decades and this is his first duty as Worshipful Master.
Across the country, the Masons raise more than $3.1 million a year for hospitals, education and charities, Clark stated. In civilian life, he is a self-employed oil and gas consultant.
Outgoing Worshipful Master Bill Lewis, from the podium, called out the future officers and Treasurer Greg Murphy escorted each to the middle of the assembly room. The men stood, then were seated in a crescent as Lewis challenged Clark to “Be a good man and true [and] submit to the awards and resolutions of your brethren and in every case consistent with the Constitutions of the Order.”
Additional Lodge officers installed were:
• Tim Boaze as Senior Warden, whose insignia is the level; and Josh Slagle as Junior Warden, who will wear the plumb. The duties of both men include keeping harmony and courtesies among members at Lodge meetings and public events
• Kerry Kilgore, Secretary, with the crossed quills; and Phil Patterson, Chaplain, the open Holy Bible
• Josh Weatherford, Senior Deacon; and Justin Windham, Junior Deacon, square and compasses. They will see to the goings-on and care of the Lodge, and receive and assist visitors
• Dee Zimmerman, Senior Steward; and Ben Middlebrooks, Junior Steward, the horn of plenty. Each will assist the Deacons and prepare and serve refreshments at suppers
• Doug Messer, Marshall, crossed batons; and Dereck Borders, master of ceremonies, crossed swords. Their task is to help the Senior Deacon with future Lodge candidates along Masonic traditions.
• Bret Conway who was absent, is Musician. His insignia is a Lyre.
Lewis will wear the sword of Tiler. He will keep Masonic protocol, inter-lodge relations and preserve Lodge values. Murphy remains Treasurer.
All the new officers were permitted to address the audience after the installation. Conway, Kilgore, Lewis, Messer and Murphy are former Post Masters.
Traditional Masonic tools and rules – the Holy Writings, square, compasses, rule, line, Book of Constitutions, charter and by-laws – were displayed and their symbolisms described during the installation.
Worshipful Masters are the sole members permitted to wear hats inside. After the brotherly transfer of positions, Clark donned a hat and Lewis doffed his.
A few of Danville Masonic Lodge projects, described former Post Master John Slagle, “Are donations to various charitable organizations, our annual Lamar Award for education at Kilgore and Sabine High Schools, helping families at Christmas and our Community Builder’s Award to non-Masons for service to the community.”
This year’s Community Builder is Kilgore barber Micah Shannon, who received his honor on July 12.
“And there’s the Fantastic Teeth Program, where we give first graders dental care packages. Sometimes we give up to 300 packages a year,” Slagle added.
Danville Lodge 101 has over 200 members and was chartered in 1852 in Danville Community. Its original location is the site of present-day Danville Presbyterian Church.
Danville is part of Masonic District 10A of which Hallsville, Harleton, Longview, Marshall, Pine Tree and Waskom Lodges are members. Weldon Pittman Jr., District Deputy Grand Master of District 10A, was present at Danville’s installation. The state’s Grand Lodge is in Waco.