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How to Become a Mason?

question58Want to know more on how to become a Freemason? The simple answer is to find a lodge near you and ask a Mason to petition. For a more detailed understanding of the process, click here  …

Find a Lodge Near You

pin71You can find a Masonic Lodge near your area with our Lodge Locator Tool. Non-Masons can use it to find a Lodge to petition, and Masons can use it to find a lodge to visit when in a new area. 

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Contact Us

phonePhone: (478) 742-1475
E-mail address: gsec@glofga.org

Joining the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons requires that a man, of his own free will, petition a Masonic Lodge for the Degrees in Masonry. No Georgia Mason should ever ask you to join our fraternity.

Below are the general steps that a man seeking membership in Freemasonry may consider. Lodges will likely have their own procedures, but this will help you get started and give you a better understanding of the process.

ASK FOR INFORMATION

If you know a Mason, ask him about the fraternity. Don’t be shy; we love talking to those interested in Masonry. If you don’t know a Mason, you can use the Lodge Directory to find a lodge near you and contact them.

VISIT THE LODGE

Try to find out if there is a good time for you to visit the lodge. Take this as an opportunity to meet some of the members and ask questions. Don’t be intimidated; they’ll be happy to see you. Most lodges have dinner before their regular stated meetings (meetings usually occur monthly) and guests are almost always welcome. In many areas, more than one lodge may exist. Visit as many as you can, get a feeling for the lodges you visit, and pick the one that best meets your needs.

REQUEST A PETITION

Request a petition from a Mason or from the lodge you would like to join. Your petition will require the signature of several Masons. If you don’t know any Masons, ask the lodge you’re petitioning for advice.

SUBMIT YOUR PETITION

Turn in your completed petition to the lodge you would like to join. Ask if there are any fees that need to accompany the petition. Your petition will be received by the lodge and will be read during a stated meeting.

Now that the lodge has your petition, these are the actions you can expect the lodge to take:

THE INVESTIGATION

The Worshipful Master of the lodge you submitted your petition to will assign three members of the lodge to interview you and investigate your background. The investigators may want to meet with you at home. There is a standard set of questions that all investigators must ask, but many will ask additional questions. Be honest with the investigators. No Mason is perfect, and we don’t expect petitioners to be perfect, either.

THE BALLOT

Your investigators will be given a deadline by which to return their completed investigation reports to the lodge. Their reports along with their recommendation will be read to the lodge at a stated meeting. At this time, the Master of the lodge will usually call for a ballot to be taken on your petition. Eligible Masons will then vote on your petition and the outcome of the ballot will be announced to the lodge.

AFTER THE BALLOT

Soon after the stated meeting, a member of the lodge should contact you with the outcome of the ballot and provide you with additional instructions.

FIND A LODGE NEAR YOU

"Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, educational and religious society. Its principles are proclaimed as widely as men will hear. Its only secrets are in its methods of recognition and of symbolic instruction.

It is charitable in that it is not organized for profit and none of its income insures to the benefit of any individual, but all is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind.

It is benevolent in that it teaches and exemplifies altruism as a duty.

It is educational in that it teaches by prescribed ceremonies a system of morality and brotherhood based upon the Sacred Law.

It is religious in that it teaches monotheism; the Volume of the Sacred Law is open upon its altars whenever a Lodge is in session; reverence for God is ever present in its ceremonial, and to its brethren are constantly addressed lessons of morality; yet it is not sectarian or theological.

It is a social organization only so far as it furnishes additional inducement that men may foregather in numbers, thereby providing more material for its primary work of education, of worship and of charity.

Through the improvement and strengthening of the character of the individual man, Freemasonry seeks to improve the community. Thus it impresses upon its members the principles of personal righteousness and personal responsibility, enlightens them as to those things which make for human welfare, and inspires them with the feeling of charity or good will toward all mankind which will move them to translate principle and conviction into action.

To that end it teaches and stands for the worship of God; truth and justice; fraternity and philanthropy; enlightenment and orderly liberty, civil, religious and intellectual. It charges each of its members to be true and loyal to the government of the country to which we owe allegiance and to be obedient to the law of any in which we may be.

Believing these things, this Grand Lodge affirms its continued adherence to that ancient and approved rule of Freemasonry which forbids the discussion in Masonic meetings of creeds, politics or other topics likely to excite personal animosities.

The true Freemason will act in civil life according to his individual judgement and the dictates of his conscience."

Freemasonry is a fraternity. Its membership is restricted to men, but there is no hazing as is found in some college fraternities. The Masonic Order is a serious group. It exists to take good men and help them to become better men. Thus, it is not a reform society. It does not exist to reform criminals, nor would such persons benefit from its teachings.

Variously known as Freemasonry, Masonry, or The Craft, the beginnings of our fraternity are lost to history. Although Masonry is believed to be the oldest surviving fraternal organization in the world, the exact date of its founding is uncertain. Freemasonry can, however, be easily traced to sixteenth century Scotland, although the first Masonic governing body was not founded until 1717 in London. The oldest Masonic document, the Regius poem, dates to around 1390 A.D. We know of no Masonry prior to that date. Somewhere between 1390 and 1717 lodges of operative masons began to accept as members men who did not work in the building trade. Eventually whole lodges composed of such persons arose, leading to a transition from lodges being composed of stone masons to lodges being composed of men from other occupations who gathered and shared a ritual replete with allusions to carpentry, architecture, and stone masonry.

In 1717, four of these lodges in England met and formed the first Grand Lodge. Grand Lodge is a Masonic body having jurisdiction over the lodges within a certain geographical area. Each state has its own Grand Lodge. Also the District of Columbia has its own Grand Lodge.

Symbolic, Craft, or Blue Lodge Masonry has three degrees. The three degrees are, in order: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. In early Speculative Masonry there was only one degree. Later a two-degree system developed and finally the three-degree system of today evolved and was firmly in place by around 1760 A.D.

Masonic ApronA “degree” is a drama in which a newcomer to Masonry, the candidate, is made to play a key part. These dramas have several characteristics and are progressive in nature, that is, they build on each other. These dramas are enacted with only Masons being present and are for the purpose of moral instruction. A unique characteristic of each Masonic degree is an “obligation” taken by the candidate. The obligation is an oath taken for the purpose of instructing the candidate in his Masonic duty.

The three degrees have a biblical basis. Much biblical imagery is used in the ritual of the degrees. The central biblical image used in Masonic ritual is that of the building of King Solomon’s Temple, as meticulously described for us in the Old Testament books of I Kings and II Chronicles. Whenever a Masonic lodge is in session, the Holy Bible is open upon the lodge’s  Holy altar.

Masonry does require of its adherents a belief in God and in life after death, though it asks no one to expound upon the particulars of his understanding of those two beliefs. There is some memory work the candidate must learn after each degree is conferred upon him. He has a set amount of time to learn the catechism, that is, a set of questions and answers, and to recite them before the lodge members at a lodge meeting.

Masonry is not a religion. There is nothing in Freemasonry to interfere with a man’s religious life. Persons of all faiths and Christian denominations are a part of the worldwide Masonic fraternity. Religion and politics are two subjects not allowed to be discussed when a lodge is in session.

Masonry teaches the importance of helping the less fortunate. It especially stresses care for the widows and orphans of Masons. Indeed, most Grand Lodges have within their jurisdiction a home for aged Masons, their wives and widows, and also a home for Masonic orphans. In the U.S.A. alone, all branches of Masonry combined provide over of $1.5 million of charitable aid per DAY!

Masonry asks its candidates not to tell the details of its ritual to non-Masons. This is not because Masonry is ashamed of anything. It is because an element of secrecy serves to heighten interest in Masonic teaching. It is also because most people would not benefit from being introduced to Masonic teachings out of the context of the Masonic degree system.

Why do Masons keep their rituals a secret? For the same reason that the ancient stonemasons kept their trade secrets. Their secrecy helped to maintain a better quality of work. Our secrecy today helps us to make a good man better. It is difficult to believe that the secrets of Masonry are evil when you consider the heritage of Masonry that includes a long list of influential leaders such as Paul Revere, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Douglas MacArthur, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston. It is difficult to believe that the secrets of Masonry are evil when you see so many Masons working as a vital part of every community to provide better churches, better schools and better governments. It is difficult to look into the eyes of a little child in a Shrine Hospital and say the secrets of Masonry are evil. If we really believe the biblical teaching, “by their fruits ye shall know them” then we must believe that the secrets of Masonry really do help to make a good man better.

The influence of Masonry is like the influence of the home and the influence of the church. It does not produce perfect human beings. Despite the best efforts of the home there has never been a perfect child. Despite the best efforts of the church there has never been a perfect Christian. Despite the best efforts of Masonry there has never been a perfect Mason. Nevertheless there is a place for all these in our society. Man’s basic nature is such that he needs every good influence he can get. He needs the powerful influence of a good home. He needs powerful influence of a dedicated church made up of dedicated believers. He needs the influence of dedicated teachers in the public schools. But, when it is all said and done, it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra push that comes from civic organizations, from professional organizations and from fraternal organizations. 

 

A band of English colonists under the leadership of General James Edward Oglethorpe, British soldier, statesman and humanitarian, arrived on the west bank of the Savannah River on February 12, 1733. This was the birth of the English Province of Georgia, the last of the Thirteen Colonies. Georgia was the southwestern frontier of British America for many years.

Grand Lodge sealIn the same year, December 13, 1733, the Grand Lodge of England at its Quarterly Communication in London adopted a resolution to "collect the Charity of this Society towards enabling the Trustees (of Georgia) to send distressed Brethren to Georgia where they may be comfortably provided for...that it be strenuously (sic) recommended by the Masters and Wardens of regular Lodges to make a generous collection amongst all their Members for that purpose..."

Some three months later, February 21, 1734, a Lodge of Freemasons was organized at Savannah under the "old Customs" (without warrant). Noble Jones, intimate friend of James Oglethorpe, was initiated on that date, the first Freemason made in Georgia. On December 2, 1735, the Lodge was warranted by the Grand Lodge of England and entered on the engraved list as "The Lodge at Savannah in Ye Province of Georgia". It was assigned number 139 on the register of English Lodges. By 1770 its number had been reduced to No. 63 and by 1792 it was No. 46, although no longer an English Lodge.

The Lodge at Savannah changed its name in or prior to 1770 to Solomon's Lodge. In 1774 and 1775, respectively, the Grand Lodge of England warranted two more Lodges in Savannah, Unity No. 465 and Grenadiers No. 481. Both Lodges died an early death.

Except for that brief period, Solomon's Lodge was the only Lodge in Georgia from 1734 until 1785. Solomon's Lodge was the second duly constituted Lodge in America, next only to a Lodge in Boston warranted in 1733. Solomon's Lodge is the Mother Lodge of Georgia.

Serving as Provincial Grand Masters in Georgia were: Grey Elliott, 1760 until he was succeeded in 1771 by Noble Jones. Brother Jones served until his death in 1775. Sometime during the War for independence, Samuel Elbert, American soldier and later Governor of Georgia, was "elected" Provincial Grand Master. On December 15, 1786, Brother Elbert resigned as Provincial Grand Master so that the independent Grand Lodge of Georgia might be formed.

A group of dissident Freemasons in Savannah, disapproving the workings of Solomon's Lodge, petitioned the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1784 for a charter to organize a Lodge. Their petition was granted by Pennsylvania on March 31, 1785, the Lodge being listed on Pennsylvania's register as no. 42, to be known as Hiram Lodge, Savannah, Georgia.

In the true spirit of Freemasonry the differences between the two Lodges were soon reconciled. In the following year it is known that two additional Lodges existed in the state, one at Augusta and one at Washington. It is believed these four Lodges, on December 16, 1786, met together and created the most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Georgia. William Stephens, Past Master of Solomon's Lodge, now No. 1, and the first U.S. Court Judge in Georgia, was elected and installed Grand Master.

The next eight Lodges in Georgia were: Columbia No. 3, Augusta; St. Louis No. 4, Washington; Washington No. 5, Washington; St. John's No. 6, Sunbury; Little River No. 7, Little River; St. Patrick's No. 8, Waynesboro; St. George's No. 9, Kiokas; Union No. 10, Savannah.

With the exception of Solomon's No. 1, all of the above Lodges are extinct. Social Lodge, originally No. 18, Augusta, Georgia, now also No. 1, was chartered in December, 1799. Georgia has 451 Lodges and 72,451 members (as of October, 1997).

Freemasonry has existed continuously in Georgia since 1734. The Grand Lodge of Georgia, F. & A. M., has existed since 1786.

The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the of Georgia was incorporated with perpetual duration on February 6, 1796, by an Act of the General Assembly of Georgia passed for that purpose, and has been delivered down to the present day.

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The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Georgia at its Annual Communication on October 27, 2015, adopted a provision amending the Masonic Code of Georgia regulating the conduct of its members.