Freemason EmblemFreemasonry is the oldest and largest world wide fraternity dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of a Supreme Being. Although of a religious nature, Freemasonry is not a religion. It urges its members, however, to be faithful and devoted to their own religious beliefs.

The fraternity is governed by sovereign bodies called "Grand Lodges" or "Grand Orients". Every region's Grand Lodge is completely independent. There is no central authority of freemasonry, no "Grand Lodge of the United States" or "Grand Lodge of the World".

For a variety of reasons, Freemasonry has many impersonators. Masons often refer to these organizations as "clandestine". True Freemasons are forbidden from even visiting these lodges. Unfortunately, the public perception has historically received any body calling itself "Freemason" as authentic or "regular" masonry. The vast number of impostors led to the development of a system of recognition. In order for a lodge to be "regular" it must be recognized by a regular lodge, and all authentic Freemasons must have originated from such a lodge. There are no exceptions to this rule. All regular lodges adhere to the requirements below.

The Work of the Lodge

The "lodge" (sometimes nostalgically referred to as "temple") refers to the building in which Freemasons meet, or to the members of a given chapter of masons. Masonic lodges serve two groups.

The first group is the members of said lodge. Lodge meetings serve as the perfect medium for members of the craft to enjoy the company of the brethren, to socialize, coordinate, organize, and assist each other. Generally, lodge meetings are closed to non-masons.

The second group the lodge serves is the community in which it resides. Masonic lodges are beacons of charity, extending a helping hand to all mankind. Lodges raise money to fund school programs, local services, shelters, children, etc. Service to other members of the human family is a virtue inherent in any man who is truly a mason.

Membership in the Fraternity

Freemasonry is quite selective in who is admitted into our ranks. However, one of the least known aspects of membership in the lodge is that membership is never solicited. Kentucky masons are forbidden from asking anyone to join the lodge. In order to petition membership, one must approach an existing member of the lodge and ask on his own.

In order to be admitted into a Kentucky lodge of Freemasons, the candidate must be in possession of the following requirements:

  • Profess a belief in one all-knowing, all-powerful Supreme Being - we do not ask who one believes that to be
  • Be a man
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Must not have been previously convicted of a felony
  • Be of sound mind and body - this does not mean you may not be physically handicapped, many are
  • Hold a favorable opinion in the community

History of Freemasonry

The original origins of Freemasonry are obscure at best. Historians continue to speculate on the foundations of the lodge, but to this day, no single theory is universally accepted. What we do know for certain is that in 1717, four masonic lodges, which had been meeting regularly in London, united to form the first Grand Lodge of England.

Since the chartering of the Grand Lodge of England, Freemasonry has grown to approximately three million members. The fraternity boasts names such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson, Paul Revere, Franklin Roosevelt, John Wayne, Amadeus Mozart, Barry Goldwater, and the names of so many more influential men in history that it would be impossible to construct an effective list here. If you are interested in famous names in the history of Freemasonry, Masonic Info has put together quite a comprehensive list of famous Freemasons.