Arlis Richard Fant was born December 8, 1915, in Hamilton, Marion County, Alabama, the son of Donis A. and Ola Clark Fant. He was educated in the public schools of Marion County, Alabama. A welder by trade, he is now serving as Business Representative for the International Association of Machinists, Birmingham and Jefferson County, Alabama, Area.
He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Bessemer and has served as Deacon, Superintendent of his Sunday School Department, and is now President of the Men’s Bible Class and serves as a substitute teacher.
Mr. Fant married Miss Fannie Lou Holiday of Columbus, Mississippi, January 9, 1939. They have one daughter, Brenda Joyce Fant Taylor of Bessemer.
His Masonic record has been one of activity. He was Initiated in Brighton Lodge 595, Brighton, Alabama, May 15, 1945; Passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft May 30, 1945; and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, June 5, 1945, and subsequently served the offices of Deacon, Wardens, and was Worshipful Master of his home Lodge in 1949 and 1950. He received his Capitular Degree in Bessemer Chapter No. 110, Royal Arch Masons, and served as High Priest in 1960-61. He received the Cryptic Degree in Woodlawn Council No. 71 in 1959. He is a member of Bessemer Commandery No. 35, and is the Generalissimo of his Commandery at this time. He is a member of Birmingham Scottish Rite Consistory, Zamora Temple Shrine, the” Fairfield Shrine Club, and the Order of the Eastern Star, Brighton Chapter No. 187. He served as Assistant District Lecturer in District 13-A in 1949-50, 1955-56-57, and Lecturer of the District in 1950-52. In November, 1958, he was elected Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden, regularly advanced to Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden, Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, and on November 22, 1961, was elected and installed Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Alabama, and is probably the youngest Grand Master of our State to assume office.
Brother Fant has worked tirelessly, faithfully and fruitfully in all of his assignments in Masonry at the constituent lodge level, among the neighboring lodges and in his Grand Lodge service, appointive and elective. Possessed of friendly and delightful personality, he loves and enjoys the company of his brethren and is always ready to give of his time, talents and substance and thereby enjoys an enviable reputation and position of respect throughout this Grand Jurisdiction as well as adjoining ones. He also enjoys the reputation of doing things and getting things done in. a pleasant and successful manner, and we doubt not that his year as Grand Master will be marked with efficiency and accomplishment.