Brother Underwood was born October 21, 1946, in Etowah Co., Alabama to Harold Wesley and Annie Katherine Gilbert Underwood. He was reared in and around Hokes Bluff and Gadsden, Alabama and attended public schools in those cities. Bro. Underwood entered Civil Service with the Department of the Army at the Anniston Army Depot in September, 1966. He furthered his education with the Dept. of the Army and held numerous and varied positions during his career. Over half of his career was spent in various levels of management. Bro. Underwood took voluntary early retirement as a Production Management Specialist November 2, 1995, and was elected into the Alabama Grand Lodge line just 14 days later. For many years he and his wife Linda have been active members of Lakeview Baptist Church in Southside, Alabama, where they presently reside. They have two sons, Perry and Allen. Allen is married and he and his wife Dawn presented the Underwood’s with their first grandchild, Jerry Naylor in June of 1998.
Bro. Underwood began his Masonic career by petitioning Glencoe Masonic Lodge #846 at Glencoe, Alabama, in July, 1974 and was raised a Master Mason on 26 August 1974. He served his lodge as Worshipful Master in June of 1976 and as Secretary from June 1992 until June 1998. His first Grand Lodge appointment was Assistant District Lecturer of District 8a in November, 1976. Since that time he served as Grand Lodge lecturer for five years. He served on the Grand Lodge Committee on Work for seven years and as Chairman of that Committee in 1993. He was appointed a member of the Grand Lodge Entertainment Committee in 1985. He served the Grand Lodge as Senior Grand Deacon in 1979-80 and as Grand Marshall in 1983-84. Bro. Underwood was elected Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Alabama in November, 1995 and progressed through the Grand Line to the honor of being chosen by his peers to serve as Grand Master of Masons for the State of Alabama in November 1998.
Bro. Underwood has been a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Bodies in the Valley of Birmingham, Alabama since May of 1977. He became a member of the York Rite Bodies in Gadsden, Alabama in April 1986. He is also a charter member of the Emrys W. John York Rite College #179 of Birmingham, Alabama. He became a member of Zamora Shrine Temple in Birmingham, Alabama in June, 1981, and belongs to the Knights of Mecca Unit.
Bro. Underwood holds membership in the Past Masters Club, The Square and Compass Club of Etowah County Alabama. He is presently serving as Associate Patron of Glencoe Chapter #466 Order of the Eastern Star. He also holds membership in the Philalethes Society, the National Sojourners, Inc. Chapter #365 and Southern California Research Lodge #1005.
Bro. Underwood holds the honor of being unanimously elected by the 63 Grand Masters of the Conference of Grand Masters of North America to serve as Chairman of that august body in 1999. The Grand Masters of North America elected him to this position at the 1998 Conference held in Philadelphia, PA.