It has been my highest honor and privilege to serve you as Grand Master. While I have so many memories and experiences from this year, it will be the relationships that I have had the opportunity to develop with so many Outstanding Masons throughout the State which I will reflect upon for the rest of my life. Each of you have made… Read more
Edit: Committee Chairmen May attend as well. Chairmen are asked to have their reports to the Grand Secretary by (preferably before) 15 Oct 2020.
To the Brethren of Alabama,
As we continue to live in the COVID-19 world, your Grand Lodge officers are constantly monitoring the national, state, and local events to ensure we are conforming to the guidelines established by President Trump, Governor Ivey and our local community leadership here in Alabama. There have been many questions concerning our Annual Communication in November and because we have cancelled and/or rescheduled so many Masonic events already this year, I feel that it is important for our Fraternity to have a Grand Lodge Session. However, I also feel very strongly that we cannot just engage in “business as usual” and maintain all of the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of our Brethren. As such, the general attendance at Grand Lodge this year will be restricted to one member per lodge. This will reduce the expected attendance by several hundred Brethren. Each of the attendees can proxy all four votes for your respective lodges so every lodge will have fair and equal representation at the Session and we will be in full compliance with the Constitution, Resolutions and Edicts of the Grand Lodge. Also, the schedule will be abbreviated to ensure we conduct the required business of our Fraternity and minimize the risk to all. We will not have the Committee on Work Workshop and Divine Service on Sunday afternoon. We will not have the Exemplification of the Work by the Committee on Work and District Lecturers on Monday. We will not have the traditional Hospitality Suite for the attendees. Registration with the Credentials Committee will be from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Monday and 7:00 am to 12:00 noon on Tuesday. The first event will be the Grand Master’s Banquet on Monday evening. The 2020 Grand Lodge Session will begin at 0900 on Tuesday morning. We will be focused on ensuring we make the most productive use of our time together. At this time, we do not plan to have any activities on Wednesday morning. Our intent is to complete all of the business on Tuesday, conduct the elections of the Grand Lodge officers, and have the installation Tuesday evening. The ballroom is large enough to spread everyone out and by limiting the Session to one full day, this will provide the minimum amount of exposure possible.
This will be the 200th Grand Lodge Session of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Alabama. Brethren, this is most definitely not how I wanted this Annual Communication to occur. We had planned to make this a “Session to Remember” and although it will bear no resemblance to events we had originally prepared, I am confident that none of us will ever forget the 2020 Annual Communication. If you have any questions and/or concerns, please contact me at any time and we will work together to make the best decisions for Masonry in Alabama.
Jon Michael Taylor
It has been a long, strange, trip during the last three months. The world we live in today is very different from where we began in March 2020. We have spent an unusual amount of time secluded in our homes and the constant use of facemasks and hand sanitizer have become an important part of our daily routines. Although the COVID-19 situation has not been completely resolved, we have begun to return to some sense of normalcy. Since June 1st, I have attended several degrees and conferences; as well as presenting eight 50 Year pins. During each of these events, all appearances indicate that at least in the Lodge, we are very close to where we started. Our Ritual remains unchanged and it appears that wherever I travel, the Brethren are truly enjoying the sincere Fellowship and Brotherly Love that our Fraternity facilitates. And I have partaken in some of the best meals that I have had during my Masonic journey during the past month.
I cannot Thank each of you enough for the patience, understanding, and encouragement that has been extended to myself and all of your Grand Lodge Officers as we have striven to make the best decisions for the health and wellness of all our Brethren and their families, and to do everything we can to continue to resource and support our Lodges. We have been unified in purpose and effort; and your support has been essential to our endurance during this period of uncertainty and unpredictability.
As we are beginning a new Masonic year with new leadership teams in place throughout the state, we are in a great position to revitalize our efforts in diffusing light and imparting Masonic knowledge. Our internet Committee has done an Outstanding job providing constant communication to all of the Brethren in Alabama through our website and the E-Mason e-mail system. I simply cannot Thank them enough for what they do every day for our Fraternity. I strongly encourage you to visit our Events Page on the Grand Lodge website. The committee updates this page daily and there are many events being posted. If you have the opportunity, attend a degree at a nearby Lodge or attend a Masonic Conference. Your presence supporting these important events will help us tremendously as we continue to Open Alabama Freemasonry back up.
As we continue to move forward, we will closely monitor the situation in Alabama and follow the guidance and direction of Governor Ivey and her medical advisors. However, as I have stated before, the situation is not consistent throughout the State. What may be the best course of action for a Lodge in Tarrant may not be the most prudent course of action for the lodges in Mobile. As such, it is imperative that the Worshipful Masters of the respective lodges in Alabama rule and govern to the best of their ability with the primary goals of health and safety in mind. As we move forward as a State-wide Fraternity, each Lodge will be faced with significant decisions. If you have any questions and/or concerns, please contact me at any time and we will work together to make the best decision for Masonry. As long as we have the best interest of our Brethren and our Lodges in mind, the Worshipful Masters in Alabama will always have my full and unwavering support.
Finally Brethren, be of one mind, live in peace. Let nothing disturb that pure warm, and holy love which our ritual enjoins. I am very Proud to be an Alabama Mason and I am extremely Proud to serve each of you as we strive together to persevere through these unprecedented times.
In conformity with her directive and with the safety and well-being of all of the Brethren in mind, I have decided to… Read more
We are at the half-way point of the state-wide stay-at-home order from Governor Ivey. I sincerely hope each of you remain unaffected by this virus which has drastically changed our daily lives. As we are now in the fifth week of COVID-19, I truly miss attending Lodge and being with my Brothers. Like so many things in life, it is very easy to take the Lodge for granted. I have been attending my lodge each Monday night for thirty years. I have also been visiting many different lodges on other nights and most Saturdays for many years. Now that there are no regularly scheduled lodge meetings during the COVID-19 event, it seems almost surreal. In March, we were attending multiple degrees each week and visiting other Grand Jurisdictions and then suddenly, everything halted. There is definitely a void in my life now. Not just attending the meetings and conferring degrees (which I enjoy very much), but the most important part is spending time with men to whom I have become so very close and truly enjoy their company. Also, the many opportunities we have to sit down together and break the bread of fellowship as we confer, with great proficiency, the Masonic Knife and Fork Degree. I look forward with great anticipation to being able to visit with my Brethren in the near future and renewing our dedication to our Great Fraternity.
I would also encourage each of us to take care of one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am sure there are some Brethren among us who may need some relief during this time and we should give as liberally as we can without injury to ourselves. I would like to give a personal example of a Brother taking care of a Brother. Completely separate from the COVID-19 crisis, the severe storms and tornados that hit Alabama on Easter Sunday impacted many of our Brothers and my home in Blount County was in the path of the damage. As many of you know, my Dad and I live next door to each other in beautiful downtown Remlap, Alabama. While our houses did not suffer any damage and all of us were unharmed, we did lose power from Sunday until Tuesday evening. I am working in Montgomery in support of the COVID-19 response and my family as well as my parents remained in Remlap. My wife, Aletha, posted her status on Facebook and completely unsolicited, our Right Worshipful Grand Historian, Brother Steve Rusk, drove from Mount Olive to Remlap and brought a generator to power our freezer to prevent any loss of food. I cannot express how much I appreciate RW Brother Steve doing this for us. However, his unselfish actions are indicative of what so many of you do each day. You Live Masonry. Freemasonry is so many things to so many people, but one of the basic tenets of our Brotherhood is taking care of each other in a time of need. Always remember, as Entered Apprentices, we are taught that the Tenets of our Order are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. Let these Principles be the focus of all our efforts during the remainder of April. I pray you and your family remain safe and healthy until we are able to meet again.
I authorize the Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, and/or Junior Warden, along with the Treasurer and Secretary, to conduct the business of the Lodge… Read more
To All the Brethren of Alabama:
As a result of the current COVID-19 crisis, we have entered uncharted territory in our Nation, State, local communities and our Masonic fraternity. The President has declared a National state of emergency which has altered all of our daily activities. Because of this, if a Worshipful Master determines that it is in the best interest of his lodge and his brethren to suspend Masonic activities, he will have my full support. I realize this is not the normal way we conduct our business, but these are not normal times. When the national state of emergency has ended, we will revert to our normal operating procedures stated in our constitution, resolutions and edicts. Rest assured that your Grand Lodge Officers are monitoring this situation closely and as new information arises, we will respond accordingly. Our number 1 priority is the health and safety of our brethren. If you have any questions or concerns call me at any time. My number is 205-276-5348.
Brethren, I am a strong proponent of wearing our Masonic insignia every day. Many of us wear rings with the Square and Compasses on them. Some wear Masonic lapel pins and other jewelry items. We also proudly display our distinctive Alabama Freemasonry car tags which demonstrates to anyone… Read more
On Saturday, January 18th, 2020, the Grand Lodge Corporate Board met in Montgomery to administer the business of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Alabama. During this meeting, Most Worshipful Past Grand Master Ron Andress informed the board of some recent medical procedures he has endured and as a result of this and his several additional Fraternal commitments, he felt it necessary to tender his resignation as the Grand Treasurer of our Grand Lodge. It was with a sincere heavy heart that we accepted his resignation. MW Brother Andress has faithfully served our Grand Lodge in many capacities over the years but his time as Grand Treasurer has been truly remarkable. During his tenure, our Grand Lodge has remained financially sound and our Charitable Endowment is one of the most solvent in the nation. I have often joked that MW Brother Ron treated the Grand Lodge finances like it was his own money. But Brethren, that is exactly what we want in a Grand Treasurer. We should always seek a person who will ensure that our finances are well-guarded and that the budgets approved by the Brethren are adhered to and not over-executed. MW Brother Andress has performed these duties in an exemplary manner and deserves the respect and admiration of each Brother in this State. On behalf of the Corporate Board and the Craft wherever dispersed, I offer MW Brother Ron Andress our sincere appreciation for a job Extremely Well-Done!
As Grand Master, it is my responsibility to appoint a well-qualified Brother to serve the remainder of MW Brother Andress’s term as Grand Treasurer. After much thought and consideration, and with the consent of the Corporate Board, I have appointed Brother Zachary Allen Holmes to serve as Grand Treasurer for the remainder of this Masonic Term of Office. I have known Brother Zach for several years and he has my complete trust, faith, and confidence. I have served with him as a District Lecturer and I know first-hand his dedication to our Fraternity and the Brethren of Alabama. He graduated from Auburn University in 2004 and has served as the Mayor of Loachapoka, Alabama where he has been responsible for the financial planning and budget execution for the municipality. He is active in the York Rite and is a 32 Degree KCCH Scottish Rite Mason in the Montgomery Valley. Based on his formal education and real-world fiscal experience, I am confident he will serve us well in this most important capacity. Please join me in congratulating Brother Zach Holmes on his appointment as the Right Worshipful Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of Alabama.
Another Christmas has come and gone. As I sit in my chair near the Christmas Tree sipping coffee with my dog in my lap, I watch the twinkling lights and gaze upon the numerous ornaments which decorate it. In the quietness of this moment, I find myself reflecting on the numerous memories embodied in this tree and am reminded of so many Christmases past…. Read more