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"In great deeds something abides.  On great fields something stays.  Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls.  And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream; and lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls."
October 3, 1886 - Bro. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 20th Maine memorial dedication at Gettysburg, 25 years after the battle.


An ancient fraternity dedicated to friendship, morality, and brotherly love.

It is NOT...

- A Religion - although to become a Mason, a man must believe in a supreme being.

- A Charity - even though Masons contribute considerable to worthwhile charities

- A Subversive Organization - a Mason must be a peaceful, law-abiding citizen.

- A Political Party or Action Group - although you will find prominent Masons leading our government.

Freemasonry neither interferes with religion or politics.  Freemasonry strives to teach a man the duty he owes to his God, his neighbor, and himself.

What Do Masons Do?

Enjoy Brotherhood - through social functions and group activities.

Build their lives and character - just as a carpenter builds a house.

Quietly volunteer considerable time and money to Charities.

What Do Masons Believe?

Although Freemasonry recognizes each man is different, there are certain traits all Masons have in common:

-Masons believe in the existence of God.  No atheist can become a Mason.  Masons do not care what your individual faith is.  Masons include Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.

-Masons believe in responsibility, honor, morality, and ethics.

-Masons believe the world should be a better place because we passed through it.

-Masons believe a person should strive to be a good citizen and that we have a moral duty to be true to the country which we live, and uphold and maintain the principles of good government.

-Masons see brotherhood as a form of wisdom, a sort of bond that holds men together.  A private friendship that tells us we owe it to each other to be just in our dealings.

Who Are Masons?

All walks of life and professions: Business Leaders, Entertainers, Inventers, Designers, Founders, Kings, Military Leaders, Pioneers, Explorers, Political Leaders, Sports Figures, Writers, Patriots, Presidents, Judges, Justices. Your Neighbor!

All religions, all races, all socioeconomic classes (blue collar and white collar).

Freemasonry is an international society, with Lodges and Brotherhood around the world.

Who Can Become A Mason?

Men of the age 21 or older who:

1. Believe in the existence of one ever-living and true God.

2. Have never plead guilty or been convicted of any crime.

3. Do not believe in the overthrow of the government which they live by force or affiliation, or has been a member of an organization who advocates the same.

Freemasonry will also entail certain financial obligations which you should be able to discharge without detriment to yourself or those dependent on you.  In addtion to the fees payable on your entrance, there will be annual dues for the support of your Lodge.

What Is A Masonic Lodge?

A Masonic Lodge (also known as 'Temple' or 'Blue Lodge') is the cornerstone of Masonic society.  It is a place where local Masons gather to conduct meetings, perform fraternal ceremonies, and hold social functions.  There are about 13,200 such lodges in the U.S.

A Masonic Lodge is governed by a set of officers:

-Worshipful Master (President)

-Senior Warden (Senior VP)

-Junior Warden (Junior VP)



-Deacons (Messengers)

-Stewards (to serve refreshment)

Once you have become a Mason, you can visit other Lodges.

How Do You Become A Mason?

To become a good and bright Mason, it is necessary that a Man be of sound mind and retentive memory.  There are three symbolic degrees to learn to becoming a Mason.  These degrees represent lessons of Masonry.

1. Entered Apprentice (EA) - beginner

2. Fellowcraft (FC) - intermediate

3. Master Mason (MM) - expert

How do I begin?

To be one, ask one!  Simply ask a Mason and he will help you begin the process. The steps include:

1. First you must petition the Lodge of your choice.  Ask someone you know who is a Mason to sponsor you into the fraternity.  Have three references who know you to be of good morals and strong character.

2. Your petition is read in Lodge, the members vote on its acceptance and an investigation committee is formed.  A nominal entrance fee must accompany the petition; this will vary from Lodge to Lodge.

3. The investigation committee will contact you and your family to meet, go over your petition and ask questions of your character.

4. Approximately one month from the time your petition is accepted, the report of the investigation committee and your references, will be read in Lodge, and then the craft will ballot on final acceptance.

The Final Ballot Was Favorable:

1. You will then be invited to attend Lodge and be initiated an Entered Apprentice.

2. The Lodge will appoint an instructor who will teach you the meaning of the degree you have gone through.  After successfully presenting your proficiency, you advance to the Fellowcraft Degree and so on until you have completed all three degrees and have attained the sublime degree of Master Mason.


History of Freemasonry

Some people believe Freemasonry traces its roots to the building of King Solomon's temple.  No one really knows just how old it is because the actual origins have been lost in time. Probably, it arose from the guilds of stonemasons who built the castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Possibly, they were influenced by the Knights Templar, a group of Christian warrior monks formed in 1118 to help pilgrims making trips to the Holy Land.

In 1717, Masonry created a formal organization in England when the first Grand Lodge was formed.  Since then, Freemasonry has spread throughout the world and Grand Lodges have been opened in all of the United States and provinces of Canada.

Masonry played a key role in the founding of the United States.  Several founding fathers were strong Masons including: George Washington (Past Grand Master of Virginia), Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin (Past Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania), Nathan Hale, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, Ethan Allen, and John Paul Jones, not to mention France's Marquis de Lafeyette.  These forefathers embedded Masonic symbols and customs in the trappings of our government:e.g. the inauguration of officers, the 'all-seeing eye' on the U.S. dollar bill, the layout of buildings in our capitol.  Masonry is also a part of our vernacular, for example, 'on the level','past masters', are commonly found in our speech, even today.






The modes of RECOGNITION are, of all the Landmarks, the most legitimate and unquestioned.  They admit of no variation; and if ever they have suffered alteration or addition, the evil of such a violation of the ancient law has always made itself subsequently manifest.  .


THE DEVISION OF SYMBOLIC MASONRY INTO THREE DEGREES is a Landmark that has been better preserved than almost any other. In 1813, the Grand Lodge of England vindicated the ancient Landmark, by solumnly enacting that ancient craft Masonry consisted of the three degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fello Craft, and Master Mason, including the Holy Royal Arch; but the disruption has never been healed, and the Landmark, although acknowledged in its integrity by all, still continues to be violated.


The Legend of the THIRD DEGREE is an important Landmark, the integrity of which has been well preserved.  There is no rite in Masonry, practiced in any country or language, in which the essential elements of this legend are not taught. 


THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FRATERNITY BY A PRESIDING OFFICER called a Grand Master, who is elected from the body of the craft, is a Fourth Landmark of the Order. 


The prerogative of the Grand Master to preside over every assembly of the craft, wheresoever and whensoever held, is a fifth Landmark. 


The prerogative of the Grand Master to grant Dispensations for conferring degrees at irregular times, in another and a very important Landmark. 


The prerogative of the Grand Master to give dispensations for opening and holding Lodges is another Landmark. 


The prerogative of the Grand Master to make masons at sight, is a Landmark which is closely connected with the preceding one. 


The necessity of masons to congregate in lodges is another Landmark. 


The government of the craft, when so congregated in a Lodge by a Master and two Wardens, is also a Landmark. 


The necessity that every lodge, when congregated, should be duly tiled, is an important Landmark of the institution, which is never neglected.  The necessity of this law arises from the esoteric character of Masonry.  As a secret institution, its portals must of course be guarded from the intrusion of the profane, and such a law must therefore always have been in force from the very beginning of the Order.  It is therefore properly classed among the most ancient Landmarks. 


The right of every mason to be represented in all general meeting of the craft and to instruct his representative, is a twelfth Landmark. 


The Right of every mason to appeal from the decision of his brethren in Lodge convened, to the Grand Lodge or General Assembly of Masons, is a Landmark highly essential to the preservation of justice, and the prevention of oppression. 


THE RIGHT OF EVERY MASON TO VISIT and sit in every regular Lodge is an unquestionalbe Landmark of the Order.  This is call 'the right of visitation". 


It is a Landmark of the Order, that no visitor, unknown to the brethren present, or to some one of them a Mason, can enter a Lodge without first passing an examination according to ancient usage.  Of course, if the visitor is known to any brother present to be a Mason in good standing, and if the brother will vouch for his qualification, the examination may be dispensed with, as the Landmark refers only to the cases of strangers, who are not to be recognized unless after strict trial, due examination, or lawful information.


No Lodge can interfere in the business of another Lodge, nor give degrees to brethren who are members of other Lodges. 


It is a Landmark that every Freemason is Amenable to the Laws and Regulations of the masonic jurisdiction in which he resides, and this although he may not be a member of any Lodge.  Non-affiliation, which is, in fact in itself a Masonic offense, does not exempt a Mason from Masonic Jurisdiction.


Certain qualification of candidates for initiation are derived from a Landmark of the Order.  These qualifications are that he shall be a man, shall be unmutilated, free born, and of mature age.  This is to say, a woman, a cripple, or a slave, or one born in slavery, is disqualified into the rites of Masonry.  Statutes.


A belief in the existence of God as the GRAND ARCHITECT of the universe is one of the most important Landmarks of the Order.  It has been always deemed essential that a denial of the existence of a Supreme and Superintending Power, is an absolute disqualification for initiation. 


Sunsidiary to this belief in God, as a Landmark of the Order, is the belief in the resurrection to a future life. 


It is a Landmark that a 'Book of the Law' shall constitute and indispensible part of the furniture of every Lodge.  I say advisedly, a Book of the Law, because it is not absolutely required that everywhere the Old and New Testaments shall be used.  The 'Book of the Law' is that volume which, by the religion of the country, is believed to contain the revealed will of the Grand Arctitect of the universe.  Hence, in all Lodges in Christian countries, the Book of the Law is composed of the Old and New Testaments; in a country where Judaism was the prevailing faith, the Old Testament alone would be sufficient; and in Mohammedan countries, and among Mohammedan Masons the Koran might be substituted.  Masonry does not attempt to interfere with the peculiar religious faith of it disciples, except so far as relates to the belief in the existence of God,  and what necessarily results from that belief.  The Book of the Law is to the speculative Mason his spiritual Trestleboard; without this he cannot labor; whatever he believes to be the revealed will of the Grand Architect constitutes for him this spiritual Treestleboard, and must ever be before him in the hours of speculative labor, to be the rule and guide of his conduct.  The Landmark, therefore, requires that a Book of the Law, a religious code of some kind, purporting to be an exemplar of the revealed will of God, shall form an essential part of the furniture of every Lodge.


THE EQUALITY OF ALL MASONS is anothe Landmark of the Order. 


The secrecy of the institution is another and a most important Landmark.  There is some difficulty in precisely what is meant by a 'secret society'.  If the term refers, as perhaps in strictly logical language it should, to those associations whose designs are concealed from the public eye, and whose members are unknowing which produce their results in darkness, and whose operations are carefully hidden from the public gaze - a definition which will be appropriate to many political clubs and revolutionary combinations in despotice countries, where reform, if it is at all to be effected, must be effected by stealth - then clearly Freemasonry is not a secret society.  Its design is not only publicly proclaimed, but is vaunted by its disciples as something to be venerated; its disciples are known, for its membership is considered an honor to be coveted; its works for a result of which it boasts, the civilization, and reformation of his manners.  But if by a secret society is meant, and this is the most popular understanding of the term, a society in which there is a certain amount of knowledge, whether it be of methods of recognition, or of legendary and traditional learning, which is imported to those only who have passed through an established form of initiation, the form itself being so concealed or esoteric, then in this sense is Freemasonry undoubtedly a secret society.  Now this form of secrecy is a form inherent in it, existing whit it from its very foundation, and secured to it by its ancient Landmarks.  If divested of its secret character, it would lose its identity, and would cease to be Freemasonry, whatever objections may, therefore, be made to the institution, on account of its secrecy, and howevermuch some unskilled brethren have been willing in times of trial, for the sake of expediency, to divest it of its secret character, it will be ever impossible to do so, even where the Landmark not standing before us as an insurmountable obstacle; because such change of its character would be social suicide, and the death of the Order would follow its legalized exposure.  Freemasonry, as a secret association, has lived unchanged for centuries an open society it would not last for as many years.


The foundation of a Speculative Science upon an Operative Art, and the symbolic use and explanation of the terms of that art, for purposes of religious or moral teaching, constitute another Landmark of the Order. 

The last and crowning Landmark of all is, that these Landmarks can never be changed.  Nothing can be subtracted from them - nothing can be added to them - not the slightest modification can be made in them.  As they were received from our predecessors, we are bound by the most solemn obligations of duty to transmit them to our successors. Not one jot or one tittle of these unwritten laws can be repealed; for in respect to them, we are not only willing but compelled to adopt the language of the sturdy old barons of England - "Nolumus legen mutari".





Updated 21 March 2013


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1) Worshipful Master - Melvin J. Mason, Jr., PM, PGI

2) Senior Deacon - J. Paul Slayton, Jr.

3) Marshal - Alan B. Stephens, HPM

4) Senior Steward - Kemal Bayulkem, MD

5) Grand Inspector - Kris D. Brown, PM

6) Senior Warden - Bradley McNelly

7) Junior Deacon - Ken Stone

8) Chaplain - Billy C. Vaughn, PM, PGI

9) Junior Steward - Howie M. LaChappelle

10) Deputy Grand Lecturer - Harold A. Garren, PM

11) Junior Warden - Wayne Danzik

12) Tyler - Richard H. Ground, PM, PGI

13) Secretary - Thomas R. Mason, PM, PGI

14) Treasurer - Ron Pulivarii

15) Ritualist - BLANK

OFFICERS OF CWLR #1865 (2014)

  1. Worshipful Master - Wayne Eugene Price
  2. Chaplain - R.W. John Shroeder, PM
  3. Senior Warden - Peter Stuart Jensen
  4. Junior Warden - Patrick J. Mulligan
  5. Senior Deacon - Chris Chranowski
  6. Junior Deacon - Mike Huff
  7. Treasurer - Mark Lentz
  8. Marshall - Reed Cole
  9. Secretary - Richard C. Radi
  10. Senior Steward - W. Bob Schindler
  11. Junior Steward - Sherill Hurley
  12. Tyler - Jim Herendeen


Wheaton Lodge #228, 11524 Georgia Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902