Prince Hall And Mainstream Masonic
And The Expression Of Brotherly Love
By Wor. Bro. Frederic L. Milliken
easy for old dogs to learn new tricks, for new ways to be adopted by our
elders, for CHANGE to be easily accepted.
As it is so
in civil society so is it so in Freemasonry. Ask any Past Master. He will tell
you that, “We always did it that way.”
should it be any different for Masonic Recognition? It took until 1989 for the
first permanent Recognition of Prince Hall Freemasonry by the state of
Connecticut. Many others followed yet some waited until after the turn of the
century. Today, in 2016, there are still 9 states who refuse to recognize
Society Integration and Civil Rights were a battle. Martin Luther King is
proof of that. Civilly the war has been won, although there are still some
skirmishes. Masonically many battles have been won, but the war has not yet
been declared victorious. In civil society we have a Federal Government. In
American Freemasonry we do not have a National Grand Lodge. The United States
federal government was able to mandate integration by law backed by Federal
troops. We cannot do that in Freemasonry.
of force can change the hearts of men. And whether civilly or Masonically, we
must admit that there are men (and women) who still do not want to change.
So those of
us who really and truly believe that “All men are created equal,” “That they
are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and that “it is
the internal not the external qualifications which recommend a man to be made
a Mason,” and that all Masons meet on the level, will need to become a light
to the rest of the world.
need to let that light shine blazingly bright by our thoughts, words and
And I am
here to report on some bright light and to show how Brotherhood can really
has come hard for the state of Texas. The two Texas Grand Lodges signed a
compact of mutual recognition on April 23, 2007 but without cross visitation.
Intervisitation was not approved until November and December of 2014. Even
then it took time to fully implement.
of 2015 my Lodge, Pride of Mt. Pisgah No.135, Most Worshipful Prince Hall
Grand Lodge of Texas F & AM received Jewel P. Lightfoot No. 1283, Grand Lodge
of Texas AF & AM for a visitation.
Lightfoot No 1283 visits Pride of Mt. Pisgah No 135
of 2015 Jewel P. Lightfoot received Pride of Mt. Pisgah for a third degree,
the raising of an African-American Mason.
Mt. Pisgah No 135 visits Jewel P. Lightfoot No 1283
Thompson, Jewel P. Lightfoot No 1283
Lodges have developed a sincere affection for each other. Brothers from Jewel
P. Lightfoot even attended a Grand Raising at the Grand Session of the Most
Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge.
Right) PM Michael Huskisson 1283, GM Wilbert M. Curtis, Eric Brewer 1283,
Villegas 1283, David Bindel 1283, Rick Parker 1218
not the end of the story.
In April of
2016 I visited Fort Worth Lodge No 148, Grand Lodge of Texas AF & AM. My
friend and Brother Hando Nahkur and I had longed to sit in Lodge together for
years and finally it came to pass.
Nahkur and Frederic L. Milliken
Lodge No 148 was very receptive to my visit and rolled out the red carpet. The
Lodge served an excellent home cooked meal. Afterward, in Lodge, I presented a
lecture on the history and traditions of Prince Hall Freemasonry. Near the end
of the meeting Hando Nahkur rose and moved that the Lodge give me a fraternal
donation. This from a Lodge and Brothers I had just met for the first time.
Not only was I not a member of their Lodge and a complete stranger until then,
but I didn’t even belong to their Grand Lodge.
Lodge No 148
how you bury the hatchet and build bridges.
Broken Column Statue
to Fort Worth Lodge No 148 the following month and presented them with a gift,
a 3rd Degree Broken Column statute. You see, one act of Brotherly
Love and Affection deserves another act of Brotherly Love and Affection.
WM Bryan Whit and Frederic L. Milliken
Hall and Mainstream Freemasons need to travel and seek out opportunities to
build bridges and to spread the cement of Brotherly Love and Affection – that
cement which unites us into one sacred band, or society of Friends and
Brothers among whom no contention should ever exist…
change the world with a snap of our fingers. But what we can do is one Brother
at a time, one Lodge at a time, build understanding and mutual admiration. By
breaking bread together and participating in Lodge together we can remove the
suspicions, the doubts and fears and demonstrate that we are ALL ONE.
exercise of Brotherly Love we are taught to regard the whole human species as
one family – the high and low, rich and poor; who, as created by one Almighty
Parent and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support, and protect
each other. On this principle Masonry unites men of every country, sect, race,
and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who might otherwise
have remained at a perpetual distance.
A new era
seems to have dawned on Freemasonry. The Gay Mason issue has caused some Grand
Lodges to pull Recognition from others. The Grand Lodges that are practicing
Freemasonry as it should be practiced are not letting those Grand Lodges get
away with unMasonic conduct anymore…maybe. It’s just too bad that the those
trying to do right have not given equal weight to Black discrimination within
Freemasonry. Again, we still have 9 Grand Lodges that do not Recognize Prince
is the one society or organization that can bring peace and harmony to a
fractured, troubled world. It can do so by example and if its membership will
truly practice the virtues of the Craft that has for centuries brought men
together. Freemasonry, by nature, is not divisive as it brings together those
with many differences into one Brotherhood of all men under the Fatherhood of
God.. It is not exclusive, but inclusive.
Freemasons, we can, day by day, seek out others, reach out that hand and grasp
the hand of a stranger, even a Brother that has not yet made our acquaintance
or a Lodge that we have never been to. We cannot change the world, but we can
one Brother at a time, one Lodge at a time make a better world.
What we can
say here is that Texas Prince Hall Grand Master Wilbert M. Curtis, Pride of
Mt. Pisgah Lodge No 135, Jewel P. Lightfoot Lodge No 1283 and Fort Worth Lodge
No 148 deserve commendations for promoting peace and harmony and also
bringing together those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual