"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mississippi Lodge Burglarized

Four men have been arrested while in the act of burglarizing a Masonic lodge (Pride of Pascagoula Lodge No. 485) in Pascagoula, Mississippi late Thursday afternoon. Witnesses spotted two men kicking in the back door of the building.

According to a story from WPMI-TV:

Police say when they arrived, Shawn Martin, 17, and James Wright, 17, were in the front doorway. Later, police say they found Ladarius Stallworth, 17, and Tykarius Smith, 18, hiding in an upstairs bathroom. All four were taken into custody and charged with burglary. Smith was out on bond, accused in a drive-by shooting. Authorities say he fired a shotgun from a car in an apartment complex on Hospital Road. That shooting happened in May. Three people were hit, including a woman who was taken to the hospital. She was treated and released.

Not certain of the affiliation of the lodge. It does not appear to be part of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi F&AM, the M.W. Stringer Grand Lodge of Mississippi F&AM (PHA), or the M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free & Accepted Ancient York Masons (PHO National Compact).


  1. I suspect it's some kind of Prince Hall lodge. On another website the Lodge is noted as laying the cornerstone of a black Baptist church. One wonders if the PH Grand Lodge websites are up-to-date.

    Bro. Chris Hansen, SW, Goliath #5595 UGLE

  2. Given the high number "485," I suspect it may be a "King Solomon" lodge, but I do not know that as a fact. There are 22 "grand lodges" listed in Mississippi on the Phylaxis Society's "Bogus Masonry" website, but none in Pascagoula.

    *Somewhere* in this house I have a directory of Prince Hall (PHA, not PHO) lodges across the country that was published in the early 1990s, but I can't seem to find it.

  3. "Smith out on bond and is accused of a drive by shooting". Hmm. What judge bonded him out, considering the severity of that charge? It must have been quite a dollar amount...

  4. The Grand Lodge of Mississippi F&AM has Pascagoula Lodge #419 (in, surprisingly, Pascagoula), and Henry Clay Lodge #485 in Union. Thus, I'm guessing you brethren are right about the PH_ affiliation of Pride of Pascagoula Lodge #485.

    All questions of affiliation aside, does anybody know if these brothers (in the larger sense of the word) need some financial assistance in putting their lodge back in shape? Sometimes these burglaries leave a building in just awful shape (broken doors and windows, shattered furniture, etc.).

    Separate issue altogether: How the heck did they get 22 "grand lodges" in Mississippi? It's not that big of a state, for heaven's sake!

    I would think that the history of Masonic splinter movements would be fascinating, if complex. Anybody know of good sources in this area?

  5. The history of splinter Masonry in the black community is massive. It is difficult enough following the thread of PHA vs. PHO/National Compact grand lodges (check out "Out of the Shadows: The Emergence of Prince Hall Freemasonry in America, 200 Years of Endurance" by Alton G. Roundtree and Paul M. Bessel, which is the newest scholarship on the subject). Look over the Phylaxis Society "Bogus Freemasonry" pages as well. You'll find "grand lodges" made up of just one lodge to be pretty common.

    Then there is the curious early history of the Nation of Islam movement in connection with an offshoot of a black Masonic group's version of the Shrine and the Moorish Circle 7.

  6. I was just there this weekend for our annual 75th.16th.district meeting,didn't know the lodge had been broken into,the grand master was present. BRO. WILLIAM. HALE MAGNA VISTA LODGE#301,PASS CHRISTIAN MISSISSIPPI...


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