It is now 10 years later, and I sit here typing this very relaxed and unburdened. I just completed a year of serving as the Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of South Carolina, the fourth year as a Grand Officer in the Grand Council. This year caps 10 years of a very active Masonic life.
In the Blue Lodge, I progressed through the chairs and ultimately served as Master of Divver Lodge #349, AFM. Oh, what a wonderful group of brothers! During that year, we had several new members join, we had major roof repairs, and the crowning joy was in a brother stepping up and offering to paint and fresh the lodge room. His family donated paint and supplies, several brothers found church pews to replace the old theater chairs, and in the end, the lodge room had been beautifully transformed.
After joining the York Rite, I became very active, and I immediately began serving in several officer positions, to which I was appointed and elected. This culminating in serving to lead the three bodies as Excellent High Priest, Illustrious Master, and Commander. Over the next few years, I served in various Grand Officer positions in the Grand York Rite. I served as the Grand Representative for the Grand Chapter and Grand Council, and as Grand Junior Warden for the Grand Commandery. In 2014, I was humbled to be elected as Rite Illustrious Grand Captain of the Guard, the fourth seat in the Grand Officer line of the Grand Council. I progressed through the line serving and learning, and in 2017 I was elected and installed as Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of South Carolina. This was a wonderful opportunity to serve the Grand York Rite by traveling throughout the state and visiting the various local York Rite bodies. My focus was on unity both within the York Rite and among the other Masonic organizations, particularly with the Blue Lodge. I challenged the members to think outside the box with regards to business meetings, encouraging them to bring new and interesting topics to the meetings. The only way to improve attendance is to provide interesting and useful education.
My Masonic journey has taught me that to be an effective leader, you must a willing and able servant. My tenure as Illustrious Grand Master was not to dictate or change, but to serve the bodies by modeling the ideals of the Craft in hopes that others will follow my lead. Humbly, I can say with certainty that I was very successful.
Though things are quiet right now, I continue to be active ad Chaplain at Divver Lodge, I continue to serve the York Rite, and I am the Chairman for the CMMRF charity for the Grand Council. While I look forward to an easier year, I also look forward to new challenges and more responsibilities in the future.