|Jackson, Peacock, Nelson, Stinson, Cox, Mayer, Champion, |
Torry, Tenny, Higginbotham and Hooks.
Alabama Lodge No. 3, one of the oldest Masonic lodges in the entire state, installed its newest slate of officers during a special, public installation ceremony Friday evening at the historic Masonic Hall at Perdue Hill.
New officers for the coming year are Eric Cox, Worshipful Master; Mark Peacock, Senior Warden; Joe Torry, Junior Warden; Trae Stacey, Senior Deacon; John Higginbotham, Junior Deacon; Cecil Chandler, Secretary; Joe Nelson, Treasurer; E.J. Tenney, Chaplain; James Hooks, Tyler; Robert Champion, Senior Steward; Jason Hames, Junior Steward; Larry Hines, Marshall; and Lee Peacock, Historian.
Larry Stinson of Greenville, Past Grand Master of the Alabama Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons and District 41 Lecturer, conducted Friday’s installation ceremony, and Robert Mayer of Local Lodge No. 779 at Huxford, served as Installing Marshall during the ceremony. Other special guests on hand for the event included District 44 Lecturer Billy W. Jackson, who also serves on the Alabama Grand Lodge’s Committee on Work.
Friday’s installation ceremony at the Masonic Hall at Perdue Hill was an historic event for Alabama Lodge No. 3, which will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its establishment next year, on June 25, 2019. About six months older than even the state of Alabama, Alabama Lodge No. 3 traces its roots to June 25, 1819 when it received its original charter from the Grand Lodge of South Carolina as Alabama Lodge No. 51. Alabama was officially admitted to the Union on Dec. 14, 1819, and on Dec. 11, 1820 the Alabama General Assembly passed legislation allowing the lodge to raise funds to build and furnish a Masonic Hall building at Claiborne, which was then the county seat of Monroe County.
On June 11, 1821, delegates from eight lodges in Alabama, including the lodge at Claiborne, organized the Grand Lodge of Alabama, and at that time, Alabama Lodge No. 51 received a charter under the Alabama Grand Lodge and became Alabama Lodge No. 3, a designation that it still carries today. For various reasons, including unhealthy conditions at Claiborne and the move of the county seat to Monroeville, the Masonic Hall was dismantled in 1884 and moved to its present location at Perdue Hill, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 84 and Monroe County Road 1.
According to Lodge Secretary Cecil Chandler, who has done extensive research on the lodge’s history, 1916 was the last year that lodge officers were installed during a ceremony at the Masonic Hall in Perdue Hill, making Friday night’s ceremony the first time in 102 years that officers for the lodge were installed during a ceremony in that building. In 1917, Alabama Lodge No. 3 moved to Monroeville and merged with Monroeville Lodge No. 153, retaining the name and number of the mother lodge, and Alabama Lodge No. 3 continued to meet for the better part of the next century in Monroeville.
Earlier this year, as Alabama Lodge No. 3 approaches the 200th anniversary of its original charter, the Perdue Hill-Claiborne Foundation gave Alabama Lodge No. 3 permission to again begin using the Masonic Hall at Perdue Hill for its regular meetings, and the Alabama Grand Lodge approved the move from Monroeville back to Perdue Hill on April 2, 2018. Friday night’s installation of officers in the original lodge building was the first such ceremony in 102 years at the building, going all the way back to 1916.