[Square & Compasses]

Why did you become a Freemason?

In order for you to understand where I'm coming from, I'm going to have to give a brief explanation of my life.

When I was a child I was put into foster care until I graduated high school. In fact I was put into 13 different homes. As you can imagine I had a difficult time finding a place where I fit in, both spiritually and socially.

Spiritually I was exposed to several types of religion and beliefs, all of which didn't feel right to me or where I would fit. Though I believe in a Supreme Being and you'll have to answer to Him one day, there wasn't a single faith/religion that I was exposed to that seemed to fit.

Social acceptance was/is just as difficult. There is always a need to find, for lack of a better term, family. At one point in my life I got heavily involved with drugs and the people associated with gave that false sense of security and family. When I finally said enough is enough, those people disappeared. I was again alone.

Everything I have just told you sounds sad and disheartening, but it made me a stronger person, stronger in my morals and every day life.

I first heard of the Freemasons some 14 years ago when I joined the Army. My Sergeant belonged and told me a story about his father:

In the early 60's, his father went to get a small business loan. He's black and lived in the Deep South. With discrimination at its height, he was turned down time after time. His uncle belonged to the Freemasons, and when his father informed his uncle about the problems he was having, his uncle offered to help. They were to meet at the last bank that he had applied, to see the president of the bank. When they arrived at the bank, his uncle went in to meet with the president. His father told him that all he heard before the door shut was "Nice ring..." Ten minutes later he had the loan.

His father soon after that became a Freemason as well as did he. When he told me his story, it moved me in such way that I wanted to join. He had told me that you had to be invited and not to ask questions. So for 14 years I remained silent.

Just recently I changed offices within my company. One of my co-workers has a ring with the Freemason symbol on it. With what I was told 14 years ago, I hesitantly started asking questions. He was elated that I was interested and preceded to tell me that the only way to join was to ask questions. He gave a couple of web addresses to look at and from these were links to others. I started to read everything that I came across and absorbed the information like a sponge. Everything I've been missing or yearning for was right there all along. A fellowship of men who welcome you as part of their family no matter where you come from or how you believe (as long as you believe). Finding that type of organization after so many years makes you take a step back in awe.

My only regret is that I didn't push more so many years ago to join.

[Web-master's note: I was quite pleased to read Mr. Evans's story and agreed to publish it. Before posting it, however, I made sure to explain to him that the key element in his Sergeant's story was not the success of the business loan, but the courtesy and brotherly consideration across racial lines that was implied by the loan. Masonry is not for pursuing business connections and favoritism, and every candidate is warned about that, multiple times, in the application process. The white banker showed his Masonic spirit in agreeing to meet with a black small-business owner during a era of segregation and discrimination, and to consider the loan request on its merits. Anyone looking to join Masonry in hope of handouts and undeserved favors would be seriously disappointed in his reception.]

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