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
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
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