KING CYRUS GRAND CHAPTER HOLY ROYAL ARCH MASONS PHA JURISDICTION OF VIRGINIA

 

Brief History of King Cyrus Grand Chapter of Holy Royal Masons in Virginia

The following is a Historical account of the formulation of King Cyrus Grand Chapter Holy Royal Arch Masons (PHA) of Virginia: the information is a three (3) year accumulation of facts gathered by the Right Excellent Grand Secretary Michael Hodges, of King Cyrus Grand Chapter HRAM; who is still gathering information.

First and foremost we can all agreed that King Cyrus is a descendant of the First Independent African Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter of North America which was organized in Philadelphia, PA on May 19, 1820. Holy Royal Arch Masonry was first introduced in Virginia in the year 1865 by Union Grand Chapter of Maryland which chartered and established Rising Sun Chapter #6 of Alexandria, VA. Two years later, following years of turbulence First Independent African Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter of North America was reorganized in 1847; with this reorganization Royal Arch Chapters were formed in the State of Virginia. In 1867 the Grand Chapter of Pennsylvania (F.I.A.G.H.R.A. Chapter in North America.) received a petition from Companions in Portsmouth, VA who earnestly desired to establish a Chapter in that city, to be known as Melschisedec Chapter #28: the Companions seeking this request were from Mount Zion and Saint John's Royal Arch Chapters that were under the jurisdiction of Maryland, the elected Most Excellent High Priest was Rev. Jeremiah V. Thomas formerly of Widow's Son Chapter #2 out of the jurisdiction of New York. Also in 1867 a petition was received from Norfolk, VA praying for a dispensation for degrees that they might form a Chapter, this correspondence was conducted through Johnathan Davis, P.M.E.G. Secretary and N.G. Secretary of the M.W. National Grand Lodge, A.P.M. of the U.S. with no name or officers suggested at the time, it was unanimously agreed to with the understanding that Companion Davis would write for all needful information. (At a special convocation held April 30th, the name Zerubbabel Chapter #27 was reported as being received in a letter, with the name of James E. Fuller Most Excellent High Priest, and William E. Kneeling .

Note: During the years 1820 through 1882 there were many conflicts arising, which resulted in the formation of at least four (4) Grand Chapters: First Independent African Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter of North America (1820), Rising Sun Grand Chapter of PA (1844) who was affiliated with Hiram Grand Lodge of PA - dissension arose which caused the forming of First African Independent Grand Chapter (1844) which was short lived. There were conflicts between Rising Sun Grand Chapter of PA and First Independent African Grand Chapter of North America as a result of the formation of the National Grand Lodge (1847) - First Independent African Grand Chapter adhered to the National Grand Lodge and Rising Sun Grand Chapter adhered to the Independent or States Rights Grand Lodges. On November 30, 1881, Rising Sun Grand Chapter of PA merged with First Independent African Grand Chapter of North America to form the United Grand Chapter of Holy Royal Arch Mason of PA. 

Note: In 1849 several subordinate Chapters working under the jurisdiction of the F.I.A.G.H.R.A. Chapter in North America unanimously resolved that they proceed forthwith to form a Grand Chapter for the state of Maryland, to be known by the name, style and title of the Independent Grand Chapter of Maryland.

Because of many changes, conflicts that happen during the early years, many Companions debate as to which jurisdiction form King Cyrus - Maryland or Pennsylvania????????? Through research it has been determined that in 1873 Rising Sun Chapter #6 assisted by the Grand Chapter Holy Royal Arch Masons of Pennsylvania organized King Cyrus Grand Chapter Holy Royal Arch Masons of Virginia (PHA), with the first Most Excellent Grand High Priest Companion L.H. Carter of Richmond, Virginia from 1887-1888. 

As of the date of this research 2, November 2002, there are 16 Holy Royal Arch Chapters in the Jurisdiction of Virginia

The following Chapters were Chartered by King Cyrus Grand Chapter HRAM of Virginia (PHA)

Mount Moriah #9  20th December

Eureka #2 - 14 December ?

Truxton #34 - 24 August 1943

Mount Nebo #35 - 12 October 1984

Crew/E.B. Harris #64 - 20 September 1965

St. John #70 - 16 September 1974

John F. Kennedy #71 - 16 September 1974

W.W. Lee #72 - 17 September 1976

In 2000 Queen of Sheba #15 of Newport News and Malachi #61 merged and became Queen of Sheba/Malachi #15

On September 16, 2002, the Officers of King Cyrus Grand Chapter HRAM convened in the city of Hampton, Virginia at the Zem Temple Shrine Temple, 238 Rip Rap Road for the purpose of exalting new companions from Pureto Rico and granting them authority to form a Holy Royal Arch Chapter on the island under the authority of King Cyrus Grand Chapter Holy Royal Arch Masons of Virginia, however only four (4) candidates were present for exhalation thus a constitution number of candidates were not present to form a new chapter. The Most Excellent Grand High Priest David L. Wilson #35, asked the Excellent High Priest of Queen of Sheba/Malachi #15 if he would consider opening his Chapter to the candidates until as such time a Holy Royal Chapter can be formed in Pureto Rico. The companions of Queen of Sheba/Malachi #15 that were present voted to admit the candidates into their Chapter.

The following candidates were exalted; Ulysses Rodriquez, Donald A. McMichael, Aln J. Moore and Scott Robinson.

The following Holy Royal Arch Chapters were represented and assisted in the degree work, Mt. Moriah #9, Truxton #34, Cohesion #14, Queen of Sheba/Malachi #15 and W.W. Lee #72; the following Grand Chapter Officers were present MEGHP David L. Wilson #34, REDGHP Fred L. Hill #2, REG King David L. Wilkerson #9, REG Scribe Gidwood Sutton #14, REG Secretary Michael Hodges, REGM 2V Rudy Baker #9, REGL (East) John R. McDonald, Sr. #15, PGHP Braxton Mitchell #15, PGHP Sherman Thomas #15, REG Inside Sentinel Robert Ambrose #14, DDGHP Walter Price #35 also Grand King from the jurisdiction of New Jersey, and DDGM Reginald Tolbert of the MWGL of Virginia. After remarks from the Grand High Priest the Chapter was closed and lunch was enjoyed by all.

Also in 2002 King Cyrus Grand Chapter HRAM of Virginia after much discussions, decided that they would form a Jurisdictional Past High Priest Council and the degree would be given the day before the Annual Grand Convocation each year. In October 2002 the Virginia Jurisdictional Past High Priest Council was formed with Companion PGHP John R. McDonald, Sr. #15 as the first President of the Council and assisted by Past High Priest Rudy Baker #9, David L. Wilkerson, Jr. #9, Michael Hodges #34, George Jordan #9, David L. Wilson #35, initiated 50 Past High Priests into the Council.

 


Ten Thousand craftsmen at the building of King Solomon Temple

 



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