The North Carolina Mason

September/October 2011

North Carolina Mason

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September/October 2011 The North Carolina Mason Page 5 Carter photos Ric Ledford and Everett and furnish more possibilities for our servicemen overseas to enjoy fraternal support and visitation. The most awaited appointment each year is the new grand steward, the man who will join the line of men advancing toward the office of grand master. The new steward is Dwight M. "Mack" Sigmon of Catawba 248. Sigmon is out- going grand lecturer, and has been widely known for some years for his work as secretary of the Board of Custodians. Elected to Grand Lodge offices were Dew- ey R. Preslar Jr. (Andrew Jackson 576), deputy grand master; Dalton W. Mayo (Hiram 98), se- nior grand warden; Douglas L. Caudle (States- ville 27), junior grand warden; and T. Walton Clapp III (Mystic Tie 237), grand secretary. This year's appointed officers include Bry- ant D. Webster (Nichols-West Asheville 650), senior grand deacon; A. Gene Cobb (Royal White Hart 2), junior grand deacon; Jimmie B. Hicks Jr. (St. John's 3), grand marshal; C. Speed Hallman (Eagle 19), grand steward; Scott B. Gresham (Albemarle 703), grand tyler; Joseph L. Hester Jr. (226), grand chaplain; Michael W. Brantley (Raleigh 500), grand historian; J. Luigi Ammons (Millbrook 97), grand lecturer; James G. Martin (Phalanx 31), grand orator; and James R. Stevens (Garner 701), judge advocate. Annual Communication was adjourned shortly after noon on Saturday. Installation of Grand Lodge officers is set for Saturday, December 3 at 10:00 a.m. in Stanly County Agri-Civic Center in Albemarle. You are all invited. CHURCH, from page 1 much they appreciated the Masons taking time to share in this event." As Grand Master Lewis Ledford was out of the state on business during the dedication, he asked Past Grand Master Gene Jernigan to take his part in conducting the ceremony. He was a popular choice. Pastor Hester addressed the traditions of Masonry and churches in a First Presbyterian Church newsletter before the event: "With each new building it was our custom and tradition to include the community in a traditional ground breaking and cornerstone laying ceremony. That tradition was normally performed for churches as well as other public edifices such as schools and government build- ing by the organization we know as the Masons. Despite misconceptions about the group in pop- ular culture conveyed through such books as The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown and the film series, National Treasure; the people who are actually Masons are very likely to be community leaders and your neighbors and fellow church members who are actively engaged in acts of philanthropy and service to others. The public tradition of the laying of cornerstones for new community structures has been, and is a desire, to convey publicly the symbol and allegory derived from a very Biblical understanding that no structure or human undertaking can stand without acknowl- edging the Great Architect of the Universe, our God, who placed his Son Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone of the Church. "So important was this public ritual for the founders and citizens of our infant nation that the Masons led by George Washington laid the cornerstone for the Capitol Building in 1793. I believe our current society has sometimes too easily dismissed this public affirmation of faith as archaic and out of step with the world around us. On two occasions in 1893 and 1950, our congregation invited the gracious participation and help of the Masons to lay in public view a new cornerstone to symbolize the physical and spiritual reality of God at work in the world. I am thankful our Session at my request has considered and accepted the willingness of local and state Masonic leadership to once again join us in the laying of a new cornerstone engraved with the words "To God Be The Glory" in an ancient and public ritual to proclaim that the Church of Jesus Christ is alive and active in the heart of Smithfield." Masons here marked the long tradition of showing their support for various churches and denominations and community institutions. They look forward to the next verse. — Jimmy Hooks Wayne Dockery photos Swindell Sigmon Gresham

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