Freemasons of Franklin hold open house during Fall Fest

Published 12:47 pm Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Freemasons of the Franklin Masonic Lodge opened their doors to the public during Franklin’s Fall Festival as part of a statewide recruiting “Community Open Lodge Initiative,” during which time residents of Franklin and Southampton County had the rare opportunity to learn first-hand what it means to be a mason.

According to Andy Spencer, Senior Warden at the Franklin Masonic Lodge and Secretary at the Boykins Masonic Lodge, though Masons are sometimes incorrectly perceived as secretive or cult-like, Masonry is not a religion, nor is it a secret society. Masonic lodges are clearly marked and many members display rings or pins to demonstrate membership. Members do profess belief in a higher power and feelings of social responsibility and accountability, and encourage each other to engage in religious pursuits of their choosing.

“Masons are a group of men who come together to make themselves better, believing in a supreme being and using the tools of masons to guide them in their personal development,” said Andy Spencer, Senior Warden at the Franklin Lodge and Secretary at the Boykins Lodge. “We teach symbolic meanings to those tools. Everyone is equal in the lodge whatever their positions are on the outside.”

Mason meetings are not open to the general public when new members are being inducted and when Masons meet to discuss personal matters such as paying bills and taxes, family finances, and other personal issues.

When local Masons do interact with the community, they often do so through offering scholarships and other supportive community events, such as the Franklin Fall Festival.

“The best way to do an open house is to attach it to a larger event,” Spencer said.

The Franklin Masonic Lodge is located at 309 N. Main St., Franklin and holds stated communications the second Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. The Boykins Masonic Lodge is located at 32115 S. Main St., Boykins with stated communications the third Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m.