ADDRESS OF THE MOST EMINENT GRAND MASTER
SIR BENJAMIN F. MAY
To the R.E. Deputy Grand Master James W. Ellerbee, R.E. Grand Generalissimo Samuel Davis, R.E. Grand Captain General Melvin Callahan, all Grand Commanders, Eminent Commanders, Visitors, Invited guests and Sir Knights.
I welcome you to the excitement of the 89th Grnad Conclave of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar United States of America and Its Jurisdictions, P.H.A., Inc. to Music City USA, Nashville, TN.
Motto: Onward and Upward, Reaching New Heights
Verse: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold. But with the precious blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-19
First a prayer from our Grand Chaplain. Giving all honor, praise and glory to God the Father, God the Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ and to the Holy Ghost, the very Spirit of God. It is with much humility and honor to render my stewardship to this August body.
State of the Nation
I ask that we all continue to pray and support our President Barack Obama who in spite of much opposition is doing a great job for these United States. His ability as an international leader was demonstrated in being able to assemble sixty countries in the fight against ISIS as it continues to terrorize the whole world. Isis is using mass media to convert our own people within our borders to commit terror on our own people, beheading, burning a pilot alive, killing and kidnapping school girls, bombing schools and targeting leaders in our country for death. The lost of the Senate and Governors of our states and local officials was because we did not vote in the mid-term elections. The lack of knowledge as to how our political system works doomed this election. I asked a lot of people who had voted in 2014 why they did not vote and the answer was we did not have to vote for the President. I strongly believe the schools should resume teaching civics and American government. I commend our president and his aids for establishment of talks with our enemy Iran and with the help of many nation to hammer out a model for the continued fight to disarm Iran of its nuclear capacity to wage war. From Selma and Birmingham in the sixties to Michael Brown and to Baltimore; the story of Police brutality and the unarmed murder of black men in an alarming rate remains the same. HOW LONG? said Martin L. King and as he answered his own question NOT LONG. I hope and pray it will be realized in my children or my children’s children lifetime. Racism is not dead .
State of the Order
We are growing in membership and in prestige thanks to the hard working of our Sir Knights and hope to welcome one or more states to our Grand Encampment this year. I would like to thank our webmaster Byron Hams for his advice and service. I have appointed PMEGM Homer Buchanan as my special envoy to the Grand Encampment of the USA to work with PMEGM William Koon to continue in doing the groundwork to assist to share and set up some of the houses and awards that we don’t have. A report will be given of their progress at this session. I would like to thank Imperial Potentate Rick Julian for his work in bridging the gap of understanding between our Prince Hall Family. This was demonstrated in February 2015 when he invited all National Heads of Masonic bodies to the Black Council of Presidents in its Black History Month Celebration at St. Jude’s Children Cancer Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. It was an eye opening and awe inspiring event that I shall never forget and pledge myself to the best of my ability with God’s help to inspire this organization to become an annual donor. Forty percent of its patients are black. It was the first hospital to cure sickle cell. It is a no fee for the patient or family and subsists on donations only. It takes two(2) million dollars a day to run it. I also thank Mr. Richard Snow- Senior advisor~ multicultural marketing for all his assistance to make this possible and enjoyable to all. I would like our Grand Encampment to join with our Black Fraternities and Sororities who have been donating for many years to this worthwhile cause. Imperial Potentate Julian at the awards night called all our Prince Hall family leaders that attended to the stage and presented St. Jude a check from the Shrine in the name of the Prince Hall Family for $10,000.00.
Aug. 5, 2014- Donated $300.00 to MW Grand Master Compton Jones and the brothers of African Lodge #459 in their distress, our Mother Lodge. We stand behind you in solidarity.
Aug. 31,2014- Listed the appointed officers of the Grand Encampment and made assignment for the elected officers of my cabinet for 2014-2015.
Sept. 9, 2014- Raised the registration fee for the Grand Conclave to $130.00 for all Princess and $135.00 for all Sir Knights.
Sept. 30, 2014- Ordered that the removal from office of Princess Loretta L. Prather be terminated on June 30, 2015 and that she receive the title and position as a Past
International Grand Princess Commandress of the International Grand Court of Cyrene Crusaders at its annual meeting in Nash ville, TN July 1, 2015.
Oct. 24,2014 – Presented Sir Joseph “Ben” Jackson, Past MEGM as the Christmas Toastee for 2014. He was an outstanding Masonic Builder, leader, teacher, mentor
and a giant in Knight Templar Masonry.
Oct. 26, 2014 -Pursuant to Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution and By-Laws, the elected officers of the International Grand Court, Order of the Cyrene Crusaders
will consist of the following:
- International Grand Princess Commandress
- International Deputy Grand Princess Commandress
- International Grand Princess Martha
- International Grand Princess Magdalene
- International Grand Princess Senior Shepherdess
- International Grand Princess Junior Shepherdess
- International Grand Princess Treasurer
- International Grand Princess Secretary
- International Grand Princess Trustee (3 Year; 2 Year; 1 Year)
Nov. 4, 2014- Re-established the terms of office for our State Deputies and their responsibility that are taken from those that PMEGM Horner Buchanan formulated
and instituted during his tenure. Instituted the 1st Annual Sir Joseph “Ben” Jackson PMEGM, luncheon to be held yearly on Wednesday at every Grand Conclave.
- 1. Aug. 2014 – Attended the York Rite Bodies and the MWPHGL of Ky at the Galt House, Louisville, KY
b. Attended the Imperial Session, Tampa, FL
- Oct. 2014 – Attended the Southern Supreme Council, A.S.S.R. as an invited guest of SG Commander, SGIG Deary Vaughn in Houston, TX. Thank you Sir and Lady Esther for all that you did for Lady Charlotte and myself.
- Dec. 2014- Attended the 146th Grand communication of the MW Grand Lodge of South Carolina in Columbia as a guest of MWGW Louis Nelson and Lady Rose. Thank you sir.
- Feb. 2015 – Attended the NPHC of Black Presidents Black History Celebration as a guest of IMP Potentate Rick Julian.
- Feb. 2015 -Attended the York Rite weekend in Jackson, MS and along with a delegation from MS also attended Selma, AL on Bloody Sunday.
b. Attended the Midwest Conference of Grand Master in Kansas City, MO
- April2015 – Attended the York Rite Conference in Murfreesboro, TN
a. Attended the Testimonial of MWGM Dwight Barnett of KY
- May 2015 – Grand Masters and Grand Matrons Conference, Atlanta, GA
- July 2015- 89th Grand Conclave Encampment USA PHA Nashville, TN
1. That the Grand Encampment will donate at least $1,000.00 to St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in Memphis, TN every year at its Black History Program in February by the Grand Master or a designated Grand Officer.
In closing I would like to thank the 15 Sir Knights who assisted your Grandmaster in escort duty at the Imperial Session in Tampa, FL for escorting Past Imperial Potentate Homer Buchanan’s visitors and guests at the opening. To the 11 Sir Knights who braved the burning sun to lead the Twilight Parade of the Imperial Council, I salute you.
Sir Benjamin F. May • Most Eminent Grand Master
Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, USA PHA