Excelsior Lodge No. 754

Free & Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliated

History

 

Prince Hall Masonry was established in Florida in 1870.  It a direct appendage entity of the original body of Negro Masons, established in the United States on March 6, 1775, in Boston, Massachusetts by Prince Hall and fourteen other free men of African descent.  The chartering authority of African Lodge #1, is that of all other Ancient and Free Masonic bodies in the United States, the Grand Lodge of England.

Our Grand Lodge Headquarters was constructed in 1912 and is located at 410 Broad Street, Jacksonville, Florida.  In light of the rigid segregation laws of that period, which inhibited opportunities for black citizens, the concept for the building was a bold one.  This building still stands till this day,  and as of September 22, 1980 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge has continuously maintained its headquarters in the building, which has long been a source of pride among black citizens.  The 1926 Negro Blue Book described it is "one of the finest buildings owned by Negroes in the world." 

Excelsior Lodge #754, F&AM PHA was the result of a petition to the late Right Worshipful Dr. Robert Terrell, Past Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge, PHA by Brother La'Micheal Eddie, 32.  Brother Eddie, who was the Past Master of Sons of Solomon Lodge #84, AF&AM (formerly Jesse R. Barge Lodge #84), petitioned the MWUGL to accept his Lodge and its apendant bodies as well as auxiliaries as subordinates to the Prince Hall Masonic Family.

On Saturday, October 24, 1998, at seven o'clock p.m., at the Mt. Olive Masonic Hall that eleven men were healed into the original Prince Hall Masonic family. After the ceremony was complete the officers-elect assumed their positions.  The District Deputy then presented the Lodge with a Working Dispensation from the Most Worshipful David Wright Grand Master.  Soon thereafter, the Lodge held its first Black and White Masonic Ball at the Marzuq Shrine Temple, on October 30, 1998 and continued its good works in the community. 

On December 21, 1998, Excelsior's officers were installed at the installation of the Lodge officers for the District.  WM La'Micheal V. Eddie, SW Charvin Graham, JW Michael Williams, Treas. Al Nelson, and Sec. Daniel Grisham, Jr. were duly installed and assumed their positions when the New Year came.  On Tuesday, April 22, 1999, the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge chartered Excelsior #754 after the acceptance of Honorable Brother David L. Wright Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons' annual address.  A warrant of constitution was issued bearing the names of La'Micheal V. Eddie, Worshipful Master, Al L. Nelson, Senior Warden, and Michael S. Williams, Junior Warden, Calvin D. Lamar, Jr. Treasurer, and Daniel W. Grisham, Secretary.

For years to come the brothers of Excelsior Lodge would strive to make a name for themselves by making good men better and serving the Tallahassee community. Being among the youngest Prince Hall Lodges in the Jurisdiction of Florida, Excelsior thrives on the leadership, dedication and innovation of its members, always teaching that you must hit the ground running and stay forever steadfast to those truly Masonic virtues of Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love.

Past Masters Eddie, Hawthorne, Williams, Nelson, Bryson, Weems, and McCormick have all made great strides in continuing to build the solid foundation upon which Excelsior Lodge still stands.  Excelsior is also proud to have had brothers to serve in other capacities within the Masonic District.  Past Master LaMicheal Eddie served under DDGM Barber as Junior Warden of the Past Masters Council and Brother Steven Downey now serves as Assistant District Grand Instructor. 

Excelsior Lodge hosts various activities to ameliorate brotherhood and foster the principle of masonry. Since our organization, the lodge has participated in service projects with the Annual Community Breakfast, Annual Community Cookout, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, Meals On Wheels, Sickle Cell Foundation, Adopt-A-Road, and the Walker/Ford Community Center, along with hosting monthly and annual social events.

It is our sincere hope that through us all can see that Masonry is not about attaining wealth, fame or power while hiding behind guarded doors.  For Masonry regards the innermost qualities of a man above all.  Masonry is founded in the heart of every brother, acknowledged through the works, deeds, and actions of an upright man, and solidified by a brother’s belief in God. Excelsior Lodge believes that charity starts at home and spreads abroad. As we continue to practice charity, build and travel through the winding path of life, not knowing what may lie ahead, Excelsior Lodge will forever strive to move Onward, Upward through Faith, Hope, and Charity.