The Grand Lodge of Arkansas

The Grand Lodge of the State of Arkansas

The Grand Lodge of the State of Arkansas

The Grand Lodge of Arkansas is the next stop on the tour of American Grand Lodges.

Arkansas Masonic membership:
17,082 – 2006
16,524 – 2007
gain/loss  –  -558

data from MSANA

State population: 2,834,797 as of 2007 (estimated),

About the Grand Lodge:

The Grand Lodge of Arkansas does not have a listing on Wikipedia.

“Organized Masonry came to Arkansas soon after the formation of the Arkansas Territory in 1819. The first lodge was established at Arkansas Post, the seat of the new Territorial Government, under a dispensation by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. By 1819, Arkansas Post was a village of about one hundred persons. Since Masonry had been active for a long time in the older states east of the Mississippi, it was quite natural that some of those coming to Arkansas Post would be members of the Masonic Fraternity. Many of them were prominent in the affairs of the Territorial Capitol, and as a result of their efforts, a Masonic Lodge was established there. No records remain of that Lodge except the scattered entries in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky from whom the dispensations, and later a charter, were obtained”.

From the Grand Lodge website on Freemasonry in Arkansas

Some of what I found on my visit:

URL:  The Grand Lodge of Arkansas has a very straight forward URL at http://www.argrandlodge.org which easily appears on a quick search at Google.  The URL is clever in that it implements the short AR U.S. Post Office abbreviation for the state which is a very utilitarian approach to a field that it otherwise saturated with non state specific names.

arkansas_grand_lodgeVisually, as you arrive at the site, as with the name, it immediately appears as a very straight forward construction that is both purposeful and well formed.  A big attention grabber is the Grand Lodge logo and deep red banner at the top and the stately gray background, with the photo of the Grand Master in the middle.  It definitely gives the feeling of authority and leadership, which carries through in the structure.  Generally speaking, the site at first glance seems to have much to offer by way of content.

Built in one of the most scalable formats with navigation across the top and on the left side, the site can go a long way in adding future content.  On the top navigation, there are a number of drop down tabs that a visitor can follow to their destination pages which emulates the side navigation (except when encountering password controlled lodge operations pages).

The site overall all has a good look and feel.  Once the visitor gets into the navigation pages, they are treated to a variety of content anchored with images and icons.  Unfortunately there was a lack of uniformity to the artwork and the various icon art the quality and tone detracting from the authoritative red/grey/and black color scheme.

On the front of the site, there is a great depth of navigation but not much to connect it visually statesillouetteto the state.  Unlike the Grand Lodge of Arizona, with their immediate extensive use of imagery, here we find the opposite, in that there is no real visual connection to the state other than a small silhouette logo on the bottom right corner.

Informational Content:

I did find that the site has a lot of information in it.  My favorite bits included the biography of Albert Pike and the well developed history of the Grand Lodge.  Both of these elements added a great deal of depth, and give an impression of its connectivity to the fraternity.

Additionally, there is a great wealth of information for new Masons under the education link including break downs of the various Masonic symbols.  This is a great asset that any visitor could make use of, particularly brothers from that state. The educational snippets, Awards programs, and the charitable endowment plans are good ways to let the membership know what is going on and how they can interact.

However, as the site has a lot of good Masonic information, it is very light of any conversion mechanism, meaning that for as much as any Masonic visitor would find the information interesting there isn’t much to showcase to a young first time visitor who may have an interest what Arkansas Masonry is about.  On one hand, this seems to support the word of mouth development, but in an age increasingly shopping on line first, the site disengages the new or first time visitor with a lot of information.

Let me qualify this by saying that there is a “How to become a Mason” page, that is very thorough.  It approaches the situation in a Q & A style FAQ by going through the myriad questions that a petitioner may have.  This is not, by itself a bad system, but in an age when a visitor to a website spends about 90 seconds on content, the particulars of “How To” get lost in the volume of content.  At the very bottom of that page is a link to “Contact the Membership Team” which leads to a form page for the aspirant to fill in, which is a great way to capture the information.  The only thing I would suggest is to move that contact form to the top and with its own abbreviated “How To” and then insert it into the top level navigation so it stands out.  As it stands now, it is three clicks deep (with the submission) from the main page, and buried in the site.

At the bottom of the left side navigation is the sites links page, with images to the appendant bodies and various organizations important to the state.  It was good to see that the Grand Lodge recognized many of the various groups and listed them so a user could quickly click in and check them out.  Some of the interesting links I found were the Ruffian Chapter of the Order of the Widow’s Sons (a Masonic motor cycle club), and the Scimitar Shrine of Little Rock.  The links pages use of images in the navigation, I think, is a dynamic way to entice the viewer to look deeper into the content.

One thing I did not see was a page dedicated to contacting the Grand Lodge.  The site does include its contact information at the bottom of each page with the address and phone number, but it limits users who want to send an electronic correspondence, unless it is to the webmaster.  The quickest remedy to this is to add a page that could include addresses, maps, contact names, numbers, and email, and so on.  Ideally this would also be in the mix of the top level navigation.

Calendar/Events/Call to Action:

The troubling thing I noticed right off was that the front page news tab was devoid of any news.  This seems a natural place to include upcoming calendar items and events.    As I ventured through the site, I did not easily find the calendar of activities around the state, or any informational mentioning anything that was going.  Once at the calendar (located in the General Grand Lodge Links) I found a wide variety of information, from degrees, conferences, educational programs, banquets and so on.  From a visitor stand point, because of its location, it leaves one wondering what to do when visiting or traveling to the state and it is not until after significant searching (clicking) that its activities became obvious.  From an organizational stand point, the calendar would be an excellent inclusion for the front page news or to be grouped with the news so that it is easier to find.

Overall:

Generally, the sites informational content is good, and goes a long way to communicate to the membership about the Grand Lodge and its operations.  But it does not address clearly the how and why to become a Mason efficiently, in that where it does go into detail it is to much information.  It definitely gives a rich textual experience of what the state offers but misses tying it into some visual aspects of the state.

From the first time visitor stand point the site does not immediately engage with any conversion mechanism (look, click, sign-up).  That may be overstating the purpose of the site, but it does not seem to take into consideration the non Mason who may visit with a keen interest to find out about Arkansas Masonry.  As a quick comparison, the link mentioned above to the Scimitar Shrine is a very advanced and developed site with video and some interactivity which may be a glimpse into the level of importance (value) that the bodies place in their activities.

As a visiting Mason, the site is enjoyable and does entice additional time spent to look at its  wealth of resources and goings on to get a feel for what Masonic life is like there.  As a visiting non Mason, it definitely leaves me wondering why becoming a Arkansas Mason is valuable.

Coming up next – The Grand Lodge of California

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About Masonic Traveler

An artist by nature and vocation, Greg pursued the sublime degrees of Freemasonry in 1994. A 3rd degree Master and a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, Greg is the author of the ebook What is Freemasonry and the print book Masonic Traveler.

Read more about Greg Stewart.

Comments

  1. ronald chasteen says:

    having been through out of masonry in arkansas for life with out a trial—–after being a fathfull mason for 20 years——why in deed become a arkansas mason??????????/—–RON CHASTEEN

  2. Jaye Hall says:

    I am afraid your comment and question posed are not making sense to me. Please someone help me out here as I am in the dark I think.

    Ron are you saying that you have been a Mason for 20 years and have gone without a trial because you are loyal? And then posing a question asking why to be a Mason in Arkansas?

  3. keith barker says:

    I am trying to found a site for the rainbow girls in the state of arkansas. could someonw please help

  4. mtadmin says:

    Keith, The best bet is to have a look at this site http://www.gorainbow.org/home/home.taf and navigate to their find us tab.

  5. ronald chasteen says:

    IF YOU CAN NOT GET A TRIAL FROM THE GRAND LODGE OF ARK——TO CLEAR YOUR GOOD NAME——THEN THERE IS A REASON—–THE REASON IN MY CASE IS IM NOT GUILTY ——BUT THEY DONT WANT ME——SO WHAT—-I HAVE ALL WAYS BEEN—–A FATHFULL MASON——I STILL AM——–IF THERE IS NOT GOING TO BE ANY FAIRNESS IN MASONRY——-THEN YES WHY INDEED BECOME A MASON—–MASONRY IS NOT POLITICKS NOR MEANESS——ITS IS LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER——–WE SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO ALL WAYS STRIVE FOR THIS——MY THOUGHTS AND I WILL DIE BELIVING THEM——RON CHASTEEN—-EXPELLED FROM JASPER LODGE-NO. 21–BY THE MOST UNMASONIC TRIAL IN THE STATE OF ARK——-EXPELLED BY GRAND LODGE FOR LIFE—-BUT DENIED—–A TRIAL

  6. I’m a amateur genealogist and have been working to record as much about my family name as I can. I found that Freemasonry was a big part of many in my family lines, and would like to record this history as it was a big part of their life.
    I’m looking for information on George G. Latta who was a Mason at the Hot Springs Lodge in the late 1800’s. He was also the Grand Commander (1897) of the York Rite in Hot Springs Ak. Seeing the Grand Lodge web site is down for what might be a long time, Would you be so kind to send me on the right road to find the information they might have.

    Sincerely yours,
    George P. Latta Sr

  7. George, Unfortunately, the Grand Lodge is the best and only place to go for Masonic genealogy records. I do not imagine the Grand Lodge site to remain down for long, but you may want to point your search to any of the local lodges near to where your family were members. That may be a good interim step in finding any information out about them. i hope that helps.

  8. Bob Blanchard says:

    I am Mason in good standing and am a member of the Windhorst Lodge in Tampa Florida. I have recently moved to Perry Arkansas and am looking for a local lodge to join. I noticed a lodge in Perry (#276) and one in Perryville but am unsure if they are active lodges.

  9. Jerry Dennis says:

    My paternal grandfather, Walter Edward Dennis Sr (1906-1975) became a Mason of the York Order between ca 1940 and remained a faithful member of the order until his death in January 1975. He initially joined the York Order of Masons in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and is listed on your “not forgotten” list. I recall back in 1968 when he and my grandmother visited my family how pride he was to have risen to the 32nd Degree Mason and showed me his very large certificate. I expressed great joy in his accomplishment. My grandfather and I were close, more like brothers, than grandfather to grandson. My uncle, Ross Dennis, went on to become a 34th degree Mason and a Shriner. My grandfather came to his ceremony and said “You are not only my son, but my brother too.” Both are gone now. Walter Edward Dennis Sr was of the York Order, Ross, his son was one of the Scottish Rites. Can you tell me what the difference is?

  10. To Bob Blanchard,

    I am a member of the Perryville Masonic Lodge #238 in Perryville, AR. I just ran across your post on this website and hope that you get this. But we are an active lodge as well as the lodge in Perry. We at Perryville meet on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 PM. If you have any further questions please contact me by email at perryvillemason@yahoo.com.

    Jay

  11. ronald chasteen says:

    WELL ONE OF THE MEN THAT HAD ME EXPELLED FROM MASONRY-IN JASPER LODGE #21—-YES I LECTURED HIM—SO I KNOW HIM——-AN YES I WAS THERE WHEN ON HIS BENDING KNEES HE L— TO GOD——-JUST LOST HIS BID FOR COUNTY JUDGE-NO NOT SWEET REVENGE——-WE ARE ALL SUFFERING FOR THIS——MASONRY THE MOST——GRAND LODGE OF ARK, YOU OWE ME A FAIR TRIAL TO CLEAR MY NAME—-I WILL SETTLE FOR NOTHEN ELSE—–RONALD CHASTEEN

  12. William Frasier says:

    I am the Master of Dorcheat Lodge # 276 in Evergreen , La and we are in need of the principal Officers chairs. If you know of any Lodge that mgiht have these please contact me.
    Fraternally Yours
    Bro. Bill Frasier

  13. gerrit marshall says:

    Can someone put me in touch with the Grand Secretary of Grand Lodge of Arkansas? The website is currently under construction, thus I cannot find contact information.

    Fraternally,
    gerritstan@yahoo.com

  14. Todd Harrell says:

    I am currently working in Conway, Arkansas, and would like to attend meetings in the surrounding areas, while I am visiting here, and I am wanting to obtain locations of nearby lodges. I am a member of Aurora 193, In New Iberia, Louisiana. I can be contacted by email at gravelpack@yahoo.com, or by phone at 337-962-1653. Thank you in advance for assistance in this matter!

    Fraternally Yours,

    Bro. Todd Harrell

  15. I am interested in becoming a mason. The nearest lodge is in Newark, Ar. But I cannot find any information on it. There are never any cars there when I drive by. Also when I was young I remember my grandpa, Chester Lee Coleman, having a ring. I think it was a Masonic ring. I would like to know if he was a mason. He live in Judsonia, ar. And passed away in 1995. Can anyone help?

  16. Jean L Bailey says:

    Re: Samuel Walters Bailey
    You continue sending your mailings to my husband, Samuel Walters Bailey. As I have informed you he passed away April 22, 2010. He was a member of Cabot Arkansas Lodge for 50 years. I have not one condolance from any of his Arkansas Mason Brothers and I would appreciate it if you took my precious husband off your mailing list. Sincerely, Jean L Bailey
    8969 SE 130th Loop
    Summerfield, FL 34491

  17. The five Lodges of Searcy County, AR. will have our quarterly “Friends and Family dinner at Campbell Lodge No. 115 in Marshall on Sat. Oct 29, 2011, at 7 p.m. All Masons, their families, friends, and anyone interested in Masonry are invited to attend. The Rainbow Girls will be there to put on a program. Great food and fellowship

  18. Johnny Green says:

    I am a member of Beaver Valley #753, in Beaver Creek, Ohio. I was told my great grandfather was an Arkansas Mason. His name was Stonewall Jackson Blackburn, and he would have been raised somewhere in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Is there any way I can find out if he was in fact an Arkansas Mason?

  19. ED Lamour says:

    Fraternal Greetings:

    I AM a Georgia Mason. I will be in Searcy between 9 Jan 2012 and 20 Jan 2012.
    I would very much like to sit in Lodge with my Arkansas Brothers. The Grand Lodge site is ‘under construction’ and I can find no info on area Lodges. If anyone could give me any info on area Lodges I would be grateful.

    Fraternally;
    ED Lamour, JW
    Mableton No. 171

  20. I have obtained a sword that appears to have belonged at one time to a Masonic member by the name of David L King. It appears to be a older sword. Can anyone tell me anything about it? Thanks in advance

  21. scott emde says:

    I am looking for my grandfather’s records John Bradley Mason. He lived in many towns but his last residence was in Agusta, Ark untill he died in the 80’s. I’ve been to the Arkansas website and it appears to be down. There was a fire but that was before his time as he was born in 1903. Any help would be deeply appreciated.

  22. katherine henley says:

    I am searching for any information on my grandfather, Ellsworth Brown Humphrey, he went by EB Humphrey, he lived in Mountainburg, ARK about 30 yrs. He died in the 80’s. Would love to find out for sure if he was a member of the Masons, and if so when and where. Can any one point me in the right direction?

  23. Hello Brothers
    Received this inquiry on Masonic-Lodges.com Can anyone help and contact me
    I live in Bentonville, Arkansas and my daughter is a senior in high school; however we homeschool. As such, she is not eligible to apply for any Masonic scholarship in our area. I just wanted to write and let you know how sad I am that the Masons exclude this facet of education from their scholarship program.

    I was raised in Oklahoma and my Dad, Dale A. Cassel (32 degree Mason)raised me as a Rainbow Girl, Jobs Daughter and Eastern Star. I have felt the love and family of the Masonic fraternity my entire life. I would like to ask the Masonic Grand Lodge of Arkansas and Oklahoma to please consider some type of scholarship program for homeschool students as our children work just as hard as public high school students and are often much more involved in our communities.

    Thank you so much for your consideration!

  24. Brother Joseph Walsh can be reached at Mason@Masonic-lodges.com

  25. Becky Plumlee says:

    http://www.argrandlodge.org is not a current website, who could I contact about information on Robert E Lee Lodge #313? I have found my 2nd great grandfather W W Williams in a book by Desmond Walls Allen, in Texas we have the Grand Lodge in Waco that will give info for a $10 donation, the Arkansas Grand Lodge website is no longer available.
    Thank you

  26. Becky Plumlee says:

    to katherine henley, Desmond Walls Allen has a lot of information and books on the masons, I’m not sure if she can help on anything as current as the 1980’s, the site is http://www.arkansasresearch.com/Statewide/Masons/Masons.htm

  27. katherine henley says:

    to becky plumlee, Thank you for the info, I really appreciate it, I have been having trouble finding out any info, since I don’t know where to begin. This will give me a starting point. Thank you so much.

  28. Becky Plumlee says:

    Your more than welcome, Katherine, Happy Searching!!

  29. Steven Baker Jr. says:

    Hello. I’m looking for more information on the lodge closest to me. I am currently living in Conway, AR and would appreciate a contact to speak with. The AR grand lodge site has been permanently removed. Any information would be appreciated.

  30. tom Ezell says:

    Steven: Check with the Green Grove Lodge #107 on Harkrider Street, across from the old Virco plant. It’s a good, honey little lodge. Also be sure to check out the lodges in Greenbriar and Damascus, if you get a chance.

  31. Becky Plumlee says:

    Thank you Tom

  32. Jarrod Williams says:

    Ive been quite curious as to this 2b1ask1, and in so trying to b1, not only can I not find one to ask, but this page indeed had no link for such effort.. help?

  33. William Whillock says:

    hello,I am trying to become a Freemason. My great grandparents were both masons..I am named after my great grandfather,and I am sure his name is known in the mason community. Any information would be greatly appreciated

  34. My grandfather was a mason in Arkansas, how can I find out what lodge or chapter he belonged to so I can check his status so I can join the Eastern Stars?

  35. ronald chasteen says:

    SEAMS A LOT OF FOLKS NEED INFO FROM THE GRAND LODGE OF ARKANSAS—IT MUST BE IN A BACK ROOM PLAYING POLITICS—-YEA PROUBLY PLANNING ON HOW TO DESTROY MASONRY–SO FAR THERE DOING A GREAT JOB—MASONRY IS JUST ABOUT GONE IN ARKANSAS

  36. Jarrod Williams says:

    Is the all caps really necessary?

  37. i sense a great deal of anger here…
    and if this is really so – its very sad…

  38. Patrick V. McGinness, Sr. says:

    Is there a site for the Arkansas Grand Lodge, and if so, what is the site address? We have a spot for that link on our website. The other one does not seem to be functioning anymore.

  39. Kevin Witherspoon says:

    Greatings Bredren I hail from Pleasnt Hills #6 Lincolnton Ga I will be in Arkansas from 3/15-22 Can any brother assist I can be reached @ 518-982-6972
    Fraternaly Yours
    Bro Kevin Witherspoon

  40. jameshhenson says:

    Why is Schriners Jewelry still in the Scottish Rite Magazine?

  41. jameshhenson says:

    We the People

  42. stevie brown says:

    Im from pine bluff. Price hall lodge OK I’m 19 I moved to Conway at I tryd looking for a lodge but the age requirement is 21

Trackbacks

  1. […] This is the Grand Lodge that declared a generic Prince Hall produced Masonic  license plate clandestine. This is the Grand Lodge that prohibited its members from E-Mailing or communicating with one another electronically with one another. This is the Grand Lodge that deliberately shut down its own website (you can see a review of the original site here). […]

  2. […] This is the Grand Lodge that declared a generic Prince Hall produced Masonic  license plate clandestine. This is the Grand Lodge that prohibited its members from E-Mailing or communicating with one another electronically with one another. This is the Grand Lodge that deliberately shut down its own website (you can see a review of the original site here). […]

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