Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM - Forum

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mr. Matthew Michael Gregory: ALL Three Masonic Degrees by Special Dispensation of The Grand Master of Masons in Mississippi - MS Masonic Mountain Men & MS Masonic Confederate Degree Teams

It is with great honor that the brethren of Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM, formally announce one of the most profound days known to date, for Masonry in the great State of Mississippi.

If you are a Facebook user, you are encouraged to follow the link below to the official invitation in order to help us get an approximate head count so that we may make proper arrangements for food and seating requirements, by clinking on the tab labeled "Going". Also, please take just an extra minute of your time and share the invitation with Masons that you are friends with by clicking the tab labeled, "Invite Friends". Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.

Mr. Matthew Michael Gregory: ALL 3 Degrees Conferred Same Day - Facebook Invite Link

All brethren, EA, FC, & MM, in good standing, are cordially invited to attend our lodge for a full day of the best work that Freemasonry has to offer! There will be something of magnificent wonder for all to behold, no matter where you are in your Masonic journey. Of course, only those Masons, properly initiated in "that specific degree", and vouched for, or by current dues card, will be admitted into the lodge during the actual degrees for EA, FC, and MM, respectively. A place will be provided for those who might attend but may not have completed more than EA or FC. 

Please respectfully read this post all the way through in order to get to know our candidate better, as well as a detailed outline of the days events and schedule. This is not only a day that will be remembered forever by this young man, but is also an opportunity for all the brethren of Masonry to make a lasting impression on his heart, mind, body, and soul. I think as you get to know him, you will see why, any man of this type of dignity, honor, respect, conduct, drive, ethics, values,stamina, and hard core intestinal fortitude, would be a welcomed breath of life and torch bearer for the future of the craft we all indescribably love. That title of Mason, which we all hold in the highest of regard and have committed to protect with all that we have, all that we are, and all that we will ultimately, someday become when we pass from this life to our eternal resting place.

Myron L. Ware, Grand Master of Masons in Mississippi

On Saturday, March 23rd 2013, with the permission of M.W. Myron L. Ware, Grand Master of Masons in Mississippi, Grand Lodge of Mississippi, by Special Dispensation, Mr. Matthew Michael Gregory, will receive ALL three Masonic Degrees in one day.

Mr. Matthew Michael Gregory

Mr. Gregory was born on March 9th, 1991 in Tupelo, Ms. He attended Tupelo High School and Mooreville High School, both of Lee County and graduated in May 2009. Mr. Gregory is the Grandson of Bro Robert (Bob) Oneal McNeece, a Master Mason, and life-time member in good standing of Tupelo Masonic Lodge No 318 F&AM, since being raised in 1970. Bro McNeece also belongs to the York Rite and is a 32° Scottish Rite Mason.

Mr. Matthew Michael Gregory was married to Briana Raelyn Gregory in December 2012.

Mr. & Mrs. Mattew Michael Gregory

'Matt', as he is known by, had been attending Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Ms. where he majored in Diesel Technology since 2009 and was working for Idealease from October 2010 until he took his Oath of Enlistment and received his orders.

According to Matt's Grandfather, "he has been seriously inquiring about becoming a Mason since before he was even old enough to take the first step"... "at this point, I honestly can not tell you how old he was when he actually made his mind up"..."I just had to finally just tell him that although he was on the right track, he would simply have to wait until he was older".

The years passed and the questions continued until there was no stopping him. Matt's Grandfather put him in touch with a brother, when at last, he finally reached the appropriate age and he waisted no time setting up a meeting. Especially when Matt and his Grandfather both realized that Matt didn't really have to wait until his 21st Birthday! Yes, "Ooops", is right, he had waited three years longer that he needed to by this point and Bro McNeece was quick to remind Matt that he was old and had too many things in his brain to keep track of!

Matt first approached Bro Arnie Cade on August 17th, 2012 and then requested a petition to receive the three degrees on November 7th, 2012. His petition was put out on committee on November 12th, 2012 and was voted on and accepted during our Monthly Stated Communication on December 10, 2012.

Matt began making preparations over a year ago for "big things to come" during the year of 2012. He worked full time, attended college full time, prepared for graduation and yes, even a wedding. Two other major decisions that he made was with regard to fulfilling a long family history of Duty and Service to both God and Country whereby he might begin to establish the foundation or framework for his own future legacy. So, as to no surprise, by all accounts of those who know him best, Matt proudly enlisted in The United States Marine Corps.

This was completed just prior to the second part of his quest, a journey that had been in his life from birth and deep within his heart. A desire that could not be extinguished and a passion that burned just as hot as all the other specific goals in which he had mapped out for his life. This final calling had managed to make it into the "Top Five" of his bucket list and was one that in his own words, "was as important to him as getting married and joining the military. This goal was to follow in the footsteps of his family and make petition to become a Free & Accepted Mason. All the while, he was awaiting his ship date for Boot Camp at the Marine Corp Recruit Depo in Parris Island, SC.

Unfortunately, due to the very short window given, we were not able to schedule his first degree because during the time his petition was out for investigation, Matt was ordered to report for military duty on December 17th, 2012, just one week after being accepted.

To further complicate matters, Matt is scheduled to graduate from boot camp on March 15th, 2013 and will only have ten days of leave before deploying to an undisclosed location on March 25th, 2013 in the support of our nations ongoing Global War on Terrorism.

After much lengthy discussion with Matt, his Grandfather, Bob McNeece, another Mason that has been a corner stone in his life, Bro JZ McCormick, also a member of Tupelo Masonic Lodge No 318 F&AM since 1971, the Worshipful Master of our lodge, Bro Ray Stanford, officers, committees, and brethren, we decided to contact the Grand Lodge of Mississippi to see what options we had available to us.

It was apparent from the beginning that primarily, due to both the age and health of Bro McNeece and Bro McCormick, as well as the many unknowns surrounding the contingent deployment of Mr. Gregory, that as Freemasons, we had both a solemn duty and obligation to find a way to not only, make this "once in a lifetime" opportunity, as memorable as possible but to also ensure that those Masons who have mentored Mr. Gregory over his lifetime, were able to share this with him, as we are too often reminded that we are never promised "tomorrow".

After many hours of thought, weeks of planning and coordinating, by Bro. Derik Paul Rushing, PM - Tupelo No. 318, and Bro. William Arnold (Arnie) Cade, Senior Deacon - Tupelo No. 318, along with the extended support and collaboration of R.W. Bro. Christopher M. Reid, PM - Grand Marshal/Librarian - MGL, R.W. Bro. Micky P. McMahan, Past DDGL - Grand Secretary - MGL, Bro. Wilson Arthur Windham, PM / MMMM No.I - Wooten, Sr. Lodge No. 503, Bro. Bobby Ainsworth, PGM / MMMM No. III - MGL, Bro. Gene Vincent, PM /MMCDT - Grenada Lodge No. 31, and Bro. Jerry Klein, WM / MMCDT - Fulton Lodge No. 444, we were able, under the blessing of the G.A.O.T.U., and special permission of Most Worshipful Bro. Myron L. Ware, Grand Master of Masons in Mississippi - MGL, to put together a day that will go down in Masonic History.

The Mississippi Masonic Confederate Degree Team

The Mississippi Masonic Mountain Men Degree Team

M.W. Bro. Myron L. Ware, Grand Master & Grand Officers - Grand Lodge of Mississippi F.&A.M

Grand Lodge Of Mississippi - Cemented With Love

Schedule of Events and Times 

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

  • 0800 - 0845 / Light Breakfast and coffee will be served

  • 1630 - 1700 / Clean Up and Departure

NOTE: Please be advised that this schedule of times is to used only as a guide and may at some point during the day need to have adjustments made, in order to allow for the highly detailed and authentic nature of these unique degrees being conferred, by some of Mississippi's most revered and finest ritualist. We felt that this guide would be much more beneficial than simply "TBA", especially for those brethren that will be attending after having traveled great distances, or for those that may only have a portion of the day to devote. We appreciate your support!

Please pass along this invitation and be sure to mark it on your calendar! We can assure you that this is one day in the history of Freemasonry that you will not want to miss out on.

We hope that you will start making plans and preparations to get as many brethren as you can to come with you. You are all welcome to use either of the Facebook pages for The Grand Lodge of Mississippi F&AM or Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM, in order to communicate with other brethren to help facilitate making plans or putting together carpools.

Quiet possibly, the highest quality of Masonic Work, not only in Mississippi, but abroad, will be on display. The Grand Master, and Grand Officers, along with each of these noble degree teams are dedicating their time to positively promote our beloved craft. Please show your support and gratitude for them and what they do for us by making it a point to be there with us and invite a brother or brethren to make the trip with you.

It will be well worth the time you invest!

On behalf of Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM, WM Ray Stanford, our Officers, Committees, and Brethren, we would like to thank in advance, all those brethren who have worked so hard to make this happen, all those who agreed to confer the degrees, all those who will make it a point to be there in order to support our Newly Raised Brother on this very special day, Saturday, March 23rd, 2013.

Fraternally & Respectfully,

Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM
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