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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The MS Masonic Confederate Degree Team: Bro Gene Vincent PM





The Mississippi Masonic Confederate Degree Team

THE MISSISSISSIPPI MASONIC CONFEDERATE DEGREE TEAM


The Mississippi Masonic Confederate Degree Team was organized in May 2012 to help promote interest in free masonry and granting members a chance to become proficient in their work, while allowing them a chance to gain knowledge in the fraternity during the War Between the States. Each member is requested to research clothing and equipment used during the period from April 1861 to April 1865, obtain a uniform and articles used by the Confederate forces during that time frame. He may choose from any branch of service including medical, chaplains, suttlers (civilians), and if desired Union, before he can participate in the degrees. Each member is also asked to be able to relate a short account of a Masonic event that took place during the Civil War, such as the Masonic Rights given to Lt. John E. Hart of the USS Albatross by Feliciana Lodge #31 in St.  Francisville La. The funeral contained both Union and Confederate forces. Members may also tell about their ancestors, who were in the war, relate stories of their lodges or towns or battles close to their homes. These are to be short so as not to interfere with the importance of the degree or slighting the candidate.                                                                          

We did not form this team to make a political statement or to give the impression that only Confederates were the ones who practiced the True Tenants of Freemasonry during the Cival War because this would be invalid. I received a few e-mails when we first began suggesting we change the name because many Southerners joined the Union. This was a war in which many families were torn apart, some never to recover; friends were pitted against each only to face one another in some of the bloodiest battles ever fought on American soil. Many found themselves holding the dying and mutilated bodies of their fathers, sons, brothers, and longtime friends; such was the case of a father discovering his dying son. The son was a Confederate soldier, the father Union, being unable to play "Dixie" at his son's funeral he was allowed to perform a song which is still used today at military burials, known by all as "Taps".
To date we have conferred five Entered Apprentice Degrees and Three Master Mason Degrees and are looking forward to doing more. Our active members are Gene Vincent, Larry Minyard, James Whitaker, Leslie Reeves, George Frazier, Bruce Childress, Kelly Martin, Terry Morgan, Richard Rodgers, Wade Johnson, Ed Jernigan, Gerald Klein, Edsel Carpenter, Stu Wright, and Stuart Wright.

Other members who do not yet have uniforms or have not worked in any degree are Chris Wilbourn, Robert Moore, Louis Correro, Randy Welch, Zack Case, Walt Karr, Jamie McMillian, Paul Reese, Ron Gardner, James Waldo, and Ray Keith. We have lost one of our original members since we started. Brother James Fullilove passed away from cancer a short time ago.

I conceived the idea of forming a degree team after attending a Masonic Cave Degree in Tennessee. The degree was conferred by a Masonic Civil War Degree Team. On our way home those of us who attended began discussing the idea of forming our own team. We were not sure how to start or if it would be alright with the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, F. & A.M. Sometime later we began hearing about the Mountain Men Masonic Degree Team, so I inquired if we could form our team and got the go-ahead. I have been a War Between the States "re-enactor" for about fifteen years as well as other time periods before that. I had been to re-enactments and talked with other Masons who thought it was a good idea. We all had Confederate uniforms so we decided on the name and started recruiting members.

I believe another reason for doing this is to honor those who gave their lives and limbs to defend their beliefs, both Federal and Confederate.

In doing research on my family I found that many of them were Masons
One of my g-g grandfathers was a Chaplain with 10th Texas Infantry and also Mason. My grandfather was a Past Master of Williams Arizona lodge #38 in 1931 and a Veteran of WWI. My father was also a Past Master of Williams Arizona lodge #38  in 1951 and a Veteran of WWII.
Although my dad and grandfather have little to do with the War Between the States their influence on my life seemed to fit into my ideals for this team. It is a tribute to them and all veterans.   
You may contact me at  < desertrat2013@yahoo.com >  for more information on The Mississippi Masonic Confederate Degree Team (MMCDT), how to join , or to schedule us to visit your lodge to confer a degree.  

Fraternally,
Bro Gene Vincent, PM

Grenada Masonic Lodge No. 31 F&AM 
Mississippi Masonic District 10                                                         


Bro Gene Vincent PM - Greneda Masonic Lodge No. 31 F&AM



Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM
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3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello,
    I am a member of Petal Lodge #516 and was wondering if y'all have a calendar of when performing degrees? I'd like to see if y'all will be doing any down this way because I'd love to see one. Just went to Bound Lodge in Sumrall and the Mountain Man Degree team raised a brother last night.
    Thank you,
    Doug Arbo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello,
    I am a member of Petal Lodge #516 and was wondering if y'all have a corner of when performing degrees? I'd like to see if y'all will be doing any down this way because I'd love to see one. Just went to Bound Lodge in Sumrall and the Mountain Man Degree team raised a brother last night.
    Thank you,
    Doug Arbo

    ReplyDelete

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