Freemasonry is the leading fraternal organization in the world. Its origins are lost in the unrecorded history of medieval times, but it was formally organized in London, England, in 1717. Current worldwide membership totals over 3 million Freemasons, 1.1 million of whom are in North America.
As a fraternal organization, Freemasonry unites men of good character who, though of different religious, ethnic or social backgrounds, share a belief in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of mankind.
Making good men better is to extract the essence of the Masonic experience. The ritual and ceremony serve to convey and teach certain moral lessons and elevate the individuals to a position higher than themselves. The lessons are things you have likely already heard or have learned in a moral society.
Freemasonry is an individual journey towards becoming a better father, husband, friend, citizen, and man, supported by other men at different points on the same journey. For centuries, the Masonic Lodge itself has been the launchpad for Masonic Education, and a common ground for Brethren of different backgrounds to meet and exchange ideas, provide support, and offer friendship.
Masons live by the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
A BRIEF HISTORY
The following short history on Sandy Springs Lodge was submitted by Worshipful Brother Ben Johnson
Following World War II, there was a great increase in interest and membership in Freemasonry. At the same time metropolitan Atlanta began to experience population growth. During 1946, many Masons who lived in the awakening Sandy Springs area, but were members of Sardis Lodge located in Buckhead, of Roswell Lodge, and Masons from other Lodges left behind as people migrated to the suburbs north of the city, began discussing the desirability of a more convenient Lodge to attend.
On January 14, 1947, about sixty of these Masons held a formal meeting in the Hammond School auditorium. chaired by Bro. J. J. Morgan, where they chose a name for the proposed Lodge. selected meeting dates and time (unchanged except time for almost 50 years,) accepted an offer from Bro. J. J. Cochran rented the second story of a building which he had under construction at Roswell and Johnson Ferry Roads and began preparing a petition to the Grand Lodge of Georgia for dispensation to meet as a Lodge and receive a charter. This petition was signed by 93 Masons from 18 different Lodges.
On April 22, 1947, an organizational meeting was held in the completed Cochran building, attended by 175 Masons. where Grand Master Chesley W. Monk presented the dispensation issued to the petitioners, and work began, including the reception of 5 petitions for membership that same evening. The next 7 months under the dispensation were busy indeed: 22 petitions were received, 21 Initiations conferred, 17 Fellowcraft passed, and 17 Master Masons raised.
On November 29, 1947. at a Communication called for the purpose, Grand Master J. Clayton Perry presented a charter to the 93 petitioning brethren, the Lodge was constituted, and the following officers officially assumed their stations: Worshipful Master Odus W. Self, Senior Warden J. Lloyd Sauls, Junior Warden Posey E. Maddox, Treasurer Herby H. Hensley, Secretary J. Tilman Morgan, Chaplain Foster H. Bussell, Senior Deacon Pau! E. Arrington, Junior Deacon L."Marty" Burdett, Senior Steward J. Felton Sauls, Junior Steward Harold T. Hanson, Tyler George E. Hamrick. At least one of those 93 charter members still attends communications today, almost 55 years later. Bro. Ford Samples served until only last year as Tyler. Worshipful Brother J. T. "Jake" Foster was a regular attendee until his death in late 1997. Bro. Aubrey Thompson came "Whenever he could" until his death a few years ago, and Brothers James Carey, Roy Foster and Pierce Loudermilk (since deceased) are valued members.
For a number of years, the Lodge continued to meet in the Cochran building, upstairs, over a dry-cleaning shop operated by Bro. Ford Samples, who furnished the Lodge with heat from his boiler. However, something more permanent was wanted, and preliminary talk and plans for its own Lodge building would, from time to time, come before the Lodge.
During the early summer of 1955, Bro. Carson Rader learned that the Fulton County Board of Education was planning for a new Sandy Springs High School, and it was decided to raze an old recreation building on the proposed site (now the location of a Kroger store). Bro. Rader informed the Lodge of this on June 14, and after a further report on October 11, Bro. Rader was authorized to proceed to see what could be done. He convinced the County to donate the old building to the Lodge and a lot was acquired on Blue Stone Road, near Hildebrand and what is now Sandy Springs Circle. The newly acquired building was relocated to that spot during the fall of 1956, and over the next three years was remodeled. But the relocation and remodeling were not that simple. Weather, deadlines, permits and a court injunction obtained by two brothers who did not want a new Lodge building, combined to delay the actual move for almost a year. But many brothers contributed their time and money, including "Pug" Mabry, Hugh D. Davis, and" Jake" Foster. (Bro. Don McIntosh remembers helping his father, Bro. Ken McIntosh and Jake Foster in that work.) Impressed with all this work, the two disagreeing brothers relented, dropping the suit, and on July 18,1959, Grand Master R. M. Vandergriff, Sr. laid the cornerstone signifying the Lodge and its home.
Then, in 1971, another proposed county improvement afforded an opportunity to convert that building into something far better.
Fulton County decided it needed the Lodge property on Blue Stone Road for expansion of Sandy Springs High School facility, but the county had no money with which to purchase the site. Wor. Master James 0. Stroup proposed an arrangement under which the county exchanged some county owned property located on Roswell Road, across from the present North Springs High School to the Lodge for the Blue Stone site, with the Lodge allowed to continue using the existing building until a new facility could be obtained or constructed. With the astute assistance of Howard Chatham, a member of Roswell Lodge and a prominent real estate developer, and supporter of Sandy Springs, the Lodge sold the Roswell Road property for enough money to not only purchase the present lot on Johnson Ferry and have the present building erected by Capital Construction Company, but also have funds left over for future maintenance. As an interesting aside, the existing house on the Johnson Ferry site had been the location of several preliminary meetings by those early organizing members back in 1947.
The Lodge completed these efforts under Wor. Master Charles Allen and on September 16, 19721 Grand Master J1. Gordon McKinney laid the cornerstone of the present structure. The cornerstone of the earlier building on Blue Stone was also incorporated. The designs and plans for this splendid building, which never fails to receive admiring remarks from visitors, were formulated under the supervision of Wor. Bro. A. R. Allen. But many brothers gave unselfishly of their time, moneys, and talents in securing this Lodge building. Bro. Charles Stephens, former Treasurer, now deceased, was so impressed with the Sandy Springs Masons he met during the construction, that he petitioned, initiated, Passed and Raised while the construction was in progress. The many Masons involved truly shaped and fashioned a rough ashier into a finely crafted and finished product of the mason's art.
During 75 years of existence, Sandy Springs Lodge has contributed much to the community with civic and charitable actions, many unpublicized, has welcomed hundreds of visiting Masons from other Lodges and jurisdictions, and has been a source of counsel and comfort to over 700 members Masons. It has been recognized as 'Lodge of the Year1 by the Fifth Masonic District on five separate occasions, has received recognition from the Grand Lodge of Georgia as one of the Outstanding Lodges of Georgia, and has contributed many leaders in direct Masonic circles, and also in allied and affiliated Masonic organizations. Three members have been named as 'Mason of the Year' for the Fifth Masonic District - Bro. Tommy Meeks (twice), Bro. Ben Johnson and Bro. Warren Danner. Bro. Alan Raby recently served as Grand patron of the Grand Chapter of Eastern Star in Georgia.
The name Sandy Springs. or Lodge number 124, appears after a surprising number of officers on the rosters and directories of York Rite bodies, Scottish Rite bodies, Eastern Star. Shrine units, Grand Lodge and affiliated bodies. It supports an Eastern Star chapter (Oglethorpe, No. 122), a Royal Arch Chapter (Mt. Horeb No. 155), a Royal and Select Masters Council (Euclid, No. 33), contributes to the aid and relief of the Georgia Masonic Children's Home, is especially active in supporting the Calvary Children's Home in Cobb County, hosts annual fund-raising events to finance these endeavors, and it strives to see "who can best work and best agree. " It is a Lodge of which its members can be and are truly proud to be members.