DeMolay International

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DeMolay International (also known as the Order of DeMolay), founded in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1919, is an international fraternal organization for young men ages 12 to 21. It was named for Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. DeMolay was incorporated in the 1990s and is classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization holding a group exemption letter.

Organizational overview

DeMolay is open for membership to young men between the ages of 12 to 21 of good character[clarification needed] who acknowledge a higher spiritual power. It has about 15,000 active members in the United States and Canada.[1] There are active chapters in Australia, Aruba, Bolivia, Brazil, Japan, Philippines and Serbia.[citation needed]. The Brazilian DeMolay has more active members than the United States, making Portuguese the most commonly used language in DeMolay chapters.


Although not a "Masonic organization" as such, DeMolay is considered to be part of the general "family" of Masonic and associated organizations, along with other youth groups such as Job's Daughters and International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. A family connection to Masonry is not a prerequisite for membership into DeMolay.


The Order of DeMolay was founded in 1919 with nine members, most of whom lived near each other in Kansas City.

The crown appearing in the self-adopted heraldic arms (the emblem) of the order contains 10 rubies, each representing one of the original nine and the organization's founder, Frank S. Land. The crown of the arms was originally portrayed with pearls. When a founding member died, the pearl representing him was changed to a ruby. In the 21st century, all the pearls have been changed to rubies. Today, all of the original founders have died and all pearls are rubies.

Founding members

  • Ivan M. Bentley: He lived in Louis Lower's neighborhood (see next entry). Created a Chevalier in 1920. Died in an accident in 1921. His was the first pearl changed to a ruby.
  • Louis G. Lower: The first DeMolay and the first Active DeMolay Legionnaire (LOH). Created a Chevalier in 1920. He was shot and killed by a security guard on July 18, 1943.
  • Frank Land: Founder of the organization. He was diagnosed with scleroderma but continued to work hard. Land died on November 8, 1959. Every DeMolay chapter honors the memory of Frank S. Land annually on November 8.
  • Edmund Marshall: Created Chevalier in 1920. Graduated from University of Missouri. President of the Kansas City Board of Trade. He died on November 8, 1966, becoming the fourth ruby.
  • Clyde C. Stream: Cousin of Gorman McBride (below). He was a technical engineer with the Sagano Electric Company. Retired to Bradenton, Florida. He died on May 3, 1971.
  • Gorman A. McBride: He lived in the neighborhood with Louis Lower. Second Obligated DeMolay. First Master Councilor of Mother Chapter. Created a Chevalier in 1920. Became an Active Member of the International Supreme Council. Received the Founder's Cross from Land, the only one of the original nine to do so. He was a lawyer by profession and was Director of Activities at ISC Headquarters in the 1960s. He died on November 10, 1973 and became the sixth ruby.
  • Ralph Sewell: He lived in the home of Louis Lower and became the credit manager for H. D. Lee Mercantile Company, makers of Lee jeans. Mr. Sewell was a skilled pianist and organist. He died in July 1976 and became the seventh ruby.
  • Elmer F. Dorsey: He lived near Louis Lower. He became a successful businessman and moved to Texas and became an Advisor to Richardson Chapter. He died in November 1979.
  • William W. Steinhilber: He lived in the neighborhood with Louis Lower. Steinhilber became a successful stock and bond broker. He was captain of the first DeMolay baseball team. He died on October 28, 1992.
  • Jerome Jacobson: He lived one block from Louis Lower. Jacobson graduated from University of Kansas, was admitted to the Missouri Bar as a lawyer, and had a career in law and finance. He lived and worked in Kansas City, where he died in May 2002.


DeMolay has seven Cardinal Virtues, taught as its basic ideals. They are:

  • Filial love (love between a parent and child)
  • Reverence for sacred things
  • Courtesy
  • Comradeship
  • Fidelity
  • Cleanness
  • Patriotism

Organizational structure

A local DeMolay body is known as a Chapter and is headed by the Master Councilor. The Master Councilor is elected by members of his Chapter and is usually among the older members of the group. The Master Councilor is assisted in his duties by a Senior Councilor and a Junior Councilor. The Senior Councilor is usually considered to be next in line as Master Councilor and Junior Councilor to follow, though two people can run against each other. The remaining officers of a Chapter are appointed by the Master Councilor, except for the Scribe, who is appointed by the Chapter's Advisory Council.

Senior DeMolays (former members now 21 or older), Masons, or other adult mentors supervise the Chapter and are referred to as "Dad." One of the founding members thought of Frank Land as a father figure and called him "Dad Land". In recent years, women have also served as "advisors" [sic] for the group. Women advisors are referred to as "Mom".

In addition to the individual Chapter, the DeMolay organization has an officer structure at the state, provincial, or other large regional level led by a State Master Councilor, Provincial Master Councilor, or Jurisdictional Master Councilor. In some countries, DeMolay may have a national level organization headed by a "National Master Councilor". There are also other state, provincial, or jurisdictional positions, based on the officers of a chapter, which vary for each jurisdiction. The lead advisor (always a Master Mason and a member of the Supreme Council) in a state, jurisdiction, or country, is called an Executive Officer. The lead advisor (always a Master Mason) internationally is known as a Grand Master, who governs the International Supreme Council. There are also Active DeMolay officers at an international level; the International Master Councilor and International Congress Secretary are the heads of the International DeMolay Congress and serve on the Board of Directors. These officers are always past State Master Councilors.

In some countries other than the United States, the International Supreme Council of DeMolay has ceded control to an independent Supreme Council created to govern DeMolay in that country. Such a Supreme Council has its own Grand Master and officers. (Examples are Australia, Brazil, and the Philippines.)

Chapter officers

DeMolay functions through a set of officers. Some are elected; some are appointed. The Master Councilor, Senior Councilor, Junior Councilor and Treasurer are always elected. All other officers except where noted are appointed by the Master Councilor. The officers of a DeMolay Chapter are as follows:

Office Elected/appointed Duty
Master Councilor Elected Sits as chair for meetings, official representative of chapter to outside persons and organizations.
Senior Councilor Elected Many times oversees degree, ceremony work and fund raising. Assists Master Councilor and takes charge in absence of Master Councilor
Junior Councilor Elected Many times oversees membership, contacts members about events, assists other councilors and takes charge in absence of both Master and Senior Councilors
Scribe Appointed by Advisory Council or elected by chapter. Records minutes at meetings, files necessary paper work, sends and receives communications.
Treasurer Elected Manages chapter account; in many chapters the office is symbolic and only adults handle chapter funds
Senior Deacon Appointed Conducts candidates in initiation, assists councilors, sometimes proceeds to Junior Councilor
Junior Deacon Appointed Communicates with Sentinel, assists Senior Deacon
Senior Steward Appointed Keeps facilities clean and in order.
Junior Steward Appointed Assists Senior Steward
Orator Appointed Presents ceremonies, makes necessary announcements
Sentinel Appointed Verifies persons entering meetings, keeps disturbances away
Chaplain Appointed Prayer
Marshal Appointed Conducts necessary movement in meetings
Standard Bearer Appointed Oversees flags and proper presentation of such
Almoner Appointed Collects alms for charities, and those sick or distressed
Seven Preceptors All Appointed Represent the seven Cardinal Virtues of DeMolay
Organist (Optional) Appointed Provides Music

Female youth leaders

Some DeMolay Chapters elect young women to positions of leadership, who act to support members and their activities.

DeMolay Chapters may elect a "Chapter Sweetheart" to serve as the female representative of the Chapter, although she is NOT an officer of the Chapter. Her duties may include attending Chapter functions and acting as an ambassador of DeMolay. The "Sweetheart" must meet the age requirements of a particular jurisdiction or Chapter (often 14 to 21.) She may be member of a neighboring Job's Daughters Bethel, Rainbow Assembly, Triangle, or Constellation, but that is not a set requirement.

Chapter Princess
A Chapter may also elect a Chapter Princess. The program generally uses the same requirements as set forth for the Sweetheart. Her duties generally include attending Chapter functions and acting as an ambassador of DeMolay while assisting the Sweetheart in her duties.

Jurisdictional officers

Each state or jurisdiction holds an annual (or biennial, in some) event known as a Conclave or Convention. At this event, the members of the state or jurisdiction may vote on the State Master Councilor (or, in some cases the Provincial Master Councilor / Jurisdictional Master Councilor) and other elected positions. Some jurisdictions may elect a Deputy State Master Councilor, and / or various other positions. In same cases, these officers are appointed by the Executive Officer of jurisdiction.

International leadership

During the International Congress, two delegates appointed by the Executive Officer from each state or jurisdiction meet in conjunction with the International Supreme Council. The delegates elect the International Master Councilor and International Congress Secretary. Additionally, delegates discuss and vote on legislative issues. The International Master Councilor and International Congress Secretary are voting members of the Board of Directors for DeMolay International.

International Congress Officers

Chandler Gordon 49th International Master Councilor Chandler Gordon of Arizona was installed as the 49th International Master Councilor of DeMolay at the 48th DeMolay Congress in Orlando, Florida on June 20, 2015.
Quentin Cockerham 49th International Congress Secretary Quentin Cockerham of Missouri was installed as the 49th International Congress Secretary of DeMolay at the 48th DeMolay Congress.

Adult supervision

Each chapter must be sponsored by a local masonic body or some other group composed exclusively of masons.[2] The sponsoring body is responsible for providing the chapter with adult advisors[2] and a place to meet. Members of the sponsoring body form the chapter's initial "advisory council". The advisory council selects one of its members to be its chairman, and he is the official liaison between the chapter and the sponsoring body. Another member of the advisory council is designated the "chapter advisor," and he is the official liaison between the advisory council and the chapter.[2] The chapter's advisory council is responsible for supervising the chapter and its activities.


DeMolays participate in a wide range of social and sports activities that may include: camping, holding dances with members of Rainbow and Job's Daughters, playing basketball, football, baseball, soccer, tennis, paintball, or billiards, going canoeing and kayaking, and taking long distance trips. Both Chapters and individual DeMolays participate in competitions for the best performance of the various Ceremonies of the Order. Winners of local competitions, in ritual and sports, may compete for State Championships, and sometimes State winners compete at higher levels. The Chapter collectively decides what events they enjoy, then plans them, and in many cases holds fund raisers to finance them.

Obligatory Days

DeMolays are required to participate in what are referred to as "Obligatory Days," generally marked by a chapter program. The seven Obligatory Days are:

Patriots' Day: A day in which chapters commemorate the country, founding fathers, and past and current military in recognition of patriotism, the last of the DeMolay Precepts. Such programs may include the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" or playing of "Taps", the flag folding ceremony, visit to a historical site or monument, hosting a program honoring veterans, or having a speaker address the topic. Sometime is held in February near Presidents Day.

Devotional Day: A day to honor the importance of God. Although DeMolay teaches no religious creed, members are encouraged to attend organized worship. Chapters usually attend a church, synagogue, or temple together as a chapter, hold a Bible study, or honor a pastor, deacon, or member of the clergy with gratitude. This day marks the second DeMolay Precept, Reverence for Sacred Things. A DeMolay learns tolerance of others' beliefs and appreciation for their own religious beliefs. Held close to March 18.

Parent's Day: A day to honor parents and the care and sacrifices they make for their children. Events may be a dinner where DeMolays cook and serve the parents, or the presentation of the Flower Talk, a heart-felt ceremony that honors mothers. Occurs on a day between May 1 and June 21, usually around Mother's Day or Father's Day.

My Government Day: A day to learn more about the government of the country, state, province or community in which the Chapter is located. Usual events may include having a congressman come and speak at a chapter, participate in an Independence Day activity, meeting with the Mayor or Governor, or visiting the capitol building. For example, in the Texas jurisdiction, DeMolays gather at the capitol building in Austin, Texas, and participate in mock legislature in the House and Senate Chambers. Occurs in July.

Educational Day: A day to honor public schools and all education. Activities could include reading to elementary school students on a special night, collecting books for a local library, or having a teacher speak in recessed chapter. Occurs any time during the year.

Frank S. Land Memorial Day: A day to recognize and pay tribute to Frank Land. Chapters are encouraged to raise funds and donate them to a DeMolay charity. Visiting Land's grave site, presenting a copy of "Hi Dad!" to someone, or presenting the Dad Land Talk to the Chapter and guests, are common ways to observe this day. Occurs on or near November 8, the day Land died.

Day of Comfort: A day for members of DeMolay to visit the sick and carry words of comfort to those who are confined. The Almoner should be responsible for planning this observance. Events include collecting and donating items in a food drive, visiting a nursing home or hospital, or holding a seniors day, where DeMolays prepare a meal for the elderly. This day occurs between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Honors and awards

Chevalier Jewel2.jpg
LOH Jewel.jpg

The Degree of Chevalier is the highest honor an active DeMolay can receive. It may also be granted to a Senior DeMolay. The degree is granted for outstanding DeMolay service and activity. To receive the honor, a DeMolay must be at least 17 years old on January 15 of the year nominated, have been a member for at least two years as of that date, be nominated by his chapter's Advisory Council, and have the approval of the Executive Officer of his jurisdiction, and of the Supreme Council.

The Legion of Honor is the highest honor conferred by the DeMolay Supreme Council. The award was approved in 1925 and first conferred upon Louis Lower. With amendment of the Supreme Council's statutes in 1985, the minimum age for nominees for the Legion of Honor was dropped from 30 to 25 as of January 15. The Supreme Council may confer the Legion of Honor upon a Senior DeMolay for outstanding leadership in some field of endeavor, for service to humanity, or for success in fraternal life, including adult service to the Order of DeMolay. The Supreme Council may also confer it upon a Freemason who was not a DeMolay, but who has performed unusual and meritorious service in behalf of the Order of DeMolay, or who has evidenced a spirit of cooperation and appreciation for the Order of DeMolay.

The Cross of Honor is given by the DeMolay Supreme Council for many years of adult service to the Order of DeMolay, and is the only Honor given exclusively for adult DeMolay Service.

The Representative DeMolay Award is the highest self-achievement award active and Senior DeMolays can earn. It's a self-assessment program where the member progresses toward personal goals. The member completes a detailed survey of his interests, achievements, general knowledge, and habits. Land said it was his dream that every DeMolay should be a Representative DeMolay. The "RD" program was first established in 1924. For many years, a competition was held to select outstanding DeMolays. In 1935, the program was redesigned to enable self-evaluation and personal growth by each member. The total number of "RD" recipients has been slightly more than one-half the number of Chevalier Degree holders.

Order of Knighthood

The Order of Knighthood is an appended organization of older DeMolays. The Knighthood program is for active DeMolays from ages 17 to 21 years of age. A Knighthood Priory has its own ritual and officers, separate from the chapter system.[3]

The official name of the Order is The Chivalric Knights of the Holy Order of the Fellow Soldiers of Jacques DeMolay. Knighthood is not an honorary degree or award, but a working body whose purpose is to extend fellowship and serve the Order of DeMolay.

The Order of Knighthood was started in 1946, when Land wrote the Knighthood ritual. It was not implemented until 1947.

Through the years, the Knights' activities have consisted of social and educational programs geared to older DeMolays, with a special emphasis on career planning and coed activities.

The main functions of a Priory are to:

  • Extend and assist the Order of DeMolay and its Chapters.
  • Maintain the active interest of older DeMolays.
  • Provide an interesting program for the Priory members.
  • Provide and maintain a proper example for all DeMolays.

DeMolay International Hall of Fame

Over the years, DeMolay has had many alumni who have gone on to achieve wide recognition outside of the organization. Some of them have been elected to the DeMolay Hall of Fame.[4] Not all DeMolays who have received recognition have been inducted into the Hall of Fame; some can be found on other lists.[5]

The following is a partial list of the members of the DeMolay Hall of Fame. The full list is available on the DeMolay International Web site.

Name Dates Profession Notes
Carl B. Albert 1908–2000 Politician Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (1971–1977)
Cecil D. Andrus b. 1931 Politician Governor of Idaho (1971–1977, 1987–1995), US Secretary of the Interior (1977–1981)
Reubin O'Donovan Askew b. 1928 Politician 37th Governor of Florida (1971–1979)
Walter "Red" Barber 1908–1992 Sports broadcaster Recipient of Ford C. Frick Award from National Baseball Hall of Fame
Mel Blanc 1908–1989 Cartoon voice actor "Man of a Thousand Voices"
Frank Borman b. 1928 Astronaut Commander of Apollo 8, CEO of Eastern Airlines (1975–1986), recipient of Congressional Space Medal of Honor
Vance D. Brand b. 1931 Astronaut Flew on Apollo-Soyuz and three Space Shuttle missions
Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. 1940–2005 Politician Governor of South Carolina (1987–1995)
Curtis L. Carlson 1914–1999 Entrepreneur, philanthropist Founded the Carlson Companies in 1938 as the Gold Bond Trading Company
Mel Carnahan 1934–2000 Politician Governor of Missouri (1991–2000)
Bill Clinton b. 1946 Politician 42nd President of the United States
Gary Collins b. 1938 Actor Best known for Airport (1970)
Walt Disney 1901–1966 Cartoonist and entrepreneur Creator of Mickey Mouse; co-founder of The Walt Disney Company
Lee S. Dreyfus b. 1926 Educator and politician Governor of Wisconsin (1979–1983)
Buddy Ebsen 1908–2003 Actor, singer, dancer Star of Barnaby Jones and The Beverly Hillbillies
David Goodnow b. 1940 Broadcast journalist Former anchor of CNN Headline News
Paul Harvey 1918–2009 ABC Radio broadcaster Recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom
Mark Hatfield 1922-2011 Politician Governor of Oregon (1959–1967), US Senator (1967–1997)
Burl Ives 1909–1995 Folk singer and actor Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, narrator of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Henry M. Jackson 1912–1983 Politician US Senator (1953–1983)
Brereton C. Jones b. 1939 Politician Governor of Kentucky (1991–1995)
Harmon Killebrew 1936-2011 Former professional baseball player and businessman Member of National Baseball Hall of Fame
Richard King b. 1938 Former President of Rotary International
Elmer Lower 1913–2011 Journalist, media executive Former President of ABC News
Bob Mathias b. 1930 Olympic athlete; politician Two-time Olympic gold medalist; US Representative from California (1967–1975)
Edgar D. Mitchell b. 1930 Astronaut Sixth man to walk on the Moon; Apollo 14 astronaut
Tom Osborne b. 1937 Athlete, coach, politician Former Head Coach at University of Nebraska; member of College Football Hall of Fame
Walter C. Ploeser 1907–1993 Businessman, politician US Representative from Missouri (1941–1949); US Ambassador to Paraguay (1957–1959), US Ambassador to Costa Rica (1970–1972)
Pete Rose b. 1941 Baseball player All-time Major League Baseball leader in hits, with 4,256
James Nicholas Rowe 1938–1989 United States Army Colonel Vietnam POW; author of Five Years to Freedom
Edward T. Schafer b. 1946 Politician 29th United States Secretary of Agriculture; Governor of North Dakota 1992 – 2000
Harold Schafer 1912–2001 Philanthropist and businessman Founder of Gold Seal Company
Lance P. Sijan 1942–1968 United States Air Force Captain Recipient of the Medal of Honor
Alex Spanos b. 1923 Owner of the San Diego Chargers
John Steinbeck 1902–1968 Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Nobel laureate Wrote The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men
John Cameron Swayze 1906–1995 Newscaster
Fran Tarkenton b. 1940 Professional football player; businessman; entrepreneur Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame
John Wayne 1907–1979 Actor Won Academy Award for Best Actor for True Grit in 1969
James C. Wright, Jr. b. 1922 Politician Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (1987–1989)


  1. "Membership Statistics". DeMolay International. Retrieved 2009-05-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 DeMolay International Mentoring Guide
  3. "Appendent Orders: Knighthood Priories". DeMolay International. Retrieved 2009-03-19. The Knighthood program is for active DeMolays from ages 17 to 21 years of age who are organized into a subordinate unit known as a Priory with its own officers and ritual.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "DeMolay Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2008-06-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Cherokee Chapter, DeMolay's list of famous DeMolays".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links