Columbia Commandery #35


After several long years of existence, Fayetteville Commandery # 35 held a stated conclave on Monday evening, June 19, 2000, at the Andrew Jackson Masonic Temple, in Fayetteville, TN.

Commander Charles T. Wallace, Jr., opened the Commandery and recognized several distinguished guests from other Commanderies, including the Right Eminent Grand Commander Roy C. Etherton, Past Grand Commander and Grand Recorder Alvin Hill, Past Grand Commander, Sid C. Dorris, and Grand Instructors for the 3rd District.

Grand Commander Roy C. Etherton addressed the meeting, stating that in accordance to the Grand Commandery bylaws, Fayetteville Commandery did not send a representative to the past two annual Grand Conclaves of the Grand Commandery. Fayetteville Commandery had been struggling for some time to have enough members at the monthly meetings to properly open the Commandery.

After previous discussion with members of the Judiciary Committee, he stated that due to the lack of sequential participation, Templar Law required that their Charter either be revoked or moved.

Stating that several members Masons in the Columbia area had expressed an interest in having a Commandery in Columbia, he suggested that the No. 35 Charter be moved to Columbia.

A motion was made and seconded to move Fayetteville Commandery # 35 to Columbia.

An additional motion was made and seconded to change the name of Fayetteville Commandery # 35 to Columbia Commandery # 35. Motion passed.

The Commander, Prelate, Senior Warden, Junior Warden and Warder, all resigned their office at the conclusion of the very emotional meeting.

At the time of this authorization, there were 59 Sir Knights from Fayetteville Commandery involved in the move.

On Thursday evening, July 6, 2000, a called meeting of Columbia Commandery # 35 was held at the Columbia Masonic Temple, under authorization by a dispensation granted by Grand Commander Roy C. Etherton for the purpose of receiving and acting on petitions, and to transact any other business which may lawfully come before it.

A warrant given by the Grand Commander, authorized three Sir Knights from three different Commanderies, to open Columbia Commandery # 35 for the purpose of transacting business.

They were:
– Sir Knight Joe C. Foster, DePayens Commandery No. 11
– Sir Knight Sid C. Dorris, III, Nashville Commandery No. 1
– Sir Knight David Stricklin, Murfreesboro Commandery No. 10

Also attending was Sir Knight L. Alvin Hill, Grand Recorder.

Acting Commander was Sir Knight Joe C. Foster. The acting Recorder was Sir Knight Joe R. White.

A motion was made by Sir Knight Sid C. Dorris, and seconded by Sir Knight David Strickland, to receive and ballot on petitions. Motion passed.

There were 7 Sir Knights elected to plural membership. (names on record) Additionally, petitions for transfer were approved for 22 Sir Knights (names on record) from DePayens Commandery # 11, in Franklin, TN.

By the end of July 2000, there were 89 Sir Knights in membership of Columbia Commandery # 35.

The first stated conclave of Columbia Commandery # 35 was opened in short form on July 17, 2000, at 8:00 P.M. Pro Tem Recorder, Joe R. White read the minutes of the previous meeting on July 6, 2000. The treasurer’s report included a $500.00 donation from the Middle Tennessee York Rite Association.

Pro Tem Commander Joe C. Foster announced that an election would be held to fill certain offices previously vacated by resignations. A motion was made and seconded to elect by nomination. Motion passed.

The following Sir Knights were elected by acclamation.
They are:
– Sir Knight Joe Robert White, Commander
– Sir Knight Charles Robert Luttrell, Generalissimo
– Sir Knight George Walker Woody, Prelate

The following appointed officers were announced:
– Sir Knight Kenneth P. Putnam, Standard Bearer
– Sir Knight Robby Adkins, Sword Bearer
– Sir Knight Jeffery A. Hardy, Warder
– Sir Knight Donald W. Craft, Sentinel

The newly elected and appointed officers were installed by Sir Knight Charles W. Umberger, and Sir Knight David White as Marshall.

At the August 21, 2000 stated conclave, the motion was made and seconded that the office of Treasurer/Recorder be the same person. Motion passed.

Additionally, Joe C. Forster was nominated and elected to the office of Treasurer/ Recorder. Ronald C. Dougherty was nominated and elected to the office of Senior Warden. Both Sir Knights were installed by Sir Knight Dale E. Loudermilk, from Manchester Commandery # 40.

At each subsequent stated conclaves, petitions for affiliation, and new member knighting, Columbia Commandery continued to grow its membership, and by the end of December 2000, the total had grown to 121 Sir Knights. During this time, several Sir Knights from the former Fayetteville Commandery had demitted to associate with other Commanderies.

Columbia Commandery continued to establish itself as one of the premier Commanderies in the state of Tennessee, through its strong line of officers and proficiency in conferral of the orders. Columbia Commandery maintained its proficiency in the top five rankings in the state, through the annual inspections. It held the number one position for three sequential years, in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Through eventual officer rotation, decline in new membership interest and participation, reduction in aging membership, and operating revenue, the last three years of keeping a solid operating Commandery, proved to be difficult toward a successful future.

After several months of considerable discussion and attempts to encourage Sir Knights for greater attendance, participate in the work, and become potential new officers, the subsequent decision to vote on the future continuance of Columbia Commandery, took place at the October 2013 stated conclave. It was decided by 2/3 of the majority members, present, to merge with DePayens Commandery # 11, in Franklin, TN. There were 96 members on the rolls at the time of the merger.

Under the leadership of 13 Commanders, and 13 ½ years as an active Commandery, that proved to be very genuine in value to its members and the Grand Commandery of Tennessee, and the York Rite Bodies, there was never any doubt that with continued growth and membership participation, Columbia Commandery # 35 would remain as a premier Commandery in Tennessee.

However, the continuation in weakening resources necessary to meet the requirements and guide-lines were to no avail, unable to accomplish, and ended with proud memories.

Columbia Commandery #35 Merged with DePayens Commandery in Franklin TN December 2013