Saturday, October 30, 2010

DeMolay International

DeMolay International (properly known as the Order of DeMolay), founded in Kansas City, Missouri in 1919, is an international youth organization for young men. DeMolay derives its name from Jacques De Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. It is a Masonic-sponsored youth organization for boys ages 12–21. DeMolay was incorporated in the 1990s.

DeMolay is open for membership to young men between the ages of 12 to 21, and currently has about 18,000 members in the United States and Canada and several thousand more world wide. It uses a model of mentoring; adult men and women called advisors, often past DeMolay members or fathers and mothers of DeMolays, mentor the active DeMolay members. An advisor is referred to as 'Dad Smith' instead of 'Mr. Smith', in respect of Frank S.Land and his fatherly role to the founding members. The mentoring focuses on the development of civic awareness, leadership skills and personal responsibility.
Founded by a Freemason, DeMolay is closely modeled after Freemasonry. With the sponsorship of a Lodge, the chapters normally meets in a Masonic Lodge room. DeMolay is considered to be part of the Masonic Family, along with other youth groups such as Job's Daughters and the Rainbow Girls. Like the Rainbow Girls, a young man does not need to have a family tie or sponsor in a Masonic organization to join DeMolay.
DeMolay has seven Cardinal Virtues, which are the sole structure of what its members follow. 
These Cardinal Virtues are:
  • Filial love (love between a parent and child)
  • Reverence for sacred things
  • Courtesy
  • Comradeship
  • Fidelity
  • Cleanness
  • History
DeMolay was founded in 1919 by Frank S. Land, a successful businessman in Kansas City, Missouri. During World War I, Land had become concerned with the plight of boys who had lost their fathers in the conflict. He decided there was a need for an organization where they could associate with others of their age and learn responsibility and other important life skills. A fatherless boy named Louis Lower and eight of his friends became the first DeMolay members.
Frank S. Land first met with Louis Lower in January 1919. The original founding date of the order was February 19, 1919. That was later changed to the official launching date of March 18, 1919 to commemorate the death of Jacques DeMolay.
The organization is named after Jacques De Molay, a knight and crusader who was the 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. He was taken prisoner by King Philip IV of France, who wanted to seize the Templars' wealth. De Molay was tortured repeatedly to force him to admit to charges of heresy. However, he later recanted his statements and declared both himself and his Order innocent. He was therefore executed by being burned at the stake. Members are encouraged to model their conduct after Jacques De Molay's example of loyalty and fidelity.
The organization grew rapidly, and by the end of 1921, Land realized he had to devote full time to it. Interest developed in the Masonic fraternity, and official recognition and approval by Masonic groups began in many states. Today, many members of DeMolay go on to become Masons when they are of legal age.
DeMolay continued its growth, initiating new members and instituting new chapters in every state of the USA. It then went international and now exists around the world, including chapters in Mexico, Canada, Australia, Germany, the Philippines, Portugal, Paraguay, Italy, Serbia, Japan, Aruba, Brazil, Panama, and Bolivia. There are also chapters which have no Supreme Council, including those in England and France.

Original Members
The Order Of DeMolay originally had nine members. The crest of the order contains 10 rubies. Each represent one of the original nine or Dad Frank S. Land. A pearl denoted one of the original ten who was living. When one of the original founders died, that pearl was changed to a ruby. Today, all of the original founders have died and all pearls are rubies.
Ivan M. Bentley - He lived in Louis Lower's neighborhood. Created a Chevalier in 1920. Died in an accident in 1921. His death made him the first ruby in the emblem.
Louis G. Lower - The first DeMolay and the first Active DeMolay Legionnaire (LOH). Created a Chevalier in 1920. He was gunned down by an intoxicated security guard on July 18, 1943. He was the second of the original nine to die, became the second ruby.
Dad Frank Land - The third ruby on the DeMolay crest was for Frank Land himself. Doctors diagnosed his disease as scleroderma. Doctors advised Land to slow down but he continued to work at his frenetic pace telling them, "My work must go on. DeMolay must go on." Although he had begun to show signs of fading, Frank Land's death on November 8, 1959 came as a shock, especially to his beloved organization. The fraternity successfully made the transition to new leadership but mourns his passing to this day. Every DeMolay around the world honors Dad Land's memory every year on November 8.
Edmund Marshall - He lived next door to Elmer Dorsey. Created Chevalier in 1920. Graduated from University of Missouri. President of the Kansas City Board of Trade. He died on November 8, 1966 and became the fourth ruby.
Clyde C. Stream - Cousin of Gorman McBride. He was a technical engineer with the Sagano Electric Company. Retired to Bradenton, Florida. He died on May 3, 1971 and became the fifth ruby.
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 Dad 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 V. Dorsey - He lived just behind Louis Lower. He became a successful businessman and moved to Texas and became an Advisor to Richardson Chapter. He died in November 1979 and became the eighth ruby.
William W. Steinhilber- He lived in the neighborhood with Louis Lower. Mr. Steinhilber became a successful stock and bond broker. He was captain of the first DeMolay baseball team. He died on October 28, 1992 and became the ninth ruby.
Jerome Jacobson - He lived one block from Louis Lower. Mr. Jacobson graduated from University of Kansas, admitted to the Missouri Bar as a lawyer, and had an outstanding career in law and finance. He lived in Kansas City all his life. He died in May, 2002 and became the tenth and final ruby.

Structural Organization
A local DeMolay organization 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, which are appointed, are done so 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 usually referred to by the moniker "Dad," a term harkening back to one of the first members, who thought of founder Frank Land as the father he never knew and called him "Dad Land." In recent years, women have also served as advisors for the group and are referred to as "Mom".
Above the individual Chapter, the DeMolay organization has an officer structure at the state level. A State Master Councilor or Jurisdictional Master Councilor is the head of a statewide DeMolay organization. In countries outside of the United States, DeMolay may have a national level organization, headed by a "National Master Councilor". There are also other state 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 and 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 as well; 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 outside of 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.)

Honors and Awards
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 of the Supreme Council. 

The Legion of Honor Degree 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 20 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 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 goals set for him by himself. 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, and for many years was a competition to select outstanding DeMolays. In 1935, the program was redesigned to fill a growing need for self-evaluation by every DeMolay.

Order of Knighthood
The Order of Knighthood (KT) is an appended organization of older DeMolays. The Knighthood program is for active DeMolays between 17 and 21 years of age. A Knighthood Priory has its own ritual and officers, separate from the chapter system.
The official name of the Order is The Chivalric Knights of the Holy Order of the Fellow Soldiers of Jacques DeMolay. It 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 made its debut in 1946, when Dad Land wrote the Knighthood ritual. This ritual was not exemplified before the Grand Council, now known as DeMolay International's Supreme Council, until 1947, as Dad Land held off on its implementation.
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.
  • Above all to provide and maintain a proper example for all DeMolays. 


  1. Excellent srticle bro. Keep it up. You are doing an amazing job!

  2. my name is j.d. kassai from reno, nevada. i'd like you to know demolay saved my life so i'm grateful to you for writing this. i enjoy seeing blogs come up when i google search demolay. if you would like to read my blog it is