2600 Brooks Drive Suitland, Maryland 20746
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Welcome to Ronald E. McNair Lodge #146

About Us

Community Involvement Program

Conducting Adopt-A-Highway Cleanups, Participating In Running/Walking Events, Community Breakfasts, Food Donations,  and Representation at Community Parades.

Homeless Assistance

Assisting with Food Delivery, Social Events and Clothing.

Citizen's Assistance Program

Assisting with Scholarship Funds, School Supplies and Other Financials.

Lodge History

CHARTER MEMBERS – Est. January 11, 1989

   Left to Center: Bobby T. Barnes, Larry James Eddie, Doc Vaughn, Eugene H. Westbrook, Brian White, Charles Guillory, John Watson Center to Right: William K. Robinson, PM Kenneth Stewart, PM George Barnes, Brother Ruiz, Bill Brown, Harvey Hankins, Robert Lovelace, Duane O. Everson Seated left to right: Trea-Elliot Powell, Sr., JW-George M. Brown, WM-Wilbert Bailey, SW-Davis Ross, Sect-Mannie Haughton Initial chartered members included the following three (3) past masters:George Barnes, Kenneth Stewart and Harry Wilson.


 History of Ronald E. McNair Lodge # 146 The idea of starting a new study club in the Fourth Masonic District manifested itself around June of 1988, and was the direct result of the Grand Lodge attempt to reclaim members who were not actively participating, had been dropped from the rolls, or had continued to maintain membership in other jurisdictions or in this jurisdiction overseas. This became know as the “Amnesty Program for Reclamation of Masons”. Wilbert Bailey, JR received a special dispensation from Special District Deputy Grand Master Shelton D. Redden along with a list of inactive and dropped members. With the assistance of Brother George Gross, and Brother Davis Ross, other Brothers were contacted and the Study Club was started. The Study Club met at the Municipal Building in Forest Heights, MD on the first and third Tuesday’s of each month. After getting approximately Twenty-one Brothers to attend the study club on a regular basis, the officers petitioned the Grand lodge for a charter in October of 1988. The members of the study club felt that they should meet in a Masonic environment and therefore moved to Roscoe C. Cartwright #129’s Lodge Hall. Brother George Gross, who was terminally ill, died before the charter was granted. He was the one who had suggested that we name the Lodge after the astronaut Ronald E. McNair. Brother Wilber Bailey, Jr. went to Atlanta, Georgia and met with the McNair family who approved of the use of the name for a Masonic Lodge. Though Ronald E. McNair the man was never a Mason, the Grand Lodge also approved use of the name. On January 31, 1989, at a leadership meeting of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maryland Brothers Davis Ross, George Brown and Mannie Haughton asked Grand Master Samuel T. Daniels why they had not been granted a charter. He answered that he thought the charter had been granted. He then asked RWs Shelton D. Redden and Leroy Lassiter if there was any reason that the charter should not be granted. They answered they were in favor of granting the charter. GM Samuel T. Daniel’s then ordered the Grand Secretary to prepare a charter for Ronald E. McNair Lodge #146, located in Suitland, Maryland, with a date of January 11, 1989. Brother Wilbert Bailey, Jr. (President of the Study Club) was on temporary duty at Fort Gordon, Georgia and was due to return early April 1989. The Officers decided to wait until his return to receive the charter. During his absence the Lodge regalia was manufactured and purchased by the members, with special note of thanks given to Brothers George M. Brown, Bobby T. Barnes, Davis Ross and Mannie Haughton. The Charter was received by the Study Club at their second meeting in April 1989. Installation ceremonies were performed by the Fourth Masonic District Staff. Subsequent to installation, the members decided that they should meet in Suitland, Maryland. Brother George M. Brown and Bobby T. Barnes were given the responsibility for finding a meeting place in Suitland. With the assistance of Brother Tucker the principal of Central High School in District Heights, Maryland the Lodge received permission from the principal of Suitland High School to meet in his building. The Lodge moved their Meeting place to Suitland High School in July of 1989. At the beginning of the Masonic year 1993-1994 the Lodge changed its meeting place to Fairmont Lodge #92 in Fairmont Heights, Maryland. On April 5, 2011 under the administration WM Christopher B. Charles, Ronald E. McNair Lodge#146 moved back to Suitland, Maryland. Our meetings are currently held at Drew Freeman Middle School.    

Who Are Prince Hall Masons?

WHO IS PRINCE HALL?  Prince Hall is recognized as the Father of Black Masonry in the United States. Historically, he made it possible for Negroes to be recognized and enjoy all privileges of free and accepted masonry.  Many rumors of the birth of Prince Hall have arisen. A few records and papers have been found of him in Barbados where it was rumored that he was born in 1748, but no record of birth by church or by state, has been found there, and none in Boston. All 11 countries were searched and churches with baptismal records were examined without finding the name of Prince Hall.  One widely circulated rumor states that "Prince Hall was free born in British West Indies. His father, Thomas Prince Hall, was an Englishman and his mother a free colored woman of French extraction. In 1765 he worked his passage on a ship to Boston, where he worked as a leather worker, a trade learned from his father. During this time he married Sarah Ritchery. Shortly after their marriage, she died at the age of 24. Eight years later he had acquired real estate and was qualified to vote. Prince Hall also pressed John Hancock to be allowed to join the Continental Army and was one of a few blacks who fought at the battle of Bunker  Hill. Religiously inclined, he later became a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church with a charge in Cambridge and fought for the abolition of slavery.  Free Masonry among Black men began during the War of Independence, when Prince Hall and fourteen other free black men were initiated into Lodge # 441, Irish Constitution, attached to the 38th Regiment of Foot, British Army Garrisoned at Castle Williams (now Fort Independence) Boston Harbor on March 6, 1775. The Master of the Lodge was Sergeant John Batt. Along with Prince Hall, the other newly made masons were Cyrus Johnson, Bueston Slinger, Prince Rees, John Canton, Peter Freeman, Benjamin Tiler, Duff Ruform, Thomas Santerson, Prince Rayden, Cato Spain, Boston Smith, Peter Best, Forten Howard and Richard Titley.  When the British Army left Boston, this Lodge, # 441, granted Prince Hall and his brethren authority to meet as a lodge, to go in procession on Saints John Day, and as a Lodge to bury their dead; but they could not confer degrees nor perform any other Masonic "work". For nine years these brethren, together with others who had received their degrees elsewhere, assembled and enjoyed their limited privileges as Masons. Finally in March 2, 1784, Prince Hall petitioned the Grand Lodge of England, through a Worshipful Master of a subordinate Lodge in London (William Moody of Brotherly Love Lodge # 55) for a warrant or charter.  The warrant was granted on September 29, 1784 under the name of African Lodge, # 459 on the register of the Grand Lodge of England by authority of then Grand Master, the Duke of Cumberland, delivered in Boston on April 29, 1787 by Captain James Scott, brother-in-law of John Hancock and Master of the Neptune. Prince Hall was the first Master of the lodge which was organized one week later, May 6, 1787.  The warrant to African Lodge # 459 of Boston is the most significant and highly prized document known to the Prince Hall Masonic Fraternity. Through it, Masonic legitimacy among free black men is traced, and on it more than any other factor, rests their case. That charter, which is authenticated and in safekeeping, is believed to be the only original charter issued from the Grand Lodge of England still in the possession of any Lodge in the United States. African Lodge allowed itself to slip into arrears in the late 1790's and was stricken from the rolls after the Union of 1813 although it had attempted correspondence in 1802 and 1806. In 1827, after further unreplied communication, it declared its independence and began to call itself African Grand Lodge # 1. It is interesting to note that when the Massachusetts lodges which were acting as a Provincial Grand Lodge also declared themselves an independent Grand Lodge, and even when the present Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was formed by the amalgamation of the two separate lodges, African Lodge was not invited to take part, even though it held a warrant every bit as valid as the others.  The question of extending Masonry arose when Absalom Jones of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania appeared in 1791 in Boston. He was an ordained Episcopal priest and a mason who was interested in establishing a Masonic lodge in Philadelphia. Delegations also traveled from Providence, Rhode  Island and New York to establish the African Grand Lodge that year. Prince Hall was appointed Grand Master, serving in this capacity until his death in 1807.  Upon his death, Nero Prince became Grand Master. When Nero Prince sailed to Russia in 1808, George Middleton succeeded him. After Middleton, Petrert Lew, Samuel H. Moody and then, John T. Hilton became Grand Master. In 1827, it was Hilton who recommended a Declaration of Independence from the English Grand Lodge.  In 1869 a fire destroyed Massachusetts' Grand Lodge headquarters and a number of its priceless records. The charter in its metal tube was in the Grand Lodge chest. The tube saved the charter from the flames, but the intense heat charred the paper. It was at this time that Grand Master S.T. Kendall crawled into the burning building and in peril of his life, saved the charter from complete destruction. Thus a Grand Master's devotion and heroism further consecrated this parchment to us, and added a further detail to its already interesting history. The original Charter # 459 has long since been made secure between heavy plate glass and is kept in a fire-proof vault in a downtown Boston bank.  In 1946, the Grand Lodge of England again extended recognition to the Prince Hall Grand Lodge but withdrew it the same year. In 1994, the Grand Lodge of England finally accepted a petition for recognition by Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. "England cited several reasons recognition was withheld," Nicholas B. Locker, Grand Master of Prince Hall from 1992-1994, said in an interview in June 1996. "One was 'territorial boundaries,' because the Grand Lodge of England had already recognized the white Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, which shared the same jurisdiction with us.” Another factor was that Prince Hall owed back payment of dues to the Grand Lodge. Back 200 years ago, there were no checks, and often dues for England were put in the hands of sailing ship captains. It was several months before the ships arrived in England, and money was lost. So it wasn't possible to say for sure that Prince Hall paid all his dues."  The ties were arranged to be formalized in June 1996. In its 212 years, the Prince Hall Grand Lodge has spawned over 44 other Grand Lodges. The subordinate lodges receive recognition once their grand lodges are recognized.  Today, the Prince Hall fraternity has over 4,500 lodges worldwide, forming 44 independent jurisdictions with a membership of over 300,000 masons whereby any good hearted man who is worthy and well qualified, can seek more light in masonry.         Prince Hall is buried in a cemetery overlooking the Charlestown naval yard in Boston's north end. His grave is situated near a large tree, his wife's grave is directly behind his. The site is marked by a broken column; a monument erected 88 years after his death by Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge F. & A.M. of Massachusetts. Still today, believers in the Deity and travelers from all walks of life can be seen winding their way to that sacred spot to pay homage at the final resting place of the first Grand Master of the "colored" Grand Lodge of Masons. This great Mason, Statesman, and Soldier, having traveled to that undiscovered country from who’s bourne no traveler returns; remains as the pillar of wisdom, strength, and beauty among all masons today.   

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Ronald E. McNair Lodge #146

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Ronald E. McNair Lodge #146.

2600 Brooks Drive, Suitland, Maryland 20746

(703) 338-1471

7:30 - 9:00 PM Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday

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