ORIGINS OF BISHOP RICHARD ALLEN MASONIC LODGE 11
In the early Summer of 2016, Dr. Elvin J. Parker intellectualizes starting a lodge in Riviera Beach, Florida.
As Hurst Chapel AME's pastor, he deems the city ripe for such a lodge. He consults with his members, also masons (Brother Emmanuel Garrett and Brother James Patterson), currently belonging to another lodge. They embark on a journey to explore if the same interest exists from masons in the area. An audit proves their intuition to be in the affirmative.
On November 21, 2016, Brother Dr. Elvin J. Parker, III received permission from the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge (MWUGL) of Florida to operate Under Dispensation (UD) and seek real interests within the Riviera Beach, FL area.
The new lodge name is Bishop Richard Allen Masonic Lodge #11 (BRAML 11).
Dr. Parker seeks out Brother Dr. George L. Lockhart (also a minister) living in the area to infuse his talents to support the lodge. The new lodge elects its officers. After confirmation, the two waste little time collaborating on crafting the lodge's bylaws and meeting times.
Initially, the small band meets in deplorable conditions, including dungy libraries, small classrooms with no air condition, and cartoonish cavernous gymnasiums. But - they are consistently meeting. Soon, after a few initiations, the fledging lodge begins to take root. The growth is slow but steady.
WM Parker keenly understands the power of social media, and connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in adopting social media tools. He enlists Senior Warden Dr. Lockhart to create a footprint for BRAML #11 immediately. Dr. Lockhart deploys the brand on all social media, including newsletters, webpage, Facebook, Instagram, etc. He charts the lodge's progress and reports the spikes at each meeting when a lodge event occurs. The point? Have more communal events.
On April 8, 2017, the MWUGL of Florida under The Honorable Walter Gulley, Jr., the 18th Most Worshipful Grand Master; Right Worshipful Jeffrey Jones, Deputy Grand Master; Right Worshipful Gus Harris, Jr., Senior Grand Warden; Right Worshipful Phillip Robinson, Grand Secretary; and Right Worshipful Melvin Wright, Grand Treasurer, grants a full charter to Bishop Richard Allen Masonic Lodge #11 of Riviera Beach, FL. As a reward for their consistent efforts under dire circumstances. SW Dr. George L. Lockhart notes to WM Dr. E. J Parker "We need a campaign slogan." After much thought, WM Parker come up with THE GOLD STANDARD. For he noted, "By which all other standards compare."
Now a full-fledged masonic lodge, BRAML 11 attempts to take a foothold in the city by participating in the city's annual MLK Day Parade. The actions result in astounding success.
"The city has awakened to our presence," noted WM E.J. Parker.
BRAML 11 receives interests from the community and carries several classes through, taking advantage of its realization. After successfully setting the foundation, WM Parker steps down to rest from his labors. BRAML 11 membership reaches its zenith with 31 members and $10,000 in the checking account. In November 2017, Dr. Lockhart shoulders the Worshipful Master's responsibility. District Deputy Grand Master James E. Coney tasks the infant lodge to host all three Festive Days. BRAML 11 delivers the events flawlessly. Again, the actions serve as a blessing, alerting the city to BRAML 11's presence.
JW James Patterson (L) WM Dr. E. J. Parker (C), SW Dr. George L. Lockhart, (r) RW Jeffery G. Jones, Deputy Grand Master
Brother Elvin J. Parker III, D. Min Worshipful Master
Brother George L. Lockhart, Ed.D Senior Warden
Brother James Patterson Junior Warden
Brother Joseph D. Anderson Secretary
Brother Alexander L. Cox Treasurer
Brother Solomon A. Burgess Senior Deacon
Brother Joel H. Simmons, Elder Junior Deacon
Brother Emmanuel G. Garrett Senior Steward
Brother Harold A. Taylor Junior Steward
Brother Benjamin Crawford, P.hD Marshall
Brother Robert L. Smith Tyler
Brother James E. Lamons, Th.D Chaplain
Brother Charles D. Rawls, Sr. (2019) 3rd Year Trustee
Brother Henry Taylor (2018) 2nd Year Trustee
Brother (2017) TBA 1st Year Trustee
Brother Clarence D. Williams III Craft
2017 First Class of Candidates Class Anthony T. Stafford, KYCH
Brother Alex D. Freeman
Brother Demetri O. Dale
Brother Clarence E. Bess
Brother Darryl L. Wright
Brother Sean A. Horne
Brother Jeffrey D. West, Jr.