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Freemasonry Watch

Construction of new headquarters building begun for 30,000 member Grand Lodge of Alabama

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Pratville Progress - Alabama

City may get boost from Masonic HQ

Masons moving state-level operations to Millbrook

February 9, 2009

By Hamilton Richardson
Progress staff writer

The business community in Millbrook, although having suf­fered from some recent store clo­sures, took a welcome step for­ward when, on Monday morning, ground was broken on the new state headquarters of the Free and Accepted Masons of Alabama.

The new headquarters will be located directly behind MAX Federal Credit Union in Mill­brook.

"We thank you for having faith in us as a city," Millbrook Mayor Al Kelley said during the groundbreaking ceremony, at­tended by included two city councilmen and several Masons including Grand Master Teddy Grogan. "We will bend over backwards to support you and we want you to be proud to say you're from Millbrook."

According to Stuart Peters of Landmark Construction, the new state headquarters build­ing will be built on a nearly-one-acre site and will be part of the Magnolia Ridge commercial subdivision. Eight office-use rooms as well as a museum area and library are planned for the facilities.

"There will be significant landscaping as part of the proj­ect as well," Peters said.

Paul Pemberton is the gener­al contractor for the 7,200-square foot project and Montgomery-based architectur­al firm, Parsons, Wible, Brum­mal, and Alkire Architects, will be handling the plans.

The Grand Secretary of the F&AM of Alabama, Jerry Un­derwood, said of the state head­quarters, "There are over 300 member lodges over the state of Alabama and they all report to this lodge."

Underwood, who was Grand Master of the state in 1998 and 1999, also holds the role of execu­tive director of the Grand Lodge.

According to Underwood, there are about 30,000 Masons in Alabama and the organization itself is almost 190 years old. Un­derwood also said that, although the Grand Lodge has been locat­ed in the Sterling Bank in Pratt­ville for the past five years, offi­cials were looking for a more rural setting.

"We decided Millbrook was the place to be," Underwood said. "Millbrook had a calling for us. We'll be in Millbrook for a while."

The Grand Lodge, as well as bringing the state headquarters to Millbrook, will also bring the same charitable pursuits with which other lodges have been involved.

"Each lodge has some sort of charity that they support. We budget $150,000 a year to chari­ties across the state," Under­wood said. "Across the country, there's $3 million a day in chari­table functions."

Freemasonry is considered to be the world's oldest and larg­est fraternity, and the Grand Lodge's ongoing mission will be to provide strong leadership to the Masons of Alabama and to develop and implement pro­grams to assist the lodges in be­coming more visible and active in their communities.

The project is scheduled for completion some time in late 2009.

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