by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Robert Johnson 32°

Lodge elections are an interesting time of year. There are several officers who need to be elected to positions and some who need to be appointed, the difference being a vote. Most lodges today are run by men who decide they want to "get in line", which simply means they want to take a more active roll in the lodge's goings on. (If you are thinking of hopping in line, I'd urge you to please  read this piece by Bro. Todd E. Creason first.) There are several lodge officers and appointed positions. Briefly, the are;

  • Worshipful Master - essentially the president. 
  • Senior Warden - like the vice president. 
  •  Junior Warden - kind of like the secretary of state.

And those are the top three positions. Other elected positions are (in the state of Illinois); Treasurer, Secretary, Senior and Junior Deacons. Then there are appointed positions which are, Senior and Junior Stewards, Marshal, Chaplain, Tyler, and Organist. Many times, as in my case, a man starts at the bottom and works his way through the chairs. I started as Junior Steward and progressed through each chair up to where I am currently (the Senior Warden), which has taken 6 years.

This November I will run for the office of Worshipful Master. I say "run for", because just since I had been through all those chairs DOES NOT entitle me to the chair of Worshipful Master. And it doesn't entitle YOU to it either. The office of Worshipful Master is a position of the lodge which must be selected carefully. Something many forget is that anyone who has held the office of Warden (Sr. or Jr.) may run for that office (including Past Masters).

If my name is recommended by the Worshipful Master and he asks "Are there any other suggestions?", and if someone submits a name,  the lodge must discuss and vote on who would better run and grow the lodge. At that point the better suited for the lodge should take the office. My main point in writing this short piece is to emphasize the sentiment that we are not entitled to a position just because it is the next chair. In my case, I would love the chance to serve my lodge in that level, but if a better man suited for it rises (and there are plenty), than I will be the first to endorse him, because it is the right thing to do for the good of the Fraternity and my lodge. I hope you would do the same. The title of Worshipful Master is a privilege, not a right.


Bro. Robert Johnson, 32° is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the First North-East District of Illinois. He belongs to Waukegan Lodge No. 78. He is also a member of the York Rite bodies Royal Arch, Cryptic Council, Knights Templar, AMD, The Illinois Lodge of Research and a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago as well as a charter member of the Society of King Solomon, a charity organization run by the Grand Lodge of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts a weekly Podcast (internet radio program) Whence Came You? which focuses on topics relating to Freemasonry. In addition, he produces video shorts focusing on driving interest in the Fraternity and writes original Masonic papers from time to time. He is a husband and father of three. He works full time in the safety industry and is also a photographer on the side as well as an avid home brewer. He is currently working on a book of Masonic essays.

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