History: The Order of the Golden Circle of the United States of America

In 1907, some members of the Jonathan Davis Consistory in Washington, DC, conceived the idea of forming a ladies auxiliary to their Consistory. They believed that the helpful and beneficial influence of women was felt in all branches of Freemasonry and there was no reason why the Scottish Rite should be an exception. The task of organizing the auxiliary was given to Grand Inspector General Andrew Laster of the Jonathan Davis Consistory.

Initially the growth of the auxiliary was disgustingly slow, especially when only two ladies and sometimes only one lady attended the meetings. In October 1907, the auxiliary received a new impetus: new members were added, the old members took on new zeal and optimism that started the auxiliary on its present course of success. Also, about that time, the new Sovereign Grand Commander, Robert L. Pendleton, 33rd Degree, who was then the Deputy for the District of Columbia, conceived the idea of conferring degrees upon the ladies of the auxiliaries. The objective was to bring the ladies into a closer relationship with the brethren of the Scottish Rite. The title, “Order of the Golden Circle, Auxiliary to Scottish Rite Freemasonry,” was selected.

A ritual was prepared and written by Illustrious Pendleton. The proposition was, of course, favorably accepted by the ladies and subsequently adopted by the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction with the understanding that all the ladies who, at that time were members of the auxiliary were to be eligible, but thereafter the membership would be limited to only those possessing a Scottish Rite relationship (the wife, widow, mother or sister of a Scottish Rite Mason who is now in good standing or was at his death is eligible for membership in the order).

On May 6, 1908, Illustrious Pendleton conferred the degrees, gave and explained the obligations, signs and motto's to the first officers of the Order of the Golden Circle, Auxiliary to the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. The Ladies of Washington, DC, named their assembly, “The Richard Howard Gleaves Assembly No. 2, Order of the Golden Circle.” The number 1 was assigned to the “Queen Esther Assembly of Baltimore, MD, because the Scottish Rite Auxiliary of that city was the first to be organized in the jurisdiction. NOTE: The officers of every auxiliary Assembly of the Order of the Golden Circle are styled as follows: Loyal Lady Ruler, Loyal Lady Associate Ruler, Loyal Lady Priestess, Loyal Lady Guide, Loyal Lady Treasurer, Loyal Lady Secretary, Loyal Lady Herald, Loyal Lady Standard Bearer, Loyal Lady Inner Guard, and Loyal Lady Outer Guard. The first six officers shall be elected and the remainder appointed by the elected Loyal Lady Ruler.

After the officers had received their degrees, notices were sent to the remaining members of the former auxiliary and on Tuesday, May 12, 1908, the other ladies received the beautiful and impressive degrees in brief ceremonies that proved to be of benefit only to those who will heed their admonitions. These initial assemblies were plants of slow but steady growth. They were comprised of a number of ladies who seemed to be of one family circle. A code of By-Laws was adopted in June 1908, making the assemblies beneficial after a year’s membership and limiting the benefits to seek dues. They agreed to do charity work in hospitals and to relieve suffering humanity as best they could in a simple way, such as carrying fruits, flowers, magazines, etc., to the sick, who had no friends to provide for them, and to care for the elderly and those who were otherwise uncared for.

THE DOVE: The Dove, as defined by Collier’s Encyclopedia, “…is a name loosely applied to any of a large number of birds of the pigeon family. Although there is no technical distinction between pigeons and doves, the species known as doves are mostly small to medium-sized and characterized by soft, dull hues, such as browns, grays and the neutral one known as dove color. Doves usually have low cooing voices, and their apparently amiable dispositions have made them symbols of peace and affection.”

In the Order of the Golden Circle, the Dove within the golden circle signifies “the hope that peace shall reign always within our precincts.” The Dove has many references in the Bible that we can remember: Doves were sent out during the flood, from Noah’s Ark, based on the fact that the first Dove never returned and the second dove came back with its feet still wet and bedraggled, Noah was reluctant yet to leave the Ark. But the third Dove returned with an olive branch in its beak, signifying the peace and tranquility that prevailed over the earth. This third Dove was the divine messenger of peace and hovered over the retreating waters like a celestial harbinger of safety. Thus, an arch or distant horizon floating on the surface of the ocean attended by a Dove with an olive branch in its beak and encircled by a rainbow, form a striking and expressive symbol which needs no explanation. If freemasonry has allowed the Dove to occupy a high position among its hallowed symbols, the reasons for such an approbation (benediction) are fully competent to justify the proceedings.

The Dove was an agent at the creation, at the deluge, or flood, and at the baptism of our Lord Jesus the Christ. When the heavens opened and a brightness shone about, as our Lord Jesus came out of the water after being baptized by John the Baptist, the Dove alights on His shoulders and a voice from the Heavens declared, “This is my Beloved Son in Whom I am Well Pleased.”

Assembly LL Ruler Meetings Location
Amelia J. Lewis #253 Betty Gash 4th Sunday, 7PM 35 Booker Street Asheville, NC
GW Carver #172 Kim Peterson 2nd Saturday, 9AM 324 N. Holland Street Gastonia, NC
Zack Alexander #35 Maria Taylor-Perry 2nd Wednesday, 730PM 2101 Newland Road Charlotte, NC
Joseph P. Evans #280 Janie H. Jones 4th Saturday, 730PM 517 S. Center Street Statesville, NC
King Solomon #64 Vanessa Lylerly 2nd Saturday, 3:30PM 1025 East 14th Street Winston Salem, NC
Jon G Lewis #326 Ethel W. Wilson 2nd Tuesday, 7PM 512 Cotton Grove Road Lexington, NC
Unifour #361 Maraget Carson 4th Thursday, 7PM 300 Center Street Morganton, NC

Assembly LL Ruler Meetings Location
University #218 Pearlie L. Lewis 4th Sunday, 4PM 2312 S. Alston Avenue Durham, NC
Greensboro #106 Sherrie Moore 4th Wednesday, 8PM 1101 East Market Street Greensboro, NC
Henderson #195 Aretha Renee Best 3rd Sunday, 4PM 1204 W. Andrew Avenue Henderson, NC
Reidsville #224 Beverly Winstead 4th Thursday, 7PM 610 Vance Street Reidsville, NC
Roanoke-Chowan #276 Marilyn Garner 3rd Saturday, 2PM 924 Main Street Rich Square, NC
HB Shaw #337 Verginald Drumright 1st Thursday, 730PM 302 Lawson Chapel Church Rd Roxboro, NC
Boyer #219 Julia Mitchell 1st Sunday, 3PM 513 S. Blount Street Raleigh, NC
James T. Diggs #308 Michele Parmley 4th Monday, 730PM 1022 Rosenwald St., Burlington, NC

Assembly LL Ruler Meetings Location
Allen-Mingo #325 Jackie Smith 2nd Monday, 7PM 1212 Daisy Street Elizabethtown, NC
GW Allen #324 Brenda Thompson 1st Sunday, 6PM 309 Humber Street Sanford, NC
Cape Fear #263 James T. Fryar 3rd Sunday, 4PM Libson Street Clinton, NC
Carpenters #164 Annie Hicks-Hager 1st Saturday, 1PM 20321 Old Lumberton Road Maxton, NC
Edward Evans #196 Vera Stukes 2nd Wednesday, 8PM 820 Cumberland St., Fayetteville, NC
JW Moore #57 Grace McArthur 1st Tuesday, 730PM 418 Lexington Street Rocky Mount, NC
CA Whitehead #188 Louise Hobbs 2nd Monday, 7PM 304 S. Slocumb Street Goldsboro, NC

Assembly LL Ruler Meetings Location
Alexander #228 Tina Sheppard Jones 2nd Sunday, 5PM 313 E. Gordon Street Kinston, NC
Chowan Valley #268 Linda Peele 2nd Saturday, 10AM 101 S. Murphy Street Winton, NC
JW Hood #155 Mary Sharpe 4th Wednesday, 5PM 1200 Herrington Road Elizabeth City, NC
Lewis-Mingo #316 Essie Walker 4th Thursday, 7:30PM 3 Kerr Street Jacksonville, NC
W.W. Lawrence #30 Shirla Sewell-Fisher 3rd Saturday, 12PM 1036 Queen Street New Bern, NC
Roanoke #248 Audrey Blount 3rd Saturday, 2PM 304 ML King Drive Williamston, NC
Wilmington #63 Meriam F. Reid 2nd Saturday, 1PM 602 Orange Street Wilmington, NC

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