Grand Lodge of ND logo

The North Dakota Freemasons

Freemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world. Many of the founding fathers of this nation were Masons, including thirteen signers of the Constitution. Fourteen U.S. Presidents were Brother Masons beginning with George Washington.

Over 4 Million of us in the U.S., coming from diverse ethnic, religious, vocational, and political backgrounds, continue to build this fraternity on the cornerstones of friendship, benevolence, and self-improvement.

The Masonic Lodge is the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry. The Lodge meets regularly to conduct the usual formal business of any small organisation (pay bills, organize social and charitable events, elect new members, etc.).

In addition to business, the meeting may perform a ceremony to confer a Masonic degree or receive a lecture, which is usually on some aspect of Masonic history or ritual.

Grand Lodge of ND logo

The Scottish Rite of Grand Forks

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of Freemasonry. A Rite is a progressive series of degrees conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. In the Scottish Rite the central authority is called a Supreme Council.

The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. It is also concordant, in that some of its degrees relate to the degrees of Symbolic Freemasonry.

In England and some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, there is no prohibition against a Freemason electing to join it. In the United States, however, the Scottish Rite is officially recognized by Grand Lodges as an extension of the degrees of Freemasonry.

The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the craft lodge, or Blue Lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.

The thirty-three degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred by several controlling bodies. The first of these is the Craft Lodge which confers the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees.

Craft lodges operate under the authority of Grand Lodges, not the Scottish Rite. Although most lodges throughout the English-speaking world do not confer the Scottish Rite versions of the first three degrees, there are a handful of lodges in New Orleans and in several other major cities that have traditionally conferred the Scottish Rite version of these degrees.

Grand Lodge of ND logo

The Grand York Rite of North Dakota

The York Rite is one of several Rites of Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority.

The York Rite specifically is a collection of separate Masonic Bodies and associated Degrees that would otherwise operate independently.

The three primary bodies in the York Rite are the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Council of Royal & Select Masters or Council of Cryptic Masons, and the Commandery of Knights Templar, each of which are governed independently but are all considered to be a part of the York Rite.

There are also other organizations that are considered to be directly associated with the York Rite, or require York Rite membership to join such as the York Rite Sovereign College but in general the York Rite is considered to be made up of the aforementioned three.

The Rite's name is derived from the city of York, where, according to a Masonic legend, the first meetings of Masons in England took place, although only the lectures of the York Rite Sovereign College make reference to that legend.

The York Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join to further his knowledge of Freemasonry.

But the York Rite is not found as a single system worldwide, and outside of the York Rite there are often significant differences in ritual, as well as organization.

However, in most cases, provided that the Grand Body in question regards the parent "Craft" jurisdiction as regular, each distinct Order has recognized fraternal inter-relations with the respective Grand Body within the York system.

Grand Lodge of ND logo

North Dakota Order Of The Eastern Star

The Order of the Eastern Star is a Masonic appendant body open to both men and women. It was established in 1850 by lawyer and educator Rob Morris, a noted Freemason, but was only adopted and approved as an appendant body of the Masonic Fraternity in 1873.

The order is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all religious beliefs. It has approximately 10,000 chapters in twenty countries and approximately 500,000 members under its General Grand Chapter.

Members of the Order of the Eastern Star are aged 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons. Originally, a woman would have to be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a master Mason, but the Order now allows other relatives as well as allowing Job's Daughters, Rainbow Girls, Members of the Organization of Triangles (NY only) and members of the Constellation of Junior Stars (NY only) to become members when of age.

The emblem of the Order is a five-pointed star with the white ray of the star pointing downwards towards the manger. In the Chapter room, the downward-pointing white ray points to the West. The character-building lessons taught in the Order are stories inspired by Biblical figures:

  • Adah (Jephthah's daughter, from the Book of Judges) In Eastern Star, Adah is the color blue.
  • Ruth, the widow from the Book of Ruth In Eastern Star, Ruth is the color yellow.
  • Esther, the wife from the Book of Esther In Eastern Star, Esther is the color white.
  • Martha, sister of Mary and Lazarus, from the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John In Eastern Star, Martha is the color green.
  • Electa (the "elect lady" from II John), the mother. In Eastern Star, Electa is the color Red.

Grand Lodge of ND logo

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a nonprofit service and social organization for girls between the ages of 11 and 20. It teaches leadership, confidence, and citizenship by giving girls opportunities to participate in local and state service projects.

Rainbow prepares the girls of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. It teaches girls leadership and public speaking skills, self-respect, confidence, integrity and character, all while providing a fun and safe environment to meet other girls their age and to build friendships that will last a lifetime.

​The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls has an active membership across the world. Our organization has 275,000 members in 45 states and in 9 foreign countries.

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls was founded by Rev. William Mark Sexson in McAlester, Oklahoma in April of 1922. He sought to develop an organization where young women could build self-confidence and leadership skills, while serving their community.

The organization promotes community service, as well as love and service to their schools, homes and to each other. The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is affiliated only with the Masonic Lodges and Order of the Eastern Star Chapters.

Grand Lodge of ND logo

DeMolay of North Dakota

DeMolay International (also known as the Order of DeMolay), founded in Kansas City, Missouri in 1919, is an international fraternal organization for young men ages 12 to 21. It was named for Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. DeMolay was incorporated in the 1990s and is classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization holding a group exemption letter.

DeMolay is open for membership to young men between the ages of 12 to 21 of good character[clarification needed] who acknowledge a higher spiritual power. It has about 15,000 active members in the United States and Canada.

There are active chapters in Australia, Aruba, Philippines, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Japan, Philippines and Serbia. The Brazilian DeMolay has more active members than the United States, making Portuguese the most commonly used language in DeMolay chapters.

Although not a "Masonic organization" as such, DeMolay is considered to be part of the general "family" of Masonic and associated organizations, along with other youth groups such as The Organization of Triangles, Inc. of New York, the Order of the Knights of Pythagoras, Job's Daughters and International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. A family connection to Masonry is not a prerequisite for membership into DeMolay.

El Zaga Shriners logo

El Zagal Shriners of Fargo

The Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S) was the creation of Dr. Walter M. Fleming and William Florence in 1870. Composed of members from the Knights Templar’s and 32nd degree Scottish Rite Masons, this new order was based on a background of Oriental glamour, pageantry, and mystic splendor.

Today Shriners International (the new name of the fraternity, reflecting its global presence and impact) membership exceeds over 300,000 Nobles in almost 200 Temples worldwide.

El Zagal Temple, located at 1429 North 3rd Street, Fargo, North Dakota, was founded December 14, 1890 and received its charter on June 23, 1890. El Zagal ranks as the 51st Temple according to the date of the charter. El Zagal has the distinction of having members, Frank Treat(1911-1912) and Alfred G. Arvold(1944, serve as Imperial Potentate. The Temple offices and most early Ceremonials were held in the downtown Fargo Masonic Temple.

On October 18, 1920, the El Zagal Holding Company purchased 40 acres of land, with later additions, known as El Zagal Park. This land was east of Broadway, between 14th and 15th Avenues North and extended to the Red River. In 1940, the El Zagal golf course was developed and approximately 30 acres near the river became a crescent shaped natural arena. Eight Doric pillars from an old post office were acquired and dedicated on the grounds near the present day clubhouse in May 1930.

The same year an old fashioned residence at 1401 Broadway was acquired as a clubhouse and the house warming took place December 14, 1930. Obelisks patterned after Cleopatra’s needle in Washington D.C. were erected at the east part of the property. Alfred Arvold held his famous “covered wagon” Ceremonial in the crescent at the time of the dedication of the pillars. The Broadway Clubhouse was destroyed in the tornado of June 20, 1957. The present clubhouse was built shortly thereafter and the offices were moved from the Masonic Temple.  The downtown Masonic Temple was razed in 1969 and property was offered for the building of a new Masonic Temple and a Grand Lodge office building near the present Shrine Clubhouse.

At the present time El Zagal has 25 Shrine Units. They are Arab Patrol, Big Band, Chanters, Detroit Lakes Color Guard, Directors Staff, Dusters, Escort Motor Patrol, Valley City Flag Corps, Frontiersmen, Jamestown Clowns, Mandan Indians, Mobil Nobles, Mystics, Oilers, Oriental Band, Plainsmen, Provost Guard, Rangers, Red Necks, Ritualistic Divan, Saidin, Spinners, Travelers, Vikings, and Wheelers.

El Zagal also has 16 shrine clubs. They are Tuesday Night Shrine Club, Detroit Lakes Shrine Club, Heart of the Valley Shrine Club, Jamestown Shrine Club, Mid-State Shrine Club, Missouri Slope Shrine Club, Sheyenne Valley Shrine Club, Badlands Shrine Club, Knife River Shrine Club, Oakes Shrine Club, Circus Management Club, Circus Management Club, Circus Management Club, Hospital Dads Shrine Club, the Techies Club and YOSHI(Young Shriner) Club.

Kem Shriners logo

Kem Shriners of Grand Forks

Shriners International, also commonly known as The Shriners, is a society established in 1870 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, USA. It is an appendant body to Freemasonry.

Kem Shriners is the local chapter based out of Grand Forks, ND and has a jurisdiction that covers area in both North Dakota and Minnesota.

Shriners believe that man was created to serve and help one another. We believe that the care for the less fortunate, especially children who suffer from burns and other crippling diseases, is our institutional calling.

One of the things we, as Shriners, are most proud of is our ability, through Shriners Hospitals for Children, is to give world-class, expert medical care at NO CHARGE. We believe Shriners hospitals to be the "Worlds' Greatest Philanthropy", and we covenant with each other to support its "temples of Mercy" with spirit, time, talent and means.

Shriners believe in God and that He created man to serve His purposes, among which is service to others in His name.

We believe that care for the less fortunate, especially children who suffer from burns and crippling diseases, is our institutional calling.

We are patriots, each willing to serve his country with fidelity and courage. We cherish independence under law and freedom with responsibility.

We honor family. We respect our parents, wives and children. We should instill in our children the tenets of this creed, and the heritage from which it emanates.
As brothers we offer each other fraternal affection and respect. Together we will support each other in adherence to this creed, so that we and our communities will be the better because of our fraternity and its principles.

As Shriners we look beyond ourselves to serve the needs of others, especially children who cannot help themselves. We believe Shriners Hospitals to be the world's greatest philanthropy, and we covenant with each other to support its "temples of mercy" with spirit, time, talent and means.


Today 144

Yesterday 306

Week 1437

Month 3201

All Time 460611