I was Initiated into Freemasonry on the 21st of March, 2011, in Longstreet Lodge No. 268, Free & Accepted Masons, of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi. Thanks to a willing and capable Brother who works with me, I was able to study my required proficiency daily. As such, I was able to be examined in lodge very quickly. I was Passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft on the 30th of May, 2011, and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on the 27th of June, 2011.
On being raised I was immediately asked to fill, pro tempore, the chair of the Junior Deacon, who had been relocated with his employment. While here I also began to study the various chairs of the lodge. In Dec, 2011 I was appointed and installed as the Senior Deacon. When elections were held again in Dec of 2012 I was elected to the position of Junior Warden. In 2013 the Senior Warden requested to not be considered for the position of Worshipful Master, due the amount of time he is required to spend at work. Ultimately I was elected to serve as Worshipful Master for 2014. In 2014 I received the degree of Actual Past Master, given by the Grand Lodge. In 2015 I took a purposeful hiatus to spend more time with my wife and children. However, in 2016 I was again elected to the East, due to a unique situation (more work conflicts causing us not to have a Warden available to be advanced) that required the lodge to re-instate some Past Master to the position. I was honored to have been selected by my Brethren.
In 2017 I became a dual member at the Mississippi Lodge of Research No. 640.
In 2017 I was elected a Treasurer of Longstreet Lodge No. 268
In 2018 I was elected as the Secretary of the Mississippi Lodge of Research No. 640.
In 2011 I received the 29 Degrees (4th through 32nd) of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, USA, in the Orient of Mississippi, Valley of Meridian, and joined the Meridian Valley’s Knights of Saint Andrew Chapter. I am currently serving in the degree work as Senior Deacon in the 4th Degree and Senior Warden in the 14th. I also submit articles for the Valley’s newsletter.
In 2017 I completed the Scottish Rite Master Craftsman Program: Scottish Rite Ritual and History.
In 2017 I joined the Scottish Rite Research Society.
In Spring 2018 I became the Editor of the Newsletter for the Valley of Meridian.
In April 2018 I was elected as Venerable Master of the Meridian Valley Knights of St. Andrew Chapter.
In May 2018 I completed the Scottish Rite Master Craftsman Program: Philosophy.
In May 2018 I was appointed as Webmaster for the Orient of Mississippi by Billy W. Sloan, 33°, IGH, Deputy of the Supreme Council
In September 2018 I completed Scottish Rite Master Craftsman Program: Esoterika.
In 2019 I was elected as the Wise Master for the Chapter of Rose Croix for the Meridian Valley, Orient of Mississippi.
In 2012 I received all of the Degrees and Orders associated with the York Rite here in the USA. This does not include optional or chair degrees, such as Super Excellent Master.
In 2016 I was appointed as the Internet Committee Chairman and Webmaster all of the Mississippi Grand Bodies of the York Rite.
In June 2018 I took the 101 course of the York Rite High Potential Emerging Leaders Program.
On September 29, 2018, I was inducted into The Red Cross of Constantine in St. Jude Conclave, Meridian, MS.
In December 2018 I was elected to the position of Sentinel in St. Jude Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine.
In 2019 I received the degree of Super Excellent Master.
In July 2019 I was inducted into the Mississippi York Rite Sovereign College, No. 88.
In August 2019 I took to 201 course of the York Rite High Potential Emerging Leaders Program.
Order of the Eastern Star:
On March 8th, 2016 I joined the Order of the Eastern Star, Longstreet Chapter No. 285. I served as Marshal for that chapter in 2017.
In 2017 my wife and I received dual-membership with Spencer Gilbert Chapter No. 65.
In 2018 I served as Associate Patron of Spencer Gilbert Chapter No. 65 and appointed as Chaplain in Longstreet Chapter No. 285.
In 2019 I served as Worthy Patron on Spencer Gilbert Chapter No. 65.
In 2017 I joined the Grand College of Rites.
In 2018 I joined The Philalethes Society.
In 2018 I joined The Masonic Society.
In June 2018 I was Initiated into the Ancient and Heroic Order of the Gordian Knot, Babylon Synod No. 1, Gulfport, Mississippi
In June 2019 I was inducted into the Allied Masonic Degrees as a Charter Member and Senior Warden of LeFleur Council, Jackson, MS.
In 2014 I was appointed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Mississippi, Butch Britt, II, to an ad hoc Webmaster Committee and put in charge of the website for the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, which was redesigned and otherwise updated. In 2015 a position in the Internet Committee opened up and I was brought in as the ipso facto Chairman of that Committee due to my position as Webmaster. I left the Webmaster position in 2019, but remain on the Internet Committee.
In 2016 I was recognized by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Mississippi, Edward Rhodes, as the Worshipful Master of the Year.
In 2017 I was appointed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Mississippi, Don Bryant, to the Grand Lodge’s 10-Year Planning Committee. This position only lasted 1 year.
In 2019 I was appointed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Mississippi, Jason Jefcoat, to be the Grand Librarian.
On May 31st, 2019, on the announcement of the retirement of Tom Jones, Grand Secretary, I was Appointed and Installed by Jason A. Jefcoat, Grand Master, to serve as Grand Secretary for The Grand Lodge of Mississippi, F. & A. M., until elections are held at the next Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge.
Following the attacks of 9/11/2001 I sought a career in the US Army. However, my shoulder dislocated twice while in training and I was ultimately discharged. However, during those short 5 months I met the most important person in my life, Jennifer King.
In 2002 the beautiful Jennifer King agreed to marry me. Since then we have had 5 children, the youngest of which was born in 2012.
We lived around the Denver, Colorado area until 2005, when we moved to Meridian, Mississippi. The plan at that time was for me to re-enlist, as I had since had surgery and had been signed-off by the appropriate people in order to do so. However, my sister, who lives in Meridian, informed me of a local job that would pay just as well as the Army, without me having to be shipped over seas. As such I became a contracted security officer at Naval Air Station, Meridian, MS. Between 2005 and 2009 I worked at this station in several positions, starting as a security officer, to being an emergency dispatcher, to an armorer and firearms instructor, to the Deputy Emergency Manger. However, I was a contracted employee and the contract was up for renewal and it was not expected to go through.
My then boss (and Master Mason, I later learned), informed me of an opening with Lauderdale County for 9-1-1 Director. I applied and was ultimately selected for the position, which I have held since the 1st of August, 2009.
In 2012 I was also appointed to represent the 2nd District of Lauderdale County on the Lauderdale County Planning Commission – an advisory board to the Board of Supervisors, which I now Chair.
In 2012 I started what is now a moderately successful YouTube Channel called J&J Acres. The channel focuses on our “family farm” efforts. We have raised chickens, ducks, turkey, pigs, goats, bees and rabbits on our property and have numerous fruit and nut trees and various gardens. I have also written two small books related to this channel, each with the main title of Your Dream Homestead, which have sold internationally.
The success with that channel inspired me to take what I had learned there and apply it to Freemasonry. In 2013 I started the What is a Mason YouTube Channel. However, life (and the more prevalent J&J Acres Channel) got busy and as such there was a noticeable gap in videos from 2014-2016. However, with it this gap also brought in new confidence and skill in creating videos, which I personally attribute to the ongoing success of What is a Mason.