The Iowa Masonic Leadership Symposium was held Saturday, June 30 at the Des Moines Scottish Rite Temple. Speakers included Robert Davis, Christopher Hodapp, S. Brent Morris, and Thomas Wilkerson. Over 145 Freemasons from across Iowa attended the symposium, which was sponsored by the Masonic Charitable Educational Committee of the Grand Lodge of Iowa and the Iowa Scottish Rite Masonic Foundation.
Brother Robert G. Davis Jr. 33° is the Executive Secretary of the College of the Consistory at Guthrie, Oklahoma. He is Past President of the Masonic Restoration Foundation, a KYCH, Past Grand Commander of the Knights Templar in Oklahoma, and author of the blog Essays of Robert G. Davis. Brother Davis 33° spoke on “Masonic Leadership and the New Generation in the Experience of the Lodge.” Among the goals of our fraternity are the need to communicate moral integrity and social honor to the younger generation. He highlighted the concepts of social honor, the mature masculine, and mentoring life experiences in his presentation.
Brother Chris Hodapp 33° is the author of numerous books on Freemasonry including Freemasons For Dummies, Solomon's Builders: Freemasons, Founding Fathers and the Secrets of Washington D.C., and The Templar Code For Dummies. He currently serves as Editor in Chief of The Journal of the Masonic Society. In only a dozen years, Brother Hodapp 33° has become a major spokesman for the fraternity through his books and his popular blog, Freemasons for Dummies. Soon after he was raised a Master Mason in 1999, Brother Chris was “jabbed with an officer’s pike” and became Master of his Lodge. His humor and wit during the presentation reinforced the need for our Lodges to be prepared for the next Masonic boom of potential members as a result of Dan Brown’s movie The Lost Symbol, to be released next year.
Brother S. Brent Morris 33° G.C. is Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, London, elected to Society of Blue Friars in 1998, and current Managing Editor of The Scottish Rite Journal, Supreme Council, 33°, S.J. Brother Morris 33° spoke about six major stages in the evolution of Freemasonry in the U.S.: Grand Lodges, the York and Scottish Rites, Androgynous Orders, Fun Groups, Youth Groups, and Invitational Groups. His scholarly review of these stages highlighted both key events and the leaders who shaped them. He concluded with a thought provoking question: what’s next? What is the next evolution in American Freemasonry?
Brother Tom Wilkerson is the chief executive officer of the United States Naval Institute (USNI), one of the oldest professional military associations in the United States. The USNI reports that he is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and U. S. Naval Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun), and in his last active duty assignment as Commander, Marine Forces Reserve Wilkerson led the largest command in the Marine Corps, with more than 100,000 Marines at 200 sites around the United States. Brother Wilkerson used his experience in the USMC to relate lessons in leadership as they apply to Freemasonry. He reviewed the historical record of Masons who served in the military including Washington, Lejeune, and many others. The theme of his presentation was “service above self” and how this relates to Freemasonry.(M.A.M.)