WHAT IS DEMOLAY?
The order of DeMolay is a young men’s fraternal organization which was founded upon the basic principles of love of God, love of parents, and love of country. It tries to introduce these teachings to its members in various ways through the exercise of the seven cardinal virtues which compliment each other in rounding out and completing each DeMolay’s character.
These virtues are:
- Love of parents
- Love of God
The name “DeMolay” comes from a thirteenth century French hero named Jacques DeMolay, who was the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. King Philip, the “Fair” of France, who was interested in obtaining the vast wealth and land of the Templars, devised a plan which included arresting and torturing the members of the order, and thereby leaving him in control of their assets.
After being arrested and subjected to seven horrible years of inquisition and torture by Philip, DeMolay was put to death by order of the “fair” king because of his refusal to reveal the names of his fellow comrades, and for his fidelity to the ideals of his order. King Philip ordered DeMolay and one of his faithful preceptors, Guy of Auvergne, to be burned at the stake as a final demonstration of Philip’s authority.
Centuries later, in 1919, a Kansas City Freemason named Frank S. Land, noticed a need for a young men’s organization in the Kansas City area. After meeting with a local youth named Louis Lower, Land arranged a meeting with several other area youths at the Kansas City Scottish Rite building. With Land’s guidance and the ambition of the young men, the Order of DeMolay was born.
Almost instantaneously, the popularity of the new Order grew and in no time at all, there were chapters in every state in the union and soon there were even chapters abroad.
For over 80 years now, the Order of DeMolay has continued to teach it’s member’s the basic principles of life which will help prepare any young man for a good and clean manhood, and which will help them to develop a greater love and respect for their God, parents and country.
In its history, the Order of DeMolay has boasted a strong membership and has long lists of successful and influential members. Many notable figures of America’s past and present were members of the Order of DeMolay, such as Walt Disney, John Wayne, Pete Rose, Fran Tarkenton, John Steinbeck, Mel Blanc, and many, many others.
The requirements for membership into the Order are very simple. The only requirements for membership are that prospective members:
- Be between the ages of 12 and 21
- Believe in a Supreme Being (God)
- Be of good moral character
- Petition a DeMolay Chapter for membership
Local groups of DeMolays are called chapters and are sponsored by a group of Masons. Kentucky has many fine chapters which consistently try to teach its members these ideals.
Cherokee Chapter is the second oldest remaining chapter in Kentucky. It was chartered in 1924, and was originally sponsored by Shibboleth Lodge, and the Highlands Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. They met at 919 Baxter Avenue, in Louisville Kentucky. Cherokee has been sponsored by Suburban Lodge #740 for over 45 years. Cherokee Chapter currently has active members who attend many of the high schools here in the Louisville area, including: Eastern, Trinity, and Bullitt East in Mount Washington and also active members who attend the University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Jefferson Community, Centre and Kentucky Wesleyan Colleges.
All DeMolay activities are supervised by the Chapters Advisory Board, which is composed of carefully selected masons who must complete an Adult Worker Profile, attend periodic training classes. Many mothers are involved in the Chapters Mothers Club, which helps plan and prepare for many of the events and activities.