LAFOLLETTE, TN (SPECIAL TO WLAF) – On Saturday, January 14, 2023, a new fraternal organization was instituted in Campbell County, Tennessee. The Grand Lodge of Tennessee Knights of Pythias, under the authority of the Supreme Lodge, issued a charter to Rathbone Lodge Number 357. Rathbone Lodge will be meeting at Stooksbury Masonic Building located at 131 Shanghai Road in LaFollette.
The Knight of Pythias is one of the many fraternal organizations which flourished in the United States until the times shortly after the Great Depression. This is the first such charter issued by the Grand Lodge in more than a decade. The Knight of Pythias, like many other such groups, had lodges in Campbell county and throughout Tennessee.
The Knight of Pythias is not a masonic organization nor has any fraternal ties to Freemasonry. There are currently nine lodges in Tennessee, and they meet in their own buildings or rent from other fraternal organizations who have a building and are willing to let them rent as was graciously done by Stooksbury Masonic Lodge.
Rathbone’s membership consists of members from Campbell, Claiborne, Anderson, Blount, Putnam and Hickman Counties. Darryl Chapman of LaFollette was elected and installed as the first leader of Rathbone Lodge with a total of 18 charter members. The members of Rathbone have plans on helping local charities.
The Order of Knights of Pythias, a great international, non-sectarian fraternity, founded in Washington, DC, by Justus H. Rathbone, in 1864, became the first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an act of the Congress of the United States after careful investigation by then-President Abraham Lincoln.
Our fraternal order follows three distinguishing principles, Friendship, Charity and Benevolence. Domains of the Order exist in most states and provinces, and subordinate lodges are located in many cities and towns across the United States, Canada and Europe.
Our order bases its lessons and builds it ritual largely on the familiar story of the friendship of Damon and Pythias. These historical characters lived about four hundred or more years before the beginning of the Christian era. They were members of a school, founded by Pythagoras, who was known as the father of Greek philosophy. Their loyalty to each other, the adventures that beset them, and the outcome of this noble friendship, form the basis for one of the most beautiful stories of history as exemplified in our ritual.
The primary charity supported by Supreme Lodge is the American Cancer Society. Many other charities and programs are supported by our Grand Lodges and Subordinate Lodges.
The real common thread throughout the Knights of Pythias involves our commitment to help people; when asked what we do, we answer quite simply: We volunteer! We help people! This common thread shows itself in everything we do. If someone approaches a Pythian and asks what we do, a Pythian simply lists the things that our order and the Pythian’s home lodge does and asks them if they want to help volunteer.
The Fraternal Order of Knights of Pythias promotes cooperation and friendship between people of good will.
Pythians know one way to happiness is through service to mankind.
Pythians believe that friendship is an essential ingredient in life.
Pythians make Benevolence, Kindness, Generosity and Tolerance a reality in their lives.
Pythians place home ties at the top of their priority list.
Connect HERE for more information about the Knights of Pythias in Tennessee. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/16/2023-6AM)