The namesake of the Order of DeMolay was born in Vitrey, Department of Haute Saone, France in the year 1244. At the age of 21, DeMolay joined the Order of Knights Templar.
The Knights Templar was an organization sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church in 1128 to guard the road between Jerusalem and Acre, an impor- tant port city on the Mediterranean Sea. The Order of Knights Templar participated in the Crusades and earned a name for valor and heroism.
Over the years the Order gained considerable power and wealth from rich European families and Jacques DeMolay was named Grand Master in 1298. At about the same time, the Saracens were also becoming more powerful and won many decisive victories over the Knights and thus the Crusades were not achieving their goals. At about the same time the King of France also set about to gain control over the Knights and their wealth. In 1307 Jacques DeMolay along with many other Knights were imprisoned and tortured in an effort to gain information as to the whereabouts of their wealth. King Phillip also convinced Pope Clement to condemn the Templars allowing their property to be confiscated and given to Phillip and his supporters.
Despite the torture and inhumane treatment, Jacques DeMolay never disclosed the location of the funds of the order as he refused to betray his comrades. On March 18, 1314, DeMolay was tried by a special court. He was convicted by virtue of a forged confession, which he disavowed. As a result he was put to death along with Guy of Auvergne who stood by him.
March 18 is a special day in DeMolay, more especially for those men who have been invested into the Legion of Honor. It is on this day that these men take part in a traditional banquet in memory of DeMolay.
DeMolay as an organization began early in the year 1919 by Frank Land of Ivanhoe Lodge in Kansas City when he was asked by another member of the Lodge to assist a son of a deceased member. Louis Lower met with Mr. Land and impressed him greatly. The rest is history. Please visit the web- site of DeMolay International for the complete history and how you can help.
Locally DeMolay has two chapters that are quite active with the support of many “Dads” & “Moms”.
DeMolay Chapters in the Roanoke Valley and Surrounding Areas
- ROANOKE VALLEY CHAPTER
- Meets at Melrose Lodge #139
- 7613 Shadwell Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019
- Meets 1st & 3rd Thursdays at 7:30 PM
- Chairman: Bill Campbell
- E-Mail: email@example.com
- Chapter Dad: George Lloyd
- Phone: 540-563-4080
- E-Mail: llloyd@campbelllineberry
- HANGING ROCK CHAPTER
- Meets at Taylor Lodge #23
- 1200 Texas Street, Salem, Va. 24153
- Meets 2nd & 4th Thursdays 7:30 PM
- Chairman: David Wells
- Chapter Dad: Kerry Campbell
- Phone: 540-473-3004
- E-Mail: LKC24090@aol.com
- Fred Knapp
- LEXINGTON CHAPTER
- Chairman: Howard Smith
- Phone: 540-463-2572
- E-Mail: HKSmith@aol.com
- Chapter Dad: Brent Fellows
- Chairman: Howard Smith