169th Grand Master of Masons in Virginia
Wayne Sawyer Flora
Welcome to our Website!
You have reached the website of the oldest independent Grand Lodge in America … The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Virginia. You are here no doubt to find out more about the oldest, largest and most respected Fraternity in the world; perhaps asking, “Who are the Masons?”
It is my great privilege and honor to serve as the 169th Grand Master of Masons in Virginia in the 236th year of our Grand Lodge. In that role, I welcome you to our website.
Good men are attracted to Freemasonry in their search for enlightenment and to become better men. Masons believe in a Supreme Being, religious tolerance, freedom and equality. We teach and practice temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice. We express our brotherly love and respect for each other and practice charity. Masonic charity extends not just to members of our Fraternity and their families, but to all mankind. We take seriously our duties to our God, our country, our neighbors, and our Fraternity. The charity of Masons and appendant groups composed of Masons is well-known worldwide. Additional information can be found here.
Freemasons are great supporters of young people, recognizing the rare and precious opportunity given to responsible adults to attempt to lead, guide, and mentor them in paths of good citizenship. This Grand Lodge and Masonic Lodges in Virginia and elsewhere give vast numbers of scholarships to deserving students. There are also character-building and leadership organizations for young people that are sponsored and supported by Masons. We hope to assist and support these young people in ways that will benefit everyone’s future.
Although much of our ritual has a scriptural basis, we are a Fraternity, not a religion. Our symbols and teachings are largely based on the operative art of ancient stone masons, who worked in quarries and used hand tools and knowledge they had earned to build cathedrals and other magnificent works of architecture. Even the term “Worshipful” used as part of the title of the Master does not reference a religious characteristic. It is a remnant of our long history, documented in writing from the early 1700s in England when “your worship” was an honorary title of respect.
We pride ourselves on doing what is right, treating others as we ourselves would like to be treated, and striving for excellence in all we say and do. An added benefit is that we can travel in this country and around the world, and in almost every place we can be with a Brother in Freemasonry. That is the “Free” part of Freemasonry: free to travel among Masons and to practice our –now symbolic- craft as did Masons of the past after they had completed their apprenticeships and other training.
You also are “free” to roam the pages of our website. Find the Lodge in Virginia nearest to your home and learn who to contact there. Learn about our Grand Lodge Officers and programs, the things we do as a Fraternity, our publications and some of the benefits of being a Mason in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are delighted to offer you more information about our gentle Craft.