It is my great privilege and honor to serve as the 171st Grand Master of Masons in Virginia in the 238th 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 God, 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.
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.
You can contact the Grand Master through the Grand Secretary
Most Worshipful James Edward Litten was born in New Market, Virginia, on April 17, 1940. He graduated from Mount Jackson High School in 1958 and later attended the American Disc Jockey School in Norfolk, Virginia. From 1962 to 1969, Brother Litten was employed in radio communication, working in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas. He owned and operated Community Broadcasting, Inc. in Stuart, Virginia, from 1969 until 1986. Since 1986, he has been in the real estate business; and from 1989 until the present, owns and operates Jim Litten Real Estate, LLC, as broker.
Brother Litten was made a Master Mason in Mountain Home Lodge No. 263 on September 25, 1987. He is a Life Member in Perpetuity and served as its Worshipful Master in 1992 and 2007 and as Secretary from 2011 to 2014. He was District Deputy Grand Master in Masonic District No. 39 in 2004. He was the Administrative Assistant to the Grand Master in 1997 and Grand Pursuivant in 2001. He served on the Grand Lodge Committee on Unfinished Business and is the Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Ohio, near Virginia. He was elected Grand Senior Deacon in November 2011 and was elected to the Office of Grand Master on November 7, 2015.
Brother Litten is a Life Member in Perpetuity and Honorary member of Pound Lodge No. 59 and holds honorary membership in Piedmont Lodge No. 152 and Rocky Mount Lodge No. 201. He is a member of the Valley of Danville, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and was invested Knight Commander Court of Honour in 2003 and coroneted a 33° Inspector General Honorary in 2007. He is a member of Lynchburg Royal Arch Chapter No. 10, Kazim Shrine Center and Martinsville Chapter No. 66, Order of the Eastern Star. He was a recipient of the Outstanding Worshipful Master Award in 1992 - 93. Brother Litten is a recipient of the John Blair, Jr. Service Medal from the Grand Lodge of Virginia in 2001 and the Legion of Honor from the International Order of DeMolay. Brother Litten has been recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution with their Award of Excellence.
Brother Litten has also been very active in the community. Within Patrick County, he is a Past President of the Unit of the American Heart Association, Patrick County Jaycees, and Charter President of the Patrick County High School Band Boosters Club. He is a Life Member in the Virginia Jaycees and Past President of the Life Membership Council, a Jaycee International Senator, and United States Jaycee Ambassador. He has been recognized by the Stuart Rotary Club and Virginia Jaycees as a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award and by Epsilon Sigma Phi, the National Honorary Extension Fraternity, Virginia Tech, as a recipient of the Outstanding Public Service Award. He was recognized by the Board of Supervisors in 1977 and 1984 when the Board proclaimed “Jim Litten Day” in Patrick County. He is an honorary member of the Patrick County Agricultural Fair Association, Stuart Lions Club, the Stuart Rotary Club, and several fire departments and rescue squads. He is a former board member of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce, the R. J. Reynolds-Patrick County Memorial Hospital, and served on the Town of Stuart’s Centennial Committee, and fundraising committees for the American Heart Association, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and Patrick County Public Library. He is an active member of Stuart Baptist Church, where he has served as Deacon and on the Pastor Search, Pulpit, Long Range Planning, and Apple Butter Committees.
Brother Litten is married to the former Ann Crocker of Smithfield, Virginia, and they have two daughters, Cynthia Holt and her husband, Roland; and Denise Stirewalt and her husband, Gene; four grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and one step-great-grandchild.