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The History of Adelphic Union Lodge No. 14

Adelphic Union Lodge No. 14 affectionately known as “The U” enjoys the distinction of being one of a few Lodges in the Prince Hall Masonic History with over one hundred and fifty years of continuous existence.

A Charter was duly issued to Adelphic Union Lodge No. 7 on the 11th day of May 1863, A.L. 5863, by the United Grand Lodge of the State of New York. The Charter was signed by the M.W.G.M. Patrick H. Reason, D.G.M. Jonas H. Townsend, S.G.W. Peter W. Ray, J.G.W. John M. Thomas and John R. Porter, Grand Secretary. This Charter empowered the Lodge to admit, enter, pass and raise Free Masons according to the ancient usage and customs of the Craft, within the City of New York.

In its illustrious history, many landmarks have been established in perpetuating the ideals of Free Masonry among men of color in this Masonic Jurisdiction. On the 18th day of December 1878, the present Grand Lodge which grew out of the consolidation of the United and National Compact Grand Lodges re-warranted Adelphic Union with Brother John Rogers as Worshipful Master. The original Grand Lodge Charter bears the notation "Cancelled 4th December 1879". The records show that the designation No.7 ceased and the present No.14 came into being after 1878.

On or about January 14, 1881 the recorded minutes show that the Lodge met twice monthly at 835 Broadway and George Harris was the Worshipful Master to November 23, 1885. John R. Adkins presided as Worshipful Master from November 1885 to November 22, 1890. During this administration it is noted that there was a fine spirit of cooperation among the few existing Lodges. There were frequent visits from Boyer No. 1, Hiram No. 4, Celestial No. 3, Mt. Olive No. 2, Widows Son No. 11, and Cornerstone No. 37. The visiting brothers then as today took an active part in working of the various degrees.

AUL 14 has many reasons to be proud of its many achievements. It has cooperated fully in all phases of Grand Lodge activities, leading the way in many instances where the benefit of the Craft was involved. One of the most noteworthy achievements is the introduction of men into the Craft who have distinguished themselves not only in community life but have brought distinction to the Craft; men who have risen in ranks from the Entered Apprentice to the honored office of the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
We are justly proud of three advancing to the Grand East and the appointment of an Adelphian to the position of honorary Grand Master. The choice by the rank and file of the Craft of these leaders from Adelphic Union attests to the love and confidence that is held for us, and we are appreciative of this action of the brethren. Past Grand Master Edward T. Sherwood for three years (1930-1933), Past Grand Master Dr. Charles H. Griffin (1966-1968), Honorary Past Grand Master Murray Wilkerson (1995), and Past Grand Master Louis Fair, Jr., who led the Craft for ten years (1942-1951). During which time our present Prince Hall Masonic Temple (454 West 155th Street) was obtained through his ingenuity, hard work and vision. Noteworthy also was P.G.M. Fair’s efforts in obtaining Roscoe as our Masonic Resort in upstate New York during his administration. In 2012 the Lodge saw another member elected to the Grand Lodge for the first time since 1968 as RW Kevin P. Wardally was elected a Grand Trustee.

Adelphic Union No.14 has several times participated in community activities which were of a worthwhile nature. It holds a life membership in the NAACP; developed a partnership with New York Cares to provide ongoing community service projects throughout New York City; maintains a relationship with Exodus Transitional Community Inc. where we provide business attire and job training skills for the formerly incarcerated; supports L&A Academy located in Accra Ghana with school supplies and much needed mosquito nets; and many other causes the Brothers of Adelphic Union Lodge No. 14 participate in.

The Lodge in recent years has embarked upon a progressive resurgence embracing the Universality of the Craft, the strengthening of strong fraternal ties and the performance of excellent ritual work. The lodge could barely open in the early 2000’s with less than 20 members on the books now they have almost 100 active members on the roles and received the honor of being named Lodge of the Year in 2011 under then WM Kevin P. Wardally by the MWPHGL of NY. The lodge has made a practice to open in October ceremoniously in Spanish each year since 2012 when the leadership of then WM Gene A. Edwards Jr. brought the tradition back to the lodge. And in 2014 for the first time in its history Adelphic Union #14 elected its first Latino Worshipful Master then WM Sandino Sanchez.

Our fervent wish is that the Masonic principles inculcated in the several degrees will continue to inspire this Lodge to greater heights. May the Great Architect of the Universe forever continue to guide their efforts and bless The U.

Established May, 11, 1863

Adelphic Union Lodge #14….where Masonry happens…..