(Adapted with permission from the Grand Lodge of Tennessee)

What is Freemasonry?

A fraternity of men dedicated to building the moral character of its members and the preservation of personal freedom.

Is Masonry a religion?

No. Every applicant must express a belief in a Supreme Being to whom all men are accountable, but no particular religious affiliation is required. Many Masons are active members of their various churches, and many pastors are Masons.

Is Masonry a secret organization?

Masonry is not a secret organization. We publicize the times and places of our meetings and have visible signs on our Masonic buildings. However, Masonry is a private organization with some secrets shared only with its members, no different than any other fraternal organization or corporation. You can’t walk into Coca-Cola and expect to be told the formula.

What notable men have been Masons?

Fourteen U.S. presidents, including all three from Tennessee, several astronauts, 28 Tennessee Governors, and many members of congress have been Masons. President Andrew Johnson was a member of Greeneville Lodge.

Who can become a Mason?

In Tennessee a man must be 18 years old, of good character and reputation, and been a resident of the state for one year.

How does a man become a Mason?

Masons do not solicit members. The first step in becoming a Mason is to ask a member of a local lodge for a petition, complete it, and submit the petition with the signature of two members of that lodge to the lodge for consideration. All petitions must receive 100% approval when voted on by the lodge members.  You must also complete an online background check. (Please Click Here for a petition.)

How long does it take for one to become a Mason?

At least three months, but typically about six months in Tennessee.  There is no time limit.

Is memory work required?


What must be memorized?

Each degree has a catechetical lecture (a series of questions and answers) relating to the procedural events carried out during the conferral of each degree.

How much does it cost to join?

The one-time fee to receive the three degrees of Masonry at Greeneville Lodge No. 3 is $150.  You must also cover the cost of the background check.

How much are the annual dues?

Greeneville Lodge No. 3’s current dues are $100 per year.

How many Masons are there?

There are about 6 million Masons worldwide, including about 2.5 Million Masons in the United States.

How many Masons are there in Tennessee?

There are about 41,000 Tennessee Masons.  

How many individual Lodges are in Tennessee?

There are more than 300 subordinate lodges in Tennessee. There are five in Greene County.

Are Masons charitable?

Yes. In the United States, Masonic organizations contribute more than $2 million daily to hospitals, language disorder programs, eye clinics, and various other causes.

Is a 32nd or 33rd degree higher ranking than a Master Mason?

No. There is no “higher” degree in Freemasonry than the 3rd or Master Mason degree. The number system used by the Scottish Rite is simply that, a numbering identification system, not a ranking system.  

Can a Mason’s wife attend Lodge?

No, only Masons may attend actual meetings of the Lodge, but there are many functions for all family members.

Do Masons perform a public Masonic Funeral service?

Yes. When the family requests the Lodge to do so, Masons will recite the time-honored ritual of memorial for a departed Brother.

Is Masonry a patriotic organization?

Yes. Masons are taught to obey the laws of the country in which they reside. All Masonic meetings include the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Many of the members of Greeneville Lodge No. 3 are veterans.


If you have any other questions relating to Masonry or the Greeneville Masonic Lodge, please feel free to Contact Us.