The mission of Freemasonry is to promote a way of life that binds like minded men in a worldwide brotherhood that transcends all religious, ethnic, cultural, social and educational differences; by teaching the great principles of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth: and, by the outward expression of these, through its fellowship, its compassion and its concern, to find ways in which to serve God, family, country, neighbors and self.
Tennessee Freemasonry came into its own in 1813 when ten (10) Tennessee Lodges, (including Cumberland No. 8 located in Nashville) formed the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. From 1847 to 1848, three additional Nashville Lodges were granted their charters: Sewanee Lodge No. 131 in 1847, Sequoyah No. 156 in 1848, and Nashville No. 142 in 1848. During this time all four lodges met at the Cumberland Lodge No. 8 lodge building—also know as the “Masonic Hall.”
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The first mention of Sewanee No. 131 was in the proceeding of the Grand Lodge on October 4, 1847; when it appears among the Lodges under Dispensation. It was represented by Dyer Pearl, J.G. Gibson, and M.S. Pilcher, who were probably the Worshipful Master, Senior, and Junior Wardens.
Nashville Lodge No. 142, U.D. first appears in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge in October 1848, when it was represented by John M. Seabury, who was probably its Worshipful Master. Indication are that G.P. Smith was the Senior Warden, and R. Stewart was the Junior Warden. Sequoyah Lodge No. 156 U.D. also appears first in the proceedings at the same session, and was represented by T.A. Thomas, S.L. Shaw, and George W. Taylor (probably the first three officers respectively. At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of 1853, Grand Master A. M Hughes, in his address said:
“It will be recollected by many members of this Grand Lodge that at the time of its session there existed four lodges in the city of Nashville. Entertaining with many other Masons that this number was greater that the wants of the city required, and fearing their operation might not conduce to the harmony and efficient action of the Fraternity, I prevailed upon the members of those three Lodges - Sewannee No. 131,, Sequoyah No. 156, and Nashville No. 142 - to surrender their charters, and take out a dispensation for a new Lodge. Acting upon this suggestion, the three Lodges entered into an agreement to this effect, and I granted them a dispensation, authorizing the brethren to open a new Lodge by the name of PHOENIX LODGE No. 131.”
The Committee of Dispensation reported in favor of granting the Lodge a charter, which was done, and thus was PHOENIX LODGE No. 131 formed—”A phoenix rising from the ashes of three dead Lodges.”
The Lodge met in the Cumberland Lodge Building until a fire destroyed the building in July of 1856....destroying many of the records of the first 5 years. In 1858, a cornerstone was laid by Cumberland Lodge for a Second Temple, and it was completed in time to be occupied by the Federal forces during the Civil War.
Phoenix Lodge met in various places during this period, and from December 1861 to December 1863, there were no election of officers. This is the only exception to the continuous meeting of Phoenix Lodge throughout its 160+ years of existence.
Following the Civil War, Phoenix continued to meet in the Cumberland Lodge Building, known as the Second Temple, until 1914, when Cumberland embarked on the building of their Third Temple. During the building phase Phoenix met at 306 7th Avenue North, and in 1915 at 416 1/2 Union Street. On October 19, 1914, Cumberland laid the cornerstone of their new Temple, located at 319 7th Avenue. The building was occupied on December 13, 1915, and Phoenix stayed there until 1961.
In 1960 property was acquired at 3410 Hillsboro Road for a new Lodge building. Phoenix Lodge No. 131, which had utilized Cumberland Lodge facilities since its formation in 1852, decided to construct their own Lodge Hall on the aforesaid property. The first Stated Meeting was held on July 17, 1961. On August 7, 1984, the property at 3410 Hillsboro Road was sold to Belle Meade Builders, Inc. The last meeting of the Lodge at this location was a Called Meeting to confer an Entered Apprentice degree on August 20, 1984. On September 1, 1984, the Lodge began meeting in the Hall of Cumberland Lodge No. 8.
After careful search, the members of Phoenix Lodge No. 131 were unable to locate s suitable location upon which to erect a new Lodge Hall. In 1988, it was resolved by both Phoenix and Cumberland Lodges, that Phoenix Lodge No. 131 would purchase a 1/2 interest in the Cumberland building, located at 4607 Sloan Road.
After consideration by both Lodges, terms were agreed on, and the property was conveyed to joint ownership by Cumberland and Phoenix. On June 1, 1990, a mortgage ceremony was held by the members of Phoenix to celebrate the final payment for their share of the building. Under the auspices of William H. Minneci, Worshipful Master of Phoenix No. 131, and Cecil W. Venable, Worshipful Master of Cumberland Lodge No. 8, a plaque was dedicated to the members of both Lodges bearing the inscription: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
Becoming A Mason
Many men live a lifetime and never know they must ask for admission to the worlds oldest, most purposeful and greatest fraternity. They do not realize that they will not be invited. They must come in of their own free will and accord, without persuasion. They must ask a Mason for a petition. The prescribed requirements for membership in Tennessee are: being a man, at least 18 years of age, having a belief in a Supreme Being and in the immortality of the soul, being capable of reading and writing, being of good moral character, having been a resident of Tennessee for at least one year preceding the presentation of his petition, and being recommended by two Master Mason members of the Lodge to which he desires to apply plus, two references who may or may not be Masons. A Multi State Background Check will be conducted.
Visit our lodge any Monday night so you can learn more about us and we can learn more about you. We are always excited to welcome visitors who are interested in Masonry. We recommend visiting several times before applying for membership.
Lodge Address: 4607 Sloan Rd, Nashville TN, 37209
Lodge Phone: (615) 640-0909
Lodge Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meetings are held on Monday evenings. Dinner is open to guests at 6:00 with Member Meetings at 7:00. Stated Meetings are the Second Monday each month.