Lodge History

Prince Hall Masons in Maryland trace their history to Massachusetts and to Prince Hall, who is believed to have been born in 1735, and died on December 4, 1807.  On March 6, 1775, Prince Hall and fourteen others were initiated into a military lodge at what is not Fort Independence, Massachusetts.  On March 2, 1784, Prince Hall petitioned the Grand Lodge of England for a warrant or charter authorizing that a regular lodge be constituted.  It was issued on September 29, 1784, but not received until May 6, 1787, at which time African Lodge No. 459 was formed.  On June 6, 1791, the lodge was erected into the African Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. 

The First African Independent Grand Lodge of North America No. 1 of the State of Pennsylvania whose own authority came directly from Prince Hall, warranted the first lodge of black Masons constituted in the state of Maryland on February 2, 1825.  This lodge was styled as African Friendship Lodge of Baltimore No. 6.  Thereafter the same authority warranted Saint James Lodge and Enterprise Lodge.  In 18945, again with the able assistance of Pennsylvania, these tree(3) subordinate lodges formed the First Colored Grand Lodge of the State of Maryland. 

In 1847, following the establishment of the National Grand Lodge, another grand lodge was organized in Maryland pursuant to its authority and styled as Union Grand Lodge. 

These two Grand Lodges remained in the field until 1876, when, being convinced that the object each Grand Master sought to accomplish would be better served by a union of the two, efforts to consolidate were made by the leading members of the two organizations. 

On September 12, 1876, the two Grand Lodges merged.  In 1878, the name was changed to the Most Worshipful Unit Grand Lodge of the State of Maryland.  In 1947, the name of the Grand Lodge was again changed to the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Maryland and it’s Jurisdictions, Inc., which name it still bears. 

In 1960, Grand Master Willard W. Allen stepped down and Grand Master Samuel T. Daniels assumed the mantle of leadership.  Later in that same year, the Grand Lodge moved to its present location at 1307 Eutaw Place at Lanvale Street and the Temple was duly named after Grand master Allen.  In 1998 Grand Master Daniels stepped down, at which time the Honorable Shelton D. Redden was elected Grand Master.  In 2010 Honorable Melvin M. Thorpe was elected Grand Master.  In 2017 Honorable Emanuel J. Stanley was elected Grand master and presently presides.