ABU BEKR SHRINE MEMBERSHIP
In order to become a member of the Abu Bekr Shrine, you must first become (and continue to be) a member in good standing of a Masonic Lodge.
Use the buttons below to find Lodges in your area.
- Shrine Initiation: $150 (one time fee) for a Mason 31 and older, $100 (one time fee) for a Mason between ages 18-30
- Abu Bekr Dues: $90 (annual dues)
- Unit dues: Varies with each unit
Abu Bekr Shrine
Check website for meeting dates and times for individual units.
HISTORY OF THE SHRINERS
Shriners International is, at its most basic level, a fraternity.
It all started in Manhattan in 1870 when some members of what’s considered the world’s oldest fraternity – Masonry – were hanging out at their favorite tavern. They felt that Masonry, which traces its roots to stonemasons and craftsmen of the Middle Ages, was a tad too focused on ritual. These guys wanted a fraternity that stressed fun and fellowship.
Two of those gentlemen – Walter M Fleming, M.D., and Billy Florence, an actor – took that idea and ran with it. Florence came up with the idea for a Near Eastern-themed party after attending a party thrown by an Arabian diplomat. Fleming added the structure, drafting the fraternity’s name, initiation rites, rituals and rules. Together, Fleming and Florence designed the fraternity’s emblem, devised a salutation and determined that the red fez with the black tassel would be the group’s official headgear.
The first chapter, Mecca Shriners, met in New York City in 1872. As word got out about the fledgling organization, membership grew rapidly, spreading across the U.S. In the early 1900s, membership spread into Canada, Mexico and Panama. Today there are approximately 309,000 Shriners belonging to 195 chapters in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and the Republic of Panama.
WHO ARE THE FREEMASONS?
No one knows with certainty how or when the Masonic Fraternity was formed. A widely accepted theory among Masonic scholars is that it arose from the stonemasons’ guilds during the Middle Ages. The language and symbols used in the fraternity’s rituals come from this era. The oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regius Poem, printed around 1390, which was a copy of an earlier work. In 1717, four lodges in London formed the first Grand Lodge of England, and records from that point on are more complete.
Within 30 years, the fraternity had spread throughout Europe and the American Colonies. Freemasonry became very popular in Colonial America. George Washington was a Mason, Benjamin Franklin served as the head of the fraternity in Pennsylvania, as did Paul Revere and Joseph Warren in Massachusetts. Other well-known Masons involved with the founding of America included John Hancock, John Sullivan, Lafayette, Baron Fredrick von Stuben, Nathanael Greene, and John Paul Jones. Another Mason, Chief Justice John Marshall, shaped the Supreme Court into its present form.
Over the centuries, Freemasonry has developed into a world-wide fraternity emphasizing personal study, self-improvement, and social betterment via individual involvement and philanthropy. During the late 1700s, it was one of the organizations most responsible for spreading the ideals of the Enlightenment: the dignity of man and the liberty of the individual, the right of all persons to worship as they choose, the formation of democratic governments, and the importance of public education. Freemasons supported the first public schools in both Europe and America.
During the 1800s and early 1900s, Freemasonry grew dramatically. At that time, the government had provided no social “safety net.” The Masonic tradition of founding orphanages, homes for widows and homes for the aged provided the only security many people knew.
Today’s Freemasons are widely involved in a range of charity and community service activities. In fact, the Masonic Fraternity gives almost $1.5 million each day to both Masonic and non-Masonic charities locally, nationally and internationally. The causes they support range from operating children’s hospitals, providing treatment for childhood language disorders, treating eye diseases, funding medical research, contributing to local community service, and providing care to Freemasons and their families at Masonic Homes.
HOW TO BECOME A FREEMASON
Freemasons come from all walks of life, but in order to become a Mason you must meet a few simple criteria:
- You must be a male, at least 18 years of age (varies by state)
- You must profess a belief in a Supreme Being
- You must be a man of good morals and reputation
In order to join you must seek admission by your own free will, and you must be recommended by a current Freemason, unanimously elected to membership and willing to assume an obligation to the fraternity.
To get started simply go to The Next Step and fill out basic information. A virtual mentor will assist you and introduce you to a local lodge.
Degrees of Masonry
As you follow the path of Masonry you will have the opportunity to earn three symbolic degrees representing the lessons of Masonry.
- Entered Apprentice – beginner
- Fellowcraft – intermediate
- Master Mason – expert
All Shriners are Master Masons, but not all Freemasons go on to become Shriners.
HOW TO BECOME A SHRINER
If you hold the title of Master Mason in Freemasonry, you qualify and are invited to join the Shriners.
In order to become a Shriner you must ask a current Shriner to support and sponsor your application. This site makes that process easier by pairing you with a virtual mentor who can answer all of your questions, guide you through the petition process and help you get to know members of your local temple.
If you are not a Freemason, you must pursue that first. Ask for a virtual mentor on this site who will assist you on that journey. Also see the Roadmap section and click on Freemason for details on that process. Once you are a Master Mason you will then be eligible to petition to become a Shriner. See Roadmap section and click on Shriner for details. Your virtual mentor will assist you with every step along the way.
There are many benefits to becoming a Shriner.
- Membership in a well-known fraternal organization recognized for its social and philanthropic activities.
- Opportunity to develop lasting relationships with like minded men from all over the world
- Engage in social activities and events that are available for the entire family. Participate in many special interest groups with Shriners that allow like minded men to enjoy a little high-spirited fun. Motorcycles, trap shooting, parades, golf, flying and sports cars are all examples of these types of groups
- The privilege of supporting the “world’s greatest philanthropy,” Shriners Hospitals for Children®, offers Shriners many opportunities to find personal fulfillment and satisfaction
From the early founding fathers to astronauts, entertainers, writers, entreprenuers and even presidents, the Freemasons have counted some of the most well-known names in America among their ranks. Here are just a few of the most famous Freemasons.
EDWIN “BUZZ” ALDRIN
Astronaut and the second man to walk on the moon
JOHN JAMES AUDUBON
Ornithologist and artist
Actor and cowboy singer
WILLIAM “COUNT” BASIE
Orchestra leader and composer
Voice of Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Barney Rubble and many more
Pioneer and explorer
SAMUEL CLEMENS (AKA MARK TWAIN)
SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
Creator of the Sherlock Holmes series
GERALD R. FORD
38th president of the United States
Aviator who made the first solo transatlantic flight
Many famous faces have proudly worn the red fez of the Shriners Fraternity. These Nobles include entertainers, heads of government, business leaders and sports legends. A few Shriners you may have heard of include:
EDWIN “BUZZ” ALDRIN
Astronaut and the second man to walk on the moon
SAM HORNISH, JR.