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Joppa Lodge No. 55 came to existence through the efforts of Brother Richard E. Warner and others, who on February 11, 1920, met at the residence of Mrs. Hortense Tolliver, (now, Mrs. Warner) and formed the William C. Tolliver Association.


The object was to organize a Lodge of Freemasons, which would be hailed as the William C. Tolliver Lodge. This name, however, did not meet approval; hence “Joppa” was adopted.

The Association met at the Lafayette Hall for several months, on Sunday, under the guidance of Brothers’ Eugene Plummer (Adelphic Union Lodge No.14) and Arthur Ware (St. Johns Lodge No.29) appointed by the Grand Master, M. W. David W. Parker (Mount Olive No. 2), when on May 22nd, 1920, thirty-four members were called to be initiated into the mysteries of Free Masonry.

















On May 29th, 1920, at Ionic Temple, Brooklyn, New York, this Lodge was instituted with the following officers: Worshipful Master Wilfred G. Butler (3), Senior Warden Charles Jones (4), Junior Warden - C. Franklin Taylor (1), Senior Deacon - Richard E. Warner, Junior Deacon - Julius Watson, Treasurer - Thomas B Smith and Secretary - Robert Chutcher. Under dispensation, all other members of the association were Entered, Passed, and Raised. There were 62 members of the association.

At the Grand Lodge Annual Session held at Mother A.M.E. Zion Church on June 1st & 2nd, 1921, the Grand Master recommended the warranting of Joppa Lodge. Bro. Eugene Plummer presented the Grand Lodge with the sum of $200 on behalf of Joppa as evidence of appreciation; in addition, the same was to be placed into the treasury of Joppa Lodge No. 55. One of its former members, M.W. Charles C. Quander, was elected to the highest office in the fraternity that of Grand Master; additionally, R.W. John H. Gardeen (55) to that of Grand Trustee.

On October 22, 1921, in compliance with the mandate of the Grand Lodge, “Joppa” was warranted by Most Worshipful Grand Master, David W. Parker as No. 55 with the following officers duly elected and installed:  Wilfred G. Butler-Worshipful Master, John H. Gardeen-Senior Warden, John L Whitneer-Junior Warden, Thomas B. Smith-Treasurer, James C. Ifill- Secretary

Since the onset of its existence, on May 29, 1920, Joppa Lodge No 55 will celebrate its 104th year of existence in 2024! We stand proud to know that five of our distinguished Past Masters were elevated to the prestigious, honorable, and historical title of Grand Master.  MW William J. Richardson, MW Calvin Martin and MW Larry Mitchell served as sitting Grand Masters and PGM James Barry-Holmes and PGM John F. Fields were made honorary Grand Masters. We also have many others who presently serve this Most Worshipful Grand Lodge in various offices.   

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