2023 Antioch Lodge 66 Stewardship 

James Ravenell, Worshipful Master

Antioch Lodge 2023 Stewardship - James Ravenell.pdf


M.W.: Grand Master, Gregory Robeson Smith, Jr.

R.W.: Deputy Grand Master, Rev. Dr. Darren M. Morton

R.W.: Senior Grand Warden, Jean Apollon, Sr.

R.W.: Junior Grand Warden, Kevin P. Wardally

R.W.: District Deputy Grand Master, Mujaheed MC Bey

Past and Present Grand Lodge Officers

Past and Present Masters

Brothers of Antioch Lodge #66, and Brothers All:


“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV)



We have been taught that before entering upon any important undertaking, we should invoke the aid of deity. I ask that the Lodge be raised for the benefit of prayer. (ooo).:


“Grand Architect of the Universe, you have told us ‘…where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’ We are assembled in your name and ask that you bless this meeting, and all those assembled. We ask that you imbue us with kindness, love, and forgiveness as you do for us each day.  We thank you for blessing us with the gift of life, and for watching over us in all that we do.  Thank you for allowing us to complete the work of our Lodge for the year 2023, and we ask that you bless us to see success in 2024. Amen!”



After prayer (o).

Brothers, I thank you for having faith in me as Worshipful Master for 2023, and 2022. I know there are no two years that mirror each other and I was ready for whatever may have come our way.

I have the unique distinction of being the Master of our Lodge during our 90th (2013), and 100th (2023) Anniversary years.  The significance of these auspicious occasions were not lost on me, and instead fueled my passion to see us succeed in our endeavors.

The year 2023 saw us come out of the shadows, and into a world of normalcy as we experienced pre-COVID.  Still, there is some adjustment that was needed by the Brotherhood.  Our hearts didn’t always align with our actions, but with grace from the Grand Architect of the Universe, we have continued opportunities to keep growing.

In 2022 my primary goal for Antioch Lodge was stability. In 2023, that goal shifted towards growth—particularly the Leadership of our Lodge. Change is humbling and takes time; and that is the lesson for our Lodge to bear.  Thankfully, we have a merciful God, the grants us opportunities to pick up the struggle another day.


Goals and Results

Our Grand Master has introduced four Jurisdictional Core Programs in the following areas: Scholarship, Social Action Programs, Health Initiatives, and Voter Registration, Education and Mobilization.

We were successful in some of our goals this year, and I encourage the Lodge to continue to push forward with these efforts.


Under scholarship, we forged a relationship with Saunders High School’s My Brother’s Keeper program at 183 Palmer Road Yonkers NY 10701and did our Tying Ties That Bind program. We taught young men how to tie a standard tie and bow-ties and stressed the importance of professional dress for the occasion. We also donated over twenty shirts and ties to the young men to start their journey.


Under health initiatives, Antioch Lodge 66, Jephthah Lodge 89 and the Prince Hall Medical Foundation held a Father’s Day 1 Mile Walk/Run.  We taught the importance of stretching and heart health to the brothers in attendance and encouraged them to move daily.


Our 100th Anniversary Dinner Dance was held on August 20th, 2023 at Antun’s in Queens.  The event was cohosted with our Eastern Star sisters of Antioch Chapter 44.  It was a once in a lifetime event and well attended.  Thank you to those of you who found it worthy enough to be in attendance. You can find more pictures of the event on our website.


State of the Nation

In 2023, the United States grappled with a landscape shaped by historic Supreme Court rulings affirming civil rights and equality. Concurrently, political turmoil echoed across the Presidential, Congressional, and Senate domains, fueling debates on critical issues like climate change, healthcare, and immigration. On October 6 Hamas attacked Isreal and sparked a war that has seen near annihilation of Gaza and thousands of deaths in Palestine. This has caused a polarization across the world and the United States on the retaliation by Israel, and handling by President Biden. Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine has not yet desisted despite aide being sent by many nations to Ukraine—especially from the U.S.


“Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble”

The dread messenger of death visited Antioch Lodge #66 this year. Bro Wayne Phillips was called home March 11th, 2023. Remarks were given at his funeral by myself, and a Citation was read by Past Master Omar Henry. We pray the family continues to heal under God’s kind hands.




I have so many to thank for the year of success. Charge any failure of mentioning your name to my head and not my heart. I make a point of thanking Brothers in the present so as to never assume they knew I was grateful.


Firstly, I thank you all for your vote of confidence in choosing me as Master again. Without you, this moment would never be.


To my Wardens; Kevin Harris, SW and Alvin McKinney, JW.  Thank you for daring to be bold in your roles as Wardens.  Your zeal is what got you elected by the Lodge, and I pray your continued growth will have you both serving as leaders of this lodge someday.


To my Senior Past Master, Past Grand Master, E. Thomas Oliver, as always your wise counsel, friendship, and challenges helped groom through the years. You have the tenderness of a grandfather, and the directness that provided the balance I have need to grow.  Even as a Past Grand Master, you have not cowered from doing the necessary work of this lodge.  I love you, and I thank you for all you do and continue to do. I thank you for being my brother.


To Past Master Jamal Martin, you are the cement of Antioch Lodge #66.  Your wisdom is still unparalleled.  Your friendship, love and counsel reigns after all these years. I pray God continues to grant us decades more of friendship and camaraderie.


To Past Master J. Edward Robinson, I never knew how much the lodge needed you until we needed you.  The way you showed up for your lodge with excellence, vision and persistence helped us reach so many goals.  Thank you for your commitment to the way things should be done.  We are better for it.


To Past Master Leighton Taylor, though I know I drove you crazy in preparation for the 100th Anniversary, you always greeted me with a smile I could see even on the phone.  You are a gem to this Lodge, and I thank you for every sacrifice you make.


To Past Master Omar Henry, you never say ‘no’ even when you say ‘no!’ Thanks for always having your lodge’s back no matter what is going on.  I love you, and appreciate you.


To Past Master Orville Martin, I thank you for keeping the fire going for our fundraising efforts.  It’s wonderful when a brother takes the initiative to add to our coffers without prompting.


To Brother Shawn Hill, you took the mantle as Chair of our Anniversary Dinner Dance without prompt or persuasion.  I still remember the smile I had on my face the day you called to offer your services.  Thank you for proving to the world that a brother can do amazing things even when they cannot be present at every meeting.  The Lodge is forever enhanced by your participation.  Thank you!


To my mentors: RW Gary T. Davis (55) I thank you all for the guidance you’ve given this year—again, just like the last. I don’t know where this craft would be without you. And to RW Kevin Wardally, JGW (14), thank you for stepping in as the keynote speaker for Antioch’s 100th Anniversary.  A true historian, your remarks were poignant, and delivered with excellence that demystified Masonry for all who attended.  You are a true Master, and Craftsman.  Thank you.


To my “Little Bro” Past Master Gabe Mitchell (89), thank you for every single conversation we had about the Craft. Your vision and execution in your own lodge inspired me to keep going.  Your support and participation in the events of Antioch Lodge was strong enough to rival some of our own brothers.  You have exemplified brotherhood through your actions, and I am grateful for our bond.


To Brother Greg Joyner, I thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment to the youth.  Thank you for building bridges in the community for Antioch to walk over for service.




1 - I recommend the following brothers be made Honorary Members of Antioch Lodge No. 66:


Right Worshipful Kevin P. Wardally

Adelphic Union Lodge No. 14


Right Worshipful Gary T. Davis

Joppa Lodge No. 55


Past Master Garbriel Mitchell

Jephthah Lodge No. 89


2 -  I also recommend the incoming Worshipful Master convene a committee to revise the Lodge’s Constitution and By-Laws.


I wish you all a safe and Happy Holiday Season! Whatever your faith, show thanks to your God for all that you have!


Fraternally and with love,


Bro. James Ravenell, Jr.

Antioch Lodge #66, Worshipful Master MWPHGL of NY