Missouri Freemasonry’s best kept secret.
Established in 1886, the Masonic Home of Missouri continues to be one of the best-kept secrets of Missouri Freemasonry — a trend worth breaking.
With headquarters located in Columbia since 2000, the Masonic Home operates multiple Outreach Programs statewide. Through programs ranging from financial assistance to resources and recognition, the Masonic Home attempts to meet the needs of the Missouri Masonic Family. Some programs, however, reach outside the Masonic community and are available for individuals not affiliated with the fraternity, specifically children.
One such program is the Creating-A-Partnership Program. Here, the Masonic Home partners with Masonic lodges and Eastern Star chapters throughout the state, matching funds to provide for children in local communities. Tens of thousands of children have received necessities like winter clothing, school supplies, hygiene products, eyeglasses, and food, among other things.
The lodges or chapters within the community identify the need, often through the local school or another nonprofit, then work with the Masonic Home to provide for the needs of the children. The program can benefit individual children or groups of children through project-based funding for things like Buddy Backpack Programs.
This assistance is confidential. The Masonic Home, lodges, and chapters do not receive identifying information about the children.
Locally, the Masonic Home partnered with Acacia-Twilight Lodge to pay off over $10,000 in past due lunch balances for students in Columbia Public Schools. Later partnerships with the lodge helped fund the new playground at Rainbow House, and previous partnerships provided for local schoolchildren year after year through programs like Bikes for Books.
Effective July 1, 2021, the Masonic Home increased its matching funds to a level that would make it possible for any individual lodge or chapter to provide up to $45,000 in funds for children in their community.
Children deserve to have warm winter clothing to combat the bitter Missouri winters, to have their basic necessities met, and to reliably have access to food during the weekends. The Masonic Home, alongside lodges and chapters, strives to make this a reality for all Missouri children.
Throughout the history of Missouri Freemasonry, education has been a constant theme. Past Grand Master Thomas Riddick lobbied Washington for a land grant for public schools in Missouri and succeeded in 1817.
Masons helped make the University of Missouri a reality, too. PGM John D. Vincil, an orphan himself and a champion for the Masonic Home, served on the MU Board of Curators from 1871 to 1874 and again from 1897 to 1904.
At the Grand Lodge’s annual meeting in 1875, PGM John C. Ralls introduced the resolution to create the Masonic Home to provide a suitable and healthy home for Masonic widows and orphans. The Masonic Home ensured the children living there received a solid education, including post-secondary education.
Fast forward to 2003, with the start of the Creating-A-Partnership Program, and to 2008, with the creation of the Masonic Museum.
In 2017, the Masonic Home added an interactive display to the Masonic Museum that guides the viewer through the creation of the Grand Lodge of Missouri and the State of Missouri, which occurred simultaneously and with the support of many of the same individuals — Masons.
The Masonic Museum includes notable Missouri figures, from Lewis and Clark to Harry S. Truman, and is an excellent source of education for youth and adults alike. Located at 6033 Masonic Dr., the Masonic Museum is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. when the Complex is open.