Welcome to the Stillwater York Rite

Thank you for visiting the Stillwater York Rite. Our local York Rite body consists of the Stillwater Chapter #14, Stillwater Council #50, and St. John's Commandry #8. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings of each month at 7:00 p.m. For more information please contact YorkRite@stillwatermasons.com.

The York Rite is a collection of ten Masonic degrees and orders that are conferred in the United States under a 3-part system of governance consisting of Chapters, Councils, and Commanderies. In most other countries these same degrees are conferred by separate bodies operating independently from other local Masonic jurisdictions. The name derives from the City of York where, according to one Masonic legend, the first meeting of Masons in England was held in the year 926 A.D.

The York Rite is one of two Appendant Bodies of Masonry beyond the level of the Craft or Blue Lodge. It focuses on expanding a Master Masons’ understanding of several important ideas introduced in the first three degrees of the Blue Lodge and has a special and close relationship to the Blue Lodge degrees. 

The York Rite completes the journey that Hiram began in the Master Mason degree and teaches the meaning of the True Word. It offers impressive lessons from the Christian Knighthood tradition in a ceremony that is among the most beautiful in all of Masonry. In fact, the final degree of the York Rite, known as the Order of the Temple, has traditionally been styled the Christian Order of Freemasonry.

The York Rite takes the Master Mason on a journey into the oldest traditions of English Freemasonry. Every serious student of Masonry should be a York Rite Mason. We know our Masonic Brothers will benefit from the added knowledge gained through their York Rite experience.


About York Rite

Stillwater Chapter #14: chartered 1894

Chapter members are recognizable by their scarlet jackets and trimmed aprons.  The Chapter takes the brother from his Blue Lodge degrees through the recovery of that which was lost in the Master Mason degree.

Stillwater Chapter has had four Grand High Priests presiding over the state:

Aix B. Harrison, 1970-1971

Jack Shanklin, 1974-1975

Rex Bowen, 1993-1994

Jimmy Dooley, 2001-2002


Stillwater Council #50: chartered 1949

The Council, recognized by their purple jackets and trimmed aprons, has two degrees. One is a discussion between Hiram and a young Mason.  The second shows the protections made by builders of the temple.

Stillwater Council has had one Illustrious Grand Master

Rex Bowen, 1998-1999


St. John’s Commandry #8: chartered 1897 (1895 under Texas)

The Commandry asserts itself as the Knights of Christianity. Unlike the other degrees of Freemasonry, to become a Knight Templar, you must be willing if called upon to defend the Christian religion. Knight Templars are recognized by their black military jacket, sword, and Chapeau. 

St John’s Commandry has provided seven Grand Commanders to the State of Oklahoma

Victor Heller, 1946-1947

Oliver Willham, 1957-1958

James Thorne, 1967-1968

Walter Harmon, 1975-1976

Jack Shanklin, 1982-1983

Robert Davis, 2005-2006

Richard Dunaway, 2011-2012