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The McAlester Scottish Rite Temple in McAlester, Oklahoma: One of Oklahoma's Architectural Wonders
Considered as the largest fraternity in the world, Freemasonry is, in its most basic form, a group of dedicated men concerned with moral and spiritual values. They form a brotherhood of like-minded individuals, dedicated to humanitarian causes and the betterment of the world around them. They are proud and humble; proud in the rich heritage of their organization, and humble in their desire to serve others.
As one of the world’s oldest and most popular fraternal organizations, Freemasonry has drawn a critical eye. Myths and legends abound as stories spread, yet most of them untrue. Members of the Freemason fraternity are good-hearted people whose focus is on helping others. The members of the McAlester Scottish Rite Temple exemplify this commitment to excellence.
The McAlester Scottish Rite Temple: A Humanitarian Center for Excellence
Even before Oklahoma became the 46th state in 1907, the McAlester Scottish Rite was highly active. Throughout the years, members of the McAlester Scottish Rite have assisted in many community projects, contributed both time and funds to help those in need, and have focused on encouraging moral growth through servant leadership.
Today, the McAlester Scottish Rite actively supports and leads many great and charitable causes.
The McAlester Scottish Rite Charitable and Educational Foundation is a philanthropic organization that operates under supervision of the Scottish Rite members. The foundation supports both education and childhood language disorders.
Continuing education is a big part of the McAlester Scottish Rite. The Rite provides financial assistance to high school graduates who wish to attend college. This is a program steeped in tradition, dating back to the early 1900’s when Elanor Lika established a trust fund in honor of her father, John T. Liebrand.
In addition to helping students, the McAlester Scottish Rite also assists in training teachers to help children with language disorders.
Besides playing an important role in education, the McAlester Scottish Rite operates the RiteCare Clinic. The RiteCare clinic is a free clinic that focuses on helping children with speech therapy.
The McAlester Scottish Rite Temple: An Architectural Masterpiece
During the early days in Indian Territory, the Scottish Rite Masons didn’t have such a magnificent place to meet as they do today. The modern Masonic building wasn’t erected until 1906. Since then the building has gone through many changes over the years.
The first building was a white, one-story frame structure that was constructed in 1904. While this small building served its purpose, it quickly became apparent that a much larger building was needed. With memberships soaring, a committee was appointed to discuss plans for the new building.
The plans for a new McAlester Scottish Rite Temple were approved, and in 1906, the cornerstone of what would become one of the nation’s most splendid temples began to take shape. This new white stone and red brick building was erected on a hill one block northwest of the smaller building constructed in 1904.
As membership continued to increase, once again, it became clear that this neo-classic building was once again to small for the nearly 6,000 members. In 1928, work began on extending and updating the existing building. The building was extended 50 feet to the west and the interior was completely remodeled. This new building rose to an impressive 140 feet, and now featured one of the largest and most impressive stages in the country.
Today, the elegance and beauty of the McAlester Scottish Rite Temple astounds visitors and members alike. There is a graceful beauty here that inspires, and a friendliness about the place that welcomes.