“Freemasonry focuses on making good men better through its teachings.” Worshipful Brother Paul Weathers, Oasis Lodge #52
This post is the first in a series which examines the obituaries of members of various Bartow County, Georgia Masonic lodges. Obituaries, which are intended to memorialize the lives of the departed, include significant details about the lives of the deceased. Obituaries most commonly list the names of the deceased’s family members (both surviving and preceding him in death), his occupation, his military service (if any), and his religious affiliation (if any). This last detail is the most significant in the examination of the Masonic culture. Freemasonry is inherently religious in nature and thus lodge membership is a detail that is almost always included in the obituary of a Freemason. Membership in a Christian church is also listed in the obituaries of some Freemasons. Thus, the data in Masonic obituaries provides evidence as to which churches have compromised the biblical principle of Christian holiness by allowing unrepentant Freemasons to hold membership. Their obituaries show that the Freemasons of Bartow County often serve local churches as ushers, deacons, and even reverends. Unfortunately, many Christians are unaware of the anti-Christian nature of Freemasonry and trust that their fellow church members who are Freemasons are honorable Christian men. They are not. They are in partnership with darkness from their time of their secretive Masonic initiation until the time of their deaths. Masonry follows the practitioner to the grave. Master Masons are entitled to a Masonic Funeral Service. Their obituaries generally indicate which “Christian” Freemasons have been buried with anti-gospel, pagan Masonic funeral rites. They also indicate which “Christian” Freemasons have lived out a life of syncretistic idolatry.
Today’s post examines various obituaries of the members of Euharlee Lodge #457 F&AM.
John Felton Carroll (1944 – 2015)
His obituary does not indicate that John Felton Carroll was a member of any church. Thus, Bible-believing Christians reading this obituary will be led to conclude that it is more likely than not that this lifelong Bible-belt resident never accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior and therefore suffered the same fate of all of those who die outside of Christ’s saving redemption. According to the last line of his obituary, “Flowers will be accepted, but for those who choose, please make donations to the Euharlee Masonic Lodge #457 F&AM.” This is a very significant statement. It is not uncommon for Christians to ask that memorial donations be made to their department loved one’s church. Carroll’s family asked that memorial donations be made to his lodge. Thus, Carroll’s obituary indicates that he may have considered Freemasonry to be his religion and the lodge to be his church. This is a devastating conclusion, especially in light of the Masonic view of Heaven. Akin’s Lodge Manual, which is itself a product of Bartow County, Georgia includes the following language as part of its Masonic funeral rites:
“Most glorious God, Author of all good and Giver of all mercy pour down thy blessings upon us…may we be induced so to regulate our conduct here that when the awful moment shall arrive that we are about to quit this transitory scene, the enlivening prospect of thy mercy may dispel the gloom of death; and after our departure hence in peace and in thy favor, may we be received into thine everlasting kingdom, and there enjoy, in union with the soul of our departed friends, the just rewards of a pious and virtuous life. Amen!”
Georgia Freemasonry teaches that a place in Heaven is the “just reward of a pious and virtuous life” and not the result of saving faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Every time John Carroll attended a Masonic funereal, he would have heard this false gospel proclaimed by his Masonic Brethren. Now, he is dead. The religion of Freemasonry never proclaimed a saving gospel to him.
Calvin Harold Miller (1947 – 2013)
His obituary indicates that Calvin Harold Miller was a “member of Euharlee Baptist Church where he was baptized on August 18, 1963.” Euharlee Baptist church is next door to Euharlee Lodge #457 F&AM. Right next door to his own church, Calvin Harold Miller served as a Worshipful Master of the Masonic lodge. It is the duty of a lodge’s Worshipful Master to carry out Masonic Funeral rites for any of his Master Mason brethren who request it. Thus, Miller, a professed Christian and member of a Southern Baptist Church, would have proclaimed a false gospel in the hearing of such men as John Felton Carroll. In Galatians 1:8, the Apostle Paul anathematizes anyone who would proclaim a different gospel than the grace-based gospel presented by himself and Christ’s other Apostles. The Masonic gospel, therefore, anathematizes any so-called Christian brother who performs a Masonic funeral rite. Calvin Harold Miller took Masonic funeral rites seriously. His obituary indicates that the Rev. Ed Windsor officiated his funeral at the Owen Funeral home chapel, where Masonic rites were later conferred by Euharlee Masonic Lodge #457 F & AM. It is not clear if any additional Freemasons remain at Euharlee Baptist Church. However, for years, its membership tolerated a member who was the “worshipful master” at the temple of another religion just next door. Jerry Houston Taylor, who died in 2016, served as a deacon at Euharlee Baptist Church (and Ferill Baptist Church) and was, according to his obituary, “a two time Grand Master of the Davitte Masonic Lodge #513 F & AM in Aragon.”
Loyd Edward Brookshire (1932 – 2011)
Loyd Edward Brookshire was a prominent figure in the town of Euharlee. His obituary indicates that he and his wife “served on the Board of the Euharlee Museum and were co-founders of the Euharlee Historical Society”. He was served as the Worshipful Master of Euharlee Masonic Lodge #457 F & AM. Like Calvin Harold Miller, Brookshire was buried with Masonic funeral rites. In the case of Loyd Brookshire, the rites were administered by his lodge at his graveside. His funeral service was conducted at the Owen Funeral Home by the Rev. Rodney Kennedy of the Church of God Union Assembly. Loyd Edward Brookshire, a Past Worshipful Master of Euharlee Masonic Lodge #457 F & AM, was the minister of music and a Deacon at the Church of God Union Assembly.
Kerry Lee Cosby (1947-2016)
Kerry Lee Cosby, according to his obituary, was a member or honorary member of five Masonic lodges, including Euharlee Masonic Lodge #457 F&M. He was also a member of Plainview Baptist Church.
Eldon Ray Ferguson (1933-2009)
Eldon Lee Ferguson, according to his to his obituary, was a member or honorary member of six Masonic lodges, including Euharlee Masonic Lodge #457 F&M. He served as a worshipful Master and was a “of the Baptist faith.” The Rev. Tommy Harris officiated his funeral service and he was buried in the “Taylorsville Cemetery with Masonic graveside rites provided by the John W. Akin Masonic Lodge #537. ” His grave marker includes, not a cross, but the religious symbols of Freemasonry. The imagery of Masonic Symbols on graves, where religious symbols such as crosses are typically found is evidence of the religious nature of Freemasonry.
Donald Robert Reynolds (1947-2013)
According to his obituary, Donald Robert Reynolds was of the Baptist faith. No church membership was listed. His service was officiated by the Rev. David Summey and the Rev. Danny Cain. He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery with Masonic Rites.
Glenn Lane Reynolds (1949-2017)
Glenn Lane Reynold was the brother of Donald Robert Reynolds, who preceded him in death. According to his obituary, he was a member of Clear Creek Baptist Church and a member of the Euharlee Masonic Lodge. His funeral was officiated by the same reverends as his brother’s and he, too, was interred in Oak Hill cemetery with Masonic rites from Euharlee Masonic Lodge #457.
Other Euharlee Masons
As is the case with John Felton Carroll, the obituaries of Ronnie Carl Miller (1951-2015) and Edward Ayers (1939-2012) do not indicate that the men held church membership. If their faith was in the religion was Freemasonry, they surely will face God’s judgment without being able to plead blood of Jesus Christ.
Reading the obituary of any man who did not enjoy fellowship with Christ’s church in his earthy life is a sad endeavor. Knowing that a non-Christian is destined for an eternity in Hell is tragic enough. However, knowing that a non-Christian spent a lifetime in a religious organization with men who did claim to know Christ is downright heart-breaking. In today’s pluralistic world, insisting that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven is unpopular. Nevertheless, this is what God’s word teaches and this is what must be proclaimed to the nations until Christ returns. Freemasonry teaches men that they can have fellowship with God through good words and brotherhood with his children through the Lodge. Neither is true. That men who claim to be Christians will lock arms in brotherhood with non-Christians in an inherently sinful organization that proclaims a false gospel is an egregious offense to the Lord. The Apostle Paul made is clear in his second epistle to the Corinthian church that Christians should not be unequally yoked in partnership with unbelievers. Light can have no fellowship with darkness. Yet this is exactly what “Christian” masons try to do when they join a lodge. Freemasonry teaches that it “makes good men better”. Yet the word of God teaches that “there is none who does good“, not even one person is righteous. In director contradiction to the word of God, “Christian” Freemasons tell non-Christian men that they can be good by following a religious system outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is plainly evil.
Readers may be taken aback or even shocked that I would use obituaries to write an article like this. To those readers I ask, “Do you believe Hell is real?” These men are dead and no longer have a chance to get right with God. The living still have the chance to repent of their sins and accept Christ as Savior! The living friends, relatives, and fellow Freemasons of the deceased still have a chance to turn from their sins, to turn from Freemasonry, and accept Christ. Will you evangelize those men in the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit?
Other readers may doubt the danger of Freemasonry altogether. They may know of fellow church members, “good men”, who serve in their church as ushers, deacons, or pastors. They may even have relatives who were professed Christians and Freemasons. To those readers I ask, “Has your church ever re-baptized anyone?” It is not uncommon for a church to re-baptize someone who makes the claim that he wasn’t really saved when he was first baptized. Such a person, wanting to “get the order right” is re-baptized upon making a new, confession of faith. He makes a new confession of faith because he realizes that he really was not really saved when he first asked to be baptized and join the church. This happened at my own church last summer. The church re-baptized a Deacon named Kevin. He realized while chaperoning at youth camp that he wasn’t really saved. After listening to a message from the camp evangelist, he gave his life to Christ. He admitted to the church that he wasn’t really saved before. The church, thinking he actually was a Christian, had ordained him to the office of Deacon…but they were wrong to do so. They thought he was a Christian…but he wasn’t. He professed to be one…but he wasn’t. He had a good enough reputation as Christ’s servant to be ordained to Deacon…but he didn’t deserve to be. Is it possible that there are people in your church like that? If someone is a member of a secretive, pagan Masonic lodge, that is evidence that his profession of Christian, no matter what he tells you, was a false one.
If there are Freemason members of your church, you (and your pastor) are obligated by the love of the brethren and by the command of the Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded in Matthew 18, to call them to repent and insist that they leave the lodge. I pray you will.
For more information on the un-Christian nature of Freemasonry, see this link or contact me. Don Hattaway, the pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church, is known to have taken a stand against Freemasonry. He did not ask to be listed here but he can be contacted at this link if readers desire a pastoral perspective.
“Freemasonry teaches that salvation may be attained by ‘good works’ and not through faith in Christ alone.” The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church of which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.