The history of Freemasonry in the United States is as old as the country itself. One of the most interesting and impactful chapters of that history happened just over 100 years ago. Between the years 1919 and 1922, the United States saw the creation of what we today call the Masonic youth groups. Masons created DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, and The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls for the youth of the country.

While the story, teachings, and membership requirements are different for each organization, they all strive to pass on Masonic values to the next generation and have become vital parts of Masonic culture not just in the United States, but also around the globe. We explore each of the three Masonic youth organizations below:

Demolay International

Demolay International, a Masonic Youth Group

The first of the Masonic youth groups started in the summer of 1919 under the guidance of Frank S. Land, 33°. Brother Land was a Scottish Rite Mason and an avid proponent of service in all forms. Brother Land was working as secretary for the Kansas City Scottish Rite when he was approached by a young man named Louis Lower who was looking for a job to help support his family after his father had died in World War I. With his father having been a Mason, Louis hoped the Scottish Rite could help. Land was so impressed with Lower that he not only offered him a job but encouraged him to bring his friends with him to the Rite in order to start an after-school club. Louis came back with eight of his friends and after Land recounted to them the story of Jacques DeMolay, the boys were inspired and named their new organization after the martyr in honor of his fidelity to his obligations and the loyalty he showed to his Brothers.

Land asked his good friend and fellow Scottish Rite Mason, Brother Frank A. Marshall to write ritual for the boys. Brother Marshall, while initially declining, became inspired and wrote the entire ritual for DeMolay in a night. The ritual has remained largely unchanged and even served to inspire other Masons to start their own Masonic Youth Groups. Today DeMolay is a strong international organization with Chapters across the world. The membership requirements are:

• To be a young man between 12 and 21 years of age
• Believe in a Supreme Being, and
• Be of good moral character

To learn more about DeMolay, visit demolay.org.

Job's Daughters International

Job's Daughters International, a Masonic youth group for women

While DeMolay was forming and refining itself in Missouri, another group was in development in Nebraska. Ethel Teresa Mick had a passion for education and the development of young people. While Ethel had her passion for children, her husband, Brother William H. Mick, had a love for Freemasonry that he had found after joining a military Lodge in World War I. These passions had combined to create the idea in their minds of a group for the children of Masons. Growing up, Ethel’s mother would read her different biblical stories before bed. One that left a lasting impression on her was the “Book of Job.” She used the story of Job as inspiration and, with the assistance of the Nebraska Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, the Micks’ vision came to fruition in 1920 with the first meeting of the executive council of Job’s Daughters. The first bethel would follow a year later.

Ethel wrote a large part of the ritual herself, but three others are credited with helping write substantial parts of it as well: Brother LeRoy T. Wilcox, Lillian Gould Faber, and Virginia V. Catlin all helped shape the ritual that the organization uses to this day. As opposed to DeMolay that seemed to form overnight, Job’s Daughters took years of planning and dedication from multiple people to take off but still stands strong today, even establishing an international presence. While originally the organization was heavily Christian, membership today allows for girls from most any religion to join as long as they are between the ages of 10 and 20.

To learn more about Job’s Daughters, visit jobsdaughtersinternational.org.

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a Masonic youth group

Christian Minister Mark Sexson encountered DeMolay for the first time during the organization’s formative years. Brother Sexson was an extremely active and dedicated Mason. He was a 33° Scottish Rite Mason, Grand Master of Oklahoma, and Grand Patron of Oklahoma. Brother Sexson was incredibly impressed with DeMolay and felt strongly that girls also needed an organization that taught Masonic truths. So in 1922, with the support of South McAlester Chapter No. 149, Order of the Eastern Star, Brother Sexson set out to write the ritual for The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. Drawing on his ministry experience, Brother Sexson named the new group Rainbow after a passage in Genesis. By the end of the year, the ritual was ready and the first group of Rainbow Girls was initiated.

Membership to the group was originally reserved for the daughters of Masons, but Rainbow now accepts any girl between the ages of 11 and 20, who has a belief in a Supreme Being and is sponsored by a Mason. The Order of the Rainbow for Girls is now an international organization that continues to fulfill Sexson’s dream of spreading the Masonic values of Faith, Hope, and Charity to the next generation.

Learn more about Rainbow for Girls at gorainbow.org.


The Masonic youth groups continue to grow and have become integral parts of Freemasonry in the U.S. While pursuing further careers in the Masonic world is not a requirement for these three youth organizations, many senior members of these youth organizations do so, becoming some of the most ardent supporters of Freemasonry. They continue to hold Masonic values as a lifetime commitment. It is not unheard of to hear of these senior members going on to hold some of the highest offices within Freemasonry. Even Scottish Rite, NMJ’s own Sovereign Grand Commander David Glattly famously says, “I’m just a DeMolay boy from Jersey.”