The welcome mat is out, and the front door is open to good men seeking to find self-discovery and light through Freemasonry.

That is the idea behind, a newly launched website made possible through a first-of-its-kind partnership between Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction (NMJ), Shriners International, and Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction (SJ). In the video below, you can see the announcement as it was made by David A. Glattly, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, NMJ; Jeffrey L. Sowder, Imperial Potentate, Shriners International; and James D. Cole, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, SJ, at the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America.

Where It All Began

The project started at the NMJ, as part of our integrated and strategic marketing initiative known as The Path Forward. We surveyed men across the country and from all walks of life on what would motivate them to join Freemasonry. The findings from the research were clear from the start: the core values of Freemasonry are alive and well and continue to resonate strongly with men in society today. If positioned correctly, with messaging reflecting the true, spiritual core of the craft, the research revealed Freemasonry is an engaging and viable fraternal membership option for men today.

In fact, a survey of 1,000 non-Masons from across the United States revealed these results:

  • 79% of those surveyed are looking to associate with an organization that enables them to become a better person while improving the quality of life for others.
  • A full 90% are interested in organizations built on the principles of integrity and justice.
  • 75% are looking to form deep and lasting friendships regardless of race, religion, or geography.

What followed that research was the launch of the campaign, “Not Just a Man. A Mason.” Each image and headline for the campaign was carefully chosen to reflect key findings in the research. Those findings were then translated into a modern, compelling, and inspirational campaign. By pulling back the curtain on what Freemasonry really is, “Not Just a Man. A Mason.” has become a rallying cry for pride in the fraternity while serving as a powerful lead-in for men looking to join.

Advancing the Research

To date, the “Not Just a Man. A Mason.” campaign is being used in 47 states and in more than 10 countries internationally. The campaign has been translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, and a Russian translation is underway.

As the Path Forward initiative has evolved, the consensus among project stakeholders was that an online “front door to Freemasonry” needed to be built. Opens the Front Door opens that “front door,” and is a thoughtfully crafted to guide a man on the first steps of his Masonic journey. It is a place where men can discover the truths and rewards of Freemasonry. What’s more, a man interested in joining can fill out a form on the site and be referred directly and instantly to Grand Lodge contacts in his local area.

The site went live on February 2020 at the Conference of Grand Masters in North America in Louisville, Kentucky, and was met with much excitement. Most importantly, the site received great support from Grand Lodge leaders, who will continue to guard the West Gate as they lead prospective new members through the petitioning process.

A Historic Partnership

More than just a website, is emblematic of a historic partnership between the Scottish Rite Northern and Southern Jurisdictions, and Shriners International to support the growth of blue lodge Masonry.

In a combined statement, David A. Glattly, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, NMJ; Jeffrey L. Sowder, Imperial Potentate, Shriners International; and James D. Cole, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, SJ, said,

As we open our plans to Grand Lodges across North America there is no doubt that, together, we can achieve the extraordinary and continue to share Freemasonry with the world. Our goal is to raise more worthy men and allow them to find their journey in Masonry. Above all else, this endeavor is to support the growth of Freemasonry, and its long-term sustainability. It is to welcome a man and help him to declare to the world, “I am not just a man. I am a Mason."

Reclaiming our Story tells the story of our historic brotherhood. It does so by telling our story with truth and honor. It will be an effective, important tool in attracting other worthy men to blue lodge Masonry and helping them begin their journey.

Help us spread the word. Share the site with the great men in your life who would be interested in learning more about our great fraternity.