Distinguished Members

Although every member of our Lodge, past and present, is viewed as distinguished in the eyes of his fellow brethren, these few deserve special mention in recognition of their dedication and service. Below is an ever-populating list of these Distinguished Brothers that served, or currently serving, as Grand Lodge Officers of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.

Most Worshipful Brother Jack L. Allen

Past Grand Master MWB of the Grand Lodge of Ohio Free and Accepted Masons, serving in 2000.

Jack Louis Allen was born April 28, 1937 in Columbus, Ohio, and adopted by Norman and Mildred Allen (both deceased). He attended Columbus Public Schools and graduated from South High School in June 1954. He attended The Ohio State University and Otterbein College, and is a veteran of the U. S. Navy. He is retired from The Dispatch Printing Company and the U. S. Government.

Jack married Yvonne Mae Birkhead on Nov. 4, 1956, and they have four children, Trent, Jon-Scott, Apryl and Eric, and four grandchildren, Troy, Lydia, Halee and Avery. Jack and Yvonne are Presbyterians and Jack is an ordained elder, having served on the Board of Sessions of Shady Lane Presbyterian Church, Groveport Presbyterian Church and Central College Presbyterian Church.

Most Worshipful Brother Allen is a past treasurer of the Press Club of Ohio; past president of the Dispatch Employees Country Club; past commissioner of the Shadywood Baseball Organization; former O. H. S. A. A. baseball umpire.

Most Worshipful Brother Allen was raised a Master Mason Mar. 15, 1959 in East Gate Lodge No. 603, and served as Worshipful Master in 1967. He served six years as trustee, 2 years as treasurer and then secretary for 18 years. When East Gate Lodge consolidated into Sunrise Lodge No. 783, he again served as secretary 11 years. He also served as secretary of the 14th District Officers Association.

He was secretary of Ohio Chapter No. 12, R. A. M.; is a member of Delaware Chapter No. 54; Sydney Moore Council No. 84, R. & S.M., Mt. Vernon Commandery No.1; Valley of Columbus, A. A. S. R.; Aladdin Shrine; Past Sovereign Master, George R. Fitez Council No. 229, Allied Masonic Degrees; Past Sovereign of Charlemagne Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine; Achbar Grotto and Beacon Chapter No. 467, O. E. S.

Honors include Honorary Legion of Honor of DeMolay; Meritorious Service Medal, Aladdin Shrine; Prophet at Sight, Supreme Council of Grottoes of North American; 33°, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, NMJ; Knight Commander of the Temple; and a Kentucky Colonel.

Most Worshipful Brother Allen served as District Deputy Grand Master from 1986 to 1988. He also served as Chairman of Public Relations of the Grand Lodge of Ohio in 1978 and numerous years thereafter. He was appointed Junior Grand Deacon in August 1994, by Most Worshipful Brother Thomas D. Zahler; subsequently appointed Senior Grand Deacon, Grand Marshal and Grand Orator. He then was elected Junior Grand Warden, Senior Grand Warden and Deputy Grand Master. He was installed Grand Master of Masons in Ohio on Oct. 28, 2000, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He is Chairman of the Grand Lodge Committee on Charters and Dispensations and was the founding dean of Freemasonuniversity.com.

Most Worshipful Brother and Mrs. Allen resides in Columbus, Ohio.

Below is a message written by M.W. Brother Jack L. Allen:

by R. W. Brother Jack L. Allen, Grand Marshal

Every Mason practices public relations whether we realize it or not, if we wear a ring, a lapel pin, or have an emblem on our car, we are PR men for Masonry.

Simply put, public relations is the relationship an organization has with the general public.

Whatever we do, while wearing a Masonic emblem, we are having a public relationship on behalf of Masonry. When we work in the local food pantry, feed the homeless, distribute clothing and food baskets to. the needy, we are doing something positive which the public recognizes and probably relates to our Masonic affiliation.

When a lodge displays an emblem on its building, advertises its meetings in the paper, or lists a Masonic service in an obituary, public relations is being practiced.

When your lodge holds a Family Night, Friendship Night or Candidates Night, public relations is being practiced. All of these actions are publicity.

While some Masons still prefer to keep Masonry’s light- under a bushel, the fact is that same Mason probably wears a ring, or a fez, and that same Mason is making a very obvious public statement, and that is public relations.

Consider then, the next time we fuss with the local merchant, or try to talk our way out of a traffic ticket, and our ring or car emblem or Masonic license plate is showing, we are also practicing public relations.

While some Masons believe that public relations is the role of a particular member or committee, the truth is public relations is the responsibility of every Mason.

What message will we send to the public about Masonry when we leave lodge tonight? Will we stop by the local bar and down a few? Will we cut someone off in traffic?

Will we run a “pink” light? Will we go 45 in a 35 mile- per-hour zone?

All of these actions are also publicity.

Our behavior is our most important and most visible public relations program. In all three charges in the symbolic lodge we are reminded of the importance of our behavior.

What the public sees is the perception the general public has about our great fraternity. Make us proud. Be a Positive PR Man for Masonry.

Right Worshipful Brother George W. Stevens

R.W. Bro. Stevens was born in Delaware, Ohio, to Orlie and Geneva Stevens. He received his BS in Agriculture at The Ohio State University and his MA at Western Michigan University. George is a retired teacher. Brother Stevens was raised in Oliver Lodge, No. 447, on October 21, 1963 and is an active member of Sunrise Lodge No. 783 and Hiram Lodge No. 18. He served as Worshipful Master of Bexley Lodge #704 in 1981, (prior to merging with Sunrise Lodge); District Deputy Grand Master for the Fourteenth Masonic District from 1986 to 1989, as well as serving the Grand Lodge of Ohio in appointed Officer Positions from 1991-1994.

R.W. Bro. Stevens joined the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Columbus in April of 1972. He served the Valley in various offices including Sovereign Prince of the Franklin Council Princes of Jerusalem from 1999 to 2001. He also served for many years as the Valley’s Scholarship Chairman. R.W. Bro. Stevens was coroneted a 33° Sovereign Grand Inspector General and Honorary Member of the Supreme Council on September 25, 2001 in Indianapolis, Indiana. R.W. Bro. Stevens is a member of Ohio Chapter #12, R.A.M, Columbus Council #8, R. & S.M., and Mt. Vernon Commandery, K.T. He is a Past President and member of the 14th Masonic District Officers Association; Andrew J. White Council, AMD; the Aladdin Shrine and Beacon Chapter #593 Order of Eastern Star. R.W. Bro. Stevens was awarded the DeMolay Legion of Honor in 1987.

Most Worshipful Brother Steven E. Cokonougher (Honorary Member of Sunrise)

Most Worshipful Brother Cokonougher was born in Chillicothe, Ohio on December 23, 1949 to the late H. Pauline (Anders) and John H. Cokonougher, Jr. He attended Unioto (Union Scioto Township) School through graduation in June 1968. Steve Attended several colleges and universities during the next 30 years, and graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene College in 1998 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. During School years at Unioto, he worked on the family and neighboring farms. After High School, Steve held jobs at the B & O Railroad, Mead Paper Mill, L & K Restaurant, Halley’s IGA Supermarket, and Alber’s Colonial Stores. He finished his career working with The Kroger Company in various positions for 38 1/2 years. Steve married Rebecca (Sedgwick) Tyne on February 14, 2012. Collectively, they have 7 children and step children, 14 grand children, and 1 great grandchild. They attend Mill Creek Church of Christ, Raymond, Ohio. Their hobbies are scuba diving, grandchildren’s activities, and traveling.

Most Worshipful Brother Cokonougher is a member of Linden Lodge No. 637 in the 14th Masonic District, serving as Worshipful Master in 1988 and 2000. He is an Honorary Member of Sunrise Lodge No. 783, Luther B. Turner Lodge No. 732, Groveport Lodge No. 240, Blendon Lodge No. 339, Shade River No. 453, and Somerset Lodge No. 76.

MWB Cokonougher is a Thirty-Third Degree Mason of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus, serving as Commander in Chief of Scioto Consistory from 2004 to 2006. He also served The Valley of Columbus as Chairman of Finance for 10 years, and Chairman of the Executive Board for 2 years.

Steve is a member of Community Chapter No. 227 Royal Arch Masons (High Priest of Linden Chapter 1987), Zabud Council Royal and Select Masons (Illustrious Master 2001), Columbus Commandery No. 69 (Eminent Commander 1993), Ohio Priory No. 18 Knights of the York Cross of Honor, Charlemagne Conclave Red Cross Of Constantine, Aladdin Shrine, Aladdin Past Masters Unit, Kentucky Colonel, Achbar Grotto, Andrew J. White Council No. 45 Allied Masonic Degrees (Sovereign Master 2011), Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, Lorraine Chapter No. 1 Order of Easter Star, Thomas Smith Web College No. 192, York Rite Sovereign College, and Franklin Count Memorial Lodge. He served as Associate Bethel Guardian of Bethel No. 28 International Order of Jobs Daughters and as Chairman of the Advisory Council for Linden Chapter Order of Demolay. Steve has served on the Linden Demolay advisory council for the last 18 years. Steve’s daughter Amie was Ohio Miss Jobe’s Daughter in 1991 and his son Jason was Master Councilor of Linden Demolay in 1997.

MWB Cokonougher served the Grand Lodge of Ohio as District Education Officer from 2001 to 2002 and as District Deputy Grand Master in 2003, 2004, and 2006. He was appointed Junior Grand Deacon by Most Worshipful Brother Ronald L. Winnett in October 2007 and has moved through the Grand Lodge offices in the normal manner. Steve was elected to Serve the Grand Lodge of Ohio as Grand Master and installed into that position in Cincinnati on October 18, 2014.

Most Worshipful Brother Fay Leoran Gullion (Bexley Lodge No. 704)

Fay L. Gullion was born in Lebanon, Boone County, Indiana, on September 5, 1902, the son of Alonzo and Anna Belle Gullion. He received his elementary and high school education in West Lebanon, Warren County, schools and graduated from Browns Business College, Danville, Illinois, in 1921. He later studied Corporate Accounting and Commercial Law through Northwestern University extension classes.

He was employed by Armour and Company in various capacities for 46 years and retired as Special Accounts Representative in 1967. He then served as a Deputy Clerk in the Probate Court, Franklin County, Columbus, Ohio for a number of years.

He married the former Virginia Ann McCallister of Huntington, West Virginia. To this marriage one daughter was born. There are four grandchildren. Mrs. Gullion preceded him in death in November 1984.

He was a member of Brookwood Presbyterian Church in Columbus. He served his church as a Deacon, an Elder, a Trustee and twice Chairman of the Board. He also served as General Chairman of the Building Committee.

He was made a Master Mason in Irvington Lodge No. 666, F. & A. M. Indianapolis, Indiana, in November 1943. He dimitted to Bexley Lodge No. 704, Bexley, Ohio, in 1948 and served as its Worshipful Master in 1955. He served for many years on the Board of Trustees of the Bexley Temple Corporation.

He was a member of the Ralph R. Rickly Chapter No. 220 of Royal Arch Masons; Kings Council No. 142, Royal and Select Masters; Mt. Vernon Commandery No.1, Knights Templar; and A. A. S. R., Valley of Columbus, where he presided in the Twenty-ninth Degree for many years. He was a member of St. Jerome Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine. He was crowned an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, 33°, in Detroit in September 1964.

He also held membership in Aladdin Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., was a member of the Reception Unit, Charter Member of the Past Masters U nit, and an Ambassador.

He was a member of Eastern Star, Bexley Chapter No. 524, Achbar Grotto, and the Ohio Lodge of Research and National Sojourners. He held honorary memberships in several Ohio Lodges.

He was also a member of the Delmo Club, founder and sponsor of Bexley Chapter, Order of DeMolay, where he served as 2nd Degree advisor for fifteen years and held the Chapter Medal of Appreciation, the DeMolay Cross of Honor, and the Honorary Legion of Honor.

He served as Grand Representative for the Grand Lodge of West Virginia near the Grand Lodge of Ohio. In October 1957 he was appointed by M. W. Brother Andrew J. White, Jr., to serve as District Deputy Grand Master for the 14th Masonic District. He was subsequently appointed D. D. G. M. by M. W. Brother Chester Hodges and M. W. Brother Charles K. Cunningham. In 1961-1962 he served the 14th District as District Education Officer.

M. W. Brother, Edgar L. Ott, Grand Master, appointed him Junior Grand Deacon in October 1964 and he served in the various appointive and elective stations of the Grand Lodge until elected and installed as M. W. Grand Master on 23 October 1971, in Cleveland, Ohio.

He was a valued member of the Advisory Committee of the Grand Lodge and was serving as Chairman of the Jurisprudence Committee at the time of his death.

M. W. Brother Gullion passed away in Columbus on 13 July 1985, a few weeks after undergoing heart surgery. A valued friend and advisor to many and a respected leader in all of his endeavors, he will be sorely missed by all who mourn his passing.

Following cremation, a memorial service was held at Brookwood Presbyterian Church, Saturday, July 20, 1:00 p.m. A Masonic memorial service was held at 11:45 a.m., July 20, in the Bexley Masonic Temple.

Most Worshipful Brother James Joseph Harbage (East Gate No. 603)

James Joseph Harbage was born in Columbus, Ohio, the last of three children born to Berchel J. and Gertrude Paul Harbage. He attended Public Schools in Columbus, graduating from East High School in 1920. He was a graduate of The American Institute of Banking.

Most Worshipful Brother Harbage was married to Frances A. (Dalgarn) Harbage on June 24, 1924. This marriage produced one daughter. Regrettably, Frances passed away on September 21, 1960. On January 4, 1962 he was married to Harriet (Steel) Harbage who preceded Brother Jim in death in 1997.

Until a few years prior to his death, he was an active member of the Broad Street Presbyterian Church in Columbus where he served as President of the Board of Deacons for many years. For six years, he served as a member of the “Sinking Fund” of the City of Columbus and for ten years was Treasurer of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Jim began his career in the Banking Business in 1922 as a bank messenger at The Ohio National Bank. After many years of service and numerous positions, he retired as a Vice President in 1968.

Most Worshipful Brother Harbage was initiated an Entered Apprentice in East Gate Lodge No. 603 on January 10, 1924, passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft on January 29, 1924 and raised a Master Mason on February 22, 1924. He was elected Worshipful Master in November of 1937, and subsequently served as Trustee for many years. Brother Harbage received a 70-year Award from The Grand Lodge of Ohio on October 26, 1993.

In the York Rite, Companion Harbage was exalted in Temple Chapter No. 155 on March 26, 1936, advanced in York Council No. 115, R. & S. M., on March 1, 1945, and Knighted in Mt. Vernon Commandery No.1 on October 23, 1950.

Illustrious Brother Harbage received the Scottish Rite degrees in Enoch Lodge of Perfection, Franklin Council Princes of Jerusalem, Columbus Chapter of Rose Croix, and Scioto Consistory on November 16, 17 and 18, 1927. He served The Valley of Columbus as its Commander-in-Chief during the years 1957 to 1960. He was crowned an Honorary Member of The Supreme Council, 33°, at Philadelphia, PA on September 27, 1950. He held the office of Treasurer in The Ohio Council of Deliberation for twenty years or more.

For many years, Noble Jim Harbage served as Treasurer of Aladdin Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He was a member of Achbar Grotto, The Masonic Veterans Association, St. Jerome’s Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine, and the Royal Order of Jesters.

In the Grand Lodge, Most Worshipful Brother Harbage served as a District Deputy Grand Master for the years 1942, 1943 and 1944. On October 26,1944 he was appointed Junior Grand Deacon by Most Worshipful Grand Master David B. Sharp. He was subsequently appointed to the offices of Grand Marshal and Grand Orator (he did not serve the office of Senior Grand Deacon). He was elected Junior Grand Warden in October 1947, Senior Grand Warden in 1948, and Deputy Grand Master in 1949. On October 21, 1950 Most Worshipful Brother James J. Harbage was elected and installed The Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Ohio.

Due to the death of the elected Grand Treasurer, he was appointed to serve the Grand Lodge of Ohio as its Grand Treasurer in 1956. He was elected to that position each year until his retirement in 1973. Until only the past few years, Most Worshipful Brother Harbage continued to serve The Grand Lodge of Ohio in several important positions. He was Secretary-Treasurer of The Scholarship Foundation until 1989 and served as Chairman of The Grand Lodge Temple Committee for many years.

Most Worshipful Brother Harbage always conducted himself with great dignity, displaying to the world the wonderful qualities inculcated in the several Masonic Degrees. His knowledge and expertise have been a source of great enlightenment to many Grand Masters who followed.

Most Worshipful Brother James Joseph Harbage passed away June 17, 1998 at The Forum Retirement Center. Masonic Services were conducted by the members of East Gate Lodge No. 603 on June 19, 1998. Funeral services were held on June 20, 1998 under the direction of The Schoedinger Funeral Homes, Worthington, Chapel, in Worthington, Ohio. Our Dear Brother was laid to rest at Union Cemetery in the grave next to his first wife, Frances.