In January of 1969, at the ripe age of 23, I left seminary to take my first full-time pastorateMy wife and I moved from Ft. Worth, Texas to Hartsville, Tennessee where I had been called to pastor First Baptist Church.

Quite a few FBC members were active in the local Masonic Lodge, Harstville Lodge #113.  Many of their wives were active in the Order of the Eastern Star. 

My wife and I were often invited to monthly potluck dinners at the Lodge, provided, of course, by the Eastern Star ladies. Once we had our fill, they would kindly invite us to leave.  Prior to taking my pastorate and being invited to these potlucks, I had no knowledge of the Masonic Lodge.  Quite frankly, I had neither interest in nor curiosity about Freemasonry.  However, during my six year tenure at FBC three that would change.  Three memorable events opened my eyes to the darkness and dangers of Freemasonry.

First, I received a used book from England entitled Darkness Visible: A Revelation and Interpretation of Freemasonry”  I was amazed as I gazed upon a photograph in the book of a candidate prepared for initiation into a Masonic Lodge.  He was blindfolded with one pant leg up above the knee. I was stunned as I read the horrible vows that such candidates were expected to make.  “How could Christians make such vows!?” I exclaimed.  Disturbed by what I had seen and read, I took the book to a respected FBC Church member who was a Mason. He looked and listened as I turned to the pages which I had marked.

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