On February 4, 2003, 15 Master Masons from various lodges in and around the Jurisdiction of Georgia petitioned Grand Master Willie L. Williams for the purpose of expanding Prince Hall Masonry in Cobb County by forming a new lodge. With the assistance of DDGM Charles Truitt and ADDGM Matthew Lewis, a meeting was requested by the Grand Master on February 20, 2003 at 7pm at the Grand Lodge to meet with the petitioners and discuss the possible expansion and the experience of the petitioners. After much discussion, Grand Master Williams advised the Brothers attending to wait with patiences while he took the matter under advisement.
On the morning of March 14, 2003, Grand Master Willie L. Williams issued a letter of dispensation granting the Brothers the right to form a lodge, conduct meetings, and receive petitions. Upon receipt of the dispensation, the petitioning Brothers officially became Foundation Lodge (UD). The Grand Master appointed the three principal officers of the lodge: Worshipful Master: Corey Shackleford; Senior Warden: PM Curtis Shelton; Junior Warden: Antonio Buckley. It was at that moment that the “The Flagship” set sail and began to travel and journey into foreign lands. The inaugural meeting for Foundation Lodge (UD) was held on April 7, 2003 at the Smyrna Community Center at 7:30PM. The meeting was ritualistically opened and at the close of business was closed in due and ancient form by WM Corey Shackleford with prayer being rendered by Brother Daryl Joseph.
Shortly afterwards, Foundation Lodge (UD) began to hold their monthly meetings at the Paul E. Kelly, Jr. American Legion Post No. 296 in Marietta, GA. During this time the lodge prepared itself for the upcoming 136th Grand Session in Athens, GA. On June 13, 2003, the Grand Lodge of Georgia granted the charter for Foundation Lodge No. 592 in Smyrna, GA. The installation of officers and chartering ceremony was held on June 22, 2003, at the Paul E. Kelly, Jr. American Legion Post No. 296. Worshipful Master Corey Shackleford received his Past Master Degree, and all remaining officers were elected and installed by Grand Master Willie L. Williams.
Under the leadership of WM Corey D. Shackleford Sr., the members of Foundation Lodge No. 592 embarked upon but not limited to community service endeavors such as: Keep Smyrna Beautiful Adopt-A-Mile program, annual Blood Drive with the American Red Cross, Hands On Atlanta-Smyrna, annual Christmas Adopt-A-Family, and a annual Gospel Fest. These are just a few noble deeds that we have successfully implemented, executed, and maintained in our short existence. Foundation has made a tremendous impact on Atlanta Masonic District No. 3 and the great Jurisdiction of Georgia. We have even extended our hand of Brotherly Love beyond our own jurisdiction individually and collectively. It’s the dedication of the members of Foundation Lodge No. 592, to be an example of what it is to display Brotherly Love, Truth, and Relief. Although young in age with our collective wisdom this has given us the insight as a veteran lodge. Moreover, this has allowed us to be successful and continue to be successful in all of our many endeavors. After his tenure as Worshipful Master, PM Shackleford was appointed to several Grand Lodge positions under the leadership of Most Worshipful Grand Master the Honorable Ramsey Davis Jr. In 2005 he was appointed Asst. Grand Historian and in 2006 appointed to the position of Grand Director of Technology where he currently serves. In 2010, at the 141th Grand Session in Columbus, Georgia, PM Shackleford Sr. was elected and installed as the Grand Junior Warden of the Jurisdiction of Georgia.
Thus a solid FOUNDATION was properly laid and established in the years of 2003 and 2004, we vigorously worked to strengthen that establishment and build the walls to immortalize our vision of excellence for the Prince Hall order within our community during the Masonic year of 2005. We increased our momentum under the leadership of Worshipful Master Curtis. B. Shelton in promoting the honorable and ancient Fraternity of Prince Hall Masonry and its legacy within the city of Smyrna, Georgia and the Cobb County region. After successfully graduating from the Masonic College offered by the Grand Lodge of Georgia, he accepted the leadership role of Worshipful Master with a strong vision for Foundation Lodge: to preserve Masonic growth within Foundation Lodge while strengthening its presence within the Smyrna city and Cobb county community, and to exemplify its existence by implementing and redefining systematic ideas, processes and programs while ensuring their accuracy and completion. Through Worshipful Master Shelton’s service to Foundation Lodge, we strengthened our establishment through our association with the local churches, our involvement with the community, our inclusion of our beloved families, our membership, and our own personal Masonic development and enrichment. During this remarkable year of 2005, Worshipful Master Shelton set forth strategic plans that were successfully executed by the Senior and Junior Wardens and the distinguished members of Foundation Lodge; these plans included goals such as the institution of the Lodge quarterly newsletter, hosting various inaugural social events for the families and friends of Foundation (Lodge cook-out, Valentine’s social, Lodge Christmas party, Bowling), quarterly Lodge visitations (two in-state and two out-of-state), partnership of Juneteenth Celebration with the Legacy Park community, and the successful execution of the Flagship Masonic Social Club. One of the most notable highlights of success under Worshipful Master Shelton’s tenure was facilitating the hosting of the Grand Master’s Research meeting; Worshipful Master Shelton and his elected and appointed officers, under the authority of the District Deputy Grand Master, opened and closed a lodge meeting consisting of Masons from many different lodges within the Atlanta district and surrounding areas. Another success factor and notable highlight for Foundation Lodge during the tenure of Worshipful Master Shelton was the successful execution of the first “Foundation Day”; this magnificent day included performing the third degree to bring in new members of the Lodge before 100+ Brothers hailing from various jurisdictions and then hosting an outstanding and sold-out Lodge banquet that same evening that included a wealth of dignitaries such as the Grand Master Willie Williams, Past Grand Master Benjamin Barksdale, and Grand Worthy Matron Vashti Pullen to name a few; the speaker for the evening was State Representative Alisha Thomas-Morgan and she was dynamic. The very last successful challenge that Worshipful Master Shelton accepted was the challenge of securing a new and formal meeting place for Foundation Lodge to facilitate its regular communications. On December 21, 2005, Foundation Lodge #592, PHA held its first meeting and 2006 election of officers at the Eden Lodge #46, PHA Masonic Hall on 367 Montgomery Street in Marietta, GA. As a testament to his continued dedication, hard work and service to Foundation Lodge, Worshipful Master Shelton received the distinguished honor of being voted as the Master Mason of the year for 2006.
In 2006, the torch was passed to WM Christopher Parham who continued the rich tradition that Foundation Lodge exemplified. With the lodge’s meeting location firmly secured, WM Parham reached out to other Cobb County community assisting organizations and began the process of volunteering our time and donating funding to their noble causes. With the American Red Cross, Foundation held a successful blood drive and voter registration initiative that was held at Cumberland Mall located in Smyrna Ga. Partnering with Cobb County’s Color of Public Safety (C.O.P.S), Foundation was able to collaborate with Cobb County’s law enforcement charitable organization and assisted with their Christmas Adopt-A-Community program that was held in the Cole Street Housing Development located in Marietta, Ga. Realizing that there was a great need in stocking and maintaining the local food banks within the Cobb County area, WM Parham forged a lasting relationship with MUST Ministries, a powerful, volunteer-driven organization. MUST Ministries addresses the basic needs of individuals, families and children with facilities in the Cobb and Cherokee counties and programs in numerous other counties. With this partnership, Foundation was able to donate over 175 pounds of canned and non-perishable foods to the MUST Ministries Food Locker during our annual Gospelfest celebration. Also, while keeping in the spirit of Prince Hall Freemasonry and its beginnings stemming from Military Lodge # 441 of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, Foundation Lodge # 592 began supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs Retirement Home located on Clairmont Road in Decatur, Ga. With this union, Foundation has been able to provide comfort items to the veteran’s residing there and provide a listening ear and a word of encouragement to our retired service men and women. This was a personal feeling of accomplishment to WM Parham as he is an Air Force veteran. In 2010, PM Parham was appointed Worthy Patron of Foundation OES Chapter UD by then Foundation Lodge # 592’s Worshipful Master Tony Russell and in 2011 was elected as charter Worthy Patron of Foundation OES Chapter # 587.
In 2007 the stewardship of Foundation Lodge was passed on to Bro. Sean Radford to serve as Worshipful Master. 2007 was a year of tremendous success for the members of Foundation Lodge No. 592. In 2007, the members of Foundation Lodge continued in the tradition of cultivating an environment that promotes brotherhood, community involvement, and enlightenment. Some of the most significant successes came in the form of partnerships with community organizations such as the American Red Cross for the annual Blood Drive, M.U.S.T. Ministries for our annual Gospel Fest, and the NAACP for the Juneteenth celebration held in Marietta Square. Through these partnerships and existing service initiatives such as the Keep Smyrna Beautiful Adopt-a-Mile Program, VA Nursing Home visitations, and the holiday Adopt-A-Family initiative, the members of Foundation continue to illustrate the importance of empowering and improving the community at large. Foundation Lodge is set on a course of success and is navigated by a membership that is truly committed to its goals.
On June 10, 2011 history was made once again as Foundation UD Chapter of the Order Of the Eastern Stars received it’s charter during the 2011 Grand Session held in Savannah, Georgia solidifying the Foundation PHAmily. The chapter received the district number #587 with Sister Yvonne Shackleford presiding as Worthy Matron, Past Master Christopher Parham presiding as Worthy Patron and Sister Marcheria Jesse presiding as Associate Matron. To this day, Foundation Lodge #592 and Foundation Chapter #587 continue to make an impact in the community.