John H. Austin
Right Eminent Grand Commander 2022-2023
Welcome to the York Rite of Maryland website and to the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Maryland.
We want to take this opportunity to offer Knights Templar Membership to All Masons in Maryland. Particularly appealing to Christian Masons seeking a life of Chivalry, Duty, and Charity. Every Christian Mason should strive to become a Knights templar. All are welcome to what is widely regarded as the Pinnacle of Masonic membership.
We are proud to have a heritage dating back to 1790 when Maryland Commandery #1 was chartered.
In the past year, The Grand Commandery of Maryland celebrated our 150th anniversary with several special events. Our Grand Commandery was constituted in May 1871 when 3 existing Commanderies petitioned the Grand Encampment for a Grand Commandery in Maryland. There are now 11 Commanderies located throughout Maryland, including as far East as Salisbury and as far West as Cumberland.
The Orders conferred in Knights Templar are the Order of the Red Cross, the Order of Malta, and the Order of the Temple.
The Order of the Red Cross -An Order emphasizing the lessons of “Truth”. Elements of this Order were practiced in Ancient Lodges before the final form of the Master Mason Degree came into use.
The Order of Malta and the Mediterranean Pass- An Order emphasizing the lessons of ‘Faith’. This Order requires the Mason to profess and practice the Christian Faith. The Order is centered on allegorical elements of the Knights of Malta, inheritors of the medieval Knights Hospitalier. The Order speaks to teachings of Christ and fidelity to the power of faith to receive Divine Truth even when unaccompanied by worldly evidence.
The Order of the Temple- An Order emphasizing the lessons of self-sacrifice and reverence. It is a glorious and poignant degree. Set in the time of the crusades and accounts for years spent in patience and perseverance by a candidate for knighthood in pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher, as a warrior defending the Christian religion, and ending in penance strengthening his character through lessons of faith and humility.
While historically years were spent in becoming worthy of Knighthood, in modern-day Templary these orders are conferred within a few months of each other, and learning of and practice of the lessons of the Orders are ongoing.
Honoring our Christian warrior heritage, we are a uniformed, regulated, and practiced Order of Knights fighting for Truth, Protecting the downtrodden and unfortunate, and Dedicated to the Service of God in our Communities.
In living these lessons taught us in our Orders, we support the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, The Knights Templar Education Foundation (scholarships available for all types of learning processes), the Holy Land Pilgrimage (for Christian Ministers), and especially charities in our local communities.
Membership is open to Master Masons who are members of a Royal Arch Chapter and a Royal and Select Masters Council.
Information on contacting the Grand Commandery or a Commandery in your area is listed on this website. We invite you to contact us if you are interested in joining this prestigious Order.
In service to God and our Community,
John H. Austin, KCT, Right Eminent Grand Commander