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Frequently Asked Questions

                 

Where are DeMolay Chapters Located?

 

DeMolay Chapters are located in all fifty states, the District of Columbia and nine foreign countries. In the United States there are over 25,000 current members which operate over 800 chapters. In Kentucky, there are currently seven chapters.

 
 

What are the requirements to join?

 

The requirements are few, but each is important. To be a member of DeMolay, a young man must:

  • Be between the ages of 12 and 21.

  • Be of good character and reputation.

  • Have a belief in one God, Supreme Being or Deity.

  • Complete an application.

  • Attend a two-part induction ceremony.

 

What are the Induction Ceremonies like?

 

The DeMolay induction ceremony is the celebration of a young man’s commitment to better himself by becoming a DeMolay Youth Leader. The orientation and explanation sets DeMolay apart from other organizations, because young men present it to all new members as a chapter. The ceremony itself contains two sections or “degrees”.

The first second is called the “Initiatory Degree”. It is a solemn event during which the young man is acquainted with the founding principles of DeMolay.

The second section is called the “DeMolay Degree”. It is a play portrayed by DeMolay members. The subject of the play is loyally because it tells the story of Jacques DeMolay (who lived in the 14th century). The importance of the story for today’s youth is to always be loyal to your beliefs, family, friends, and commitments. We believe this is an important lesson for today’s youth.

 
 

How do Young Men learn leadership skills in DeMolay?

 

DeMolay prides itself on preparing young men for careers above and beyond education. Education is vitally important and DeMolay supplements it with specific training. A process of executing increased responsibilities teaches leadership skills. The chapter contains offices which members may obtain such as president and vice-president.

Here are some examples:
Master Councilor…………….President
Senior Councilor…………….1st Vice-President
Junior Councilor……………..2nd Vice-President
Scribe…………………………Secretary
Treasurer, Chaplain, and many others
 

Members may move through the ranks and obtain higher offices, much like business positions. Each position carries more and more responsibilities. If he participates, here are just a few things that a young man will learn in DeMolay that will prepare him for leadership. These experiences will give him a head start on his classmates in the race for scholarships and jobs such as:

  • Public Speaking
  • Appearance and image maintenance
  • How to plan and execute events such as banquets and dances
  • How to run a business (Parliamentary Procedure)
  • How to prepare agendas
  • How to assign, utilize, and execute committees
 

How does a Young Man learn good character in DeMolay?

 

Upon joining DeMolay, the young man will interact with other quality young men and advisors who are dedicated to upholding the aforementioned virtues. Young men act more upstanding when in the company of other quality young men. Acting in an upstanding manner becomes a habit. This habit demonstrates good character now and serves to mold a mature way of thinking as he obtains adulthood.

 
 

Young people need these skills, but do members want to learn?

 

Few young people are mature enough to desire this type of training without some type of fun. When DeMolays tell their friends about it, they discuss the fun aspects. DeMolays have a great deal of fun and all the while they learning to act with good character and they learn leadership skills. In order for fun to be had, members learn that they must plan it. Chapters routinely have dances, attend ball games, hold fund raisers (such as spaghetti dinners), and play organized sports or just pick-up games. Planning these things appears to be fun, but they are learning as well.

 
 

How much time does it take to be a DeMolay?

 

The young man is invited to all events and can spend as much or as little time as he desires. Most chapters have two meetings per month to plan their activities. In addition to theses meetings there are other events during the month. An example of one month's worth of events are listed below. There is no requirement to attend functions; however, we hope that the parents will enforce a six-month trial period. Usually after six months the young man is familiar enough with DeMolay to truly see the enjoyment and benefits.

Monday 4th - 7:00-9:00 p.m. Chapter Meeting
Friday 8th - 8:00 p.m. All Night Sleepover
Thursday 14th - 7:00 p.m. Basketball Practice
Monday 18th - 7:00-8:30 p.m. Chapter Meeting (Bowling following the meeting)
Saturday 23rd  11:00 a.m. Fundraiser Car Wash
Thursday 28th  Civic Service Project (Between school hours - Monitor cross walks - grade school)
 
 

What types of activities does a DeMolay chapter have?

 

Within certain parameters, the activities of a DeMolay Chapter are limited only by the imaginations of its members. Members of DeMolay chapter plan and hold social functions, fund raising, civic service projects, athletic activities, and much more. Insurance restrictions prohibit chapters from engaging in certain activities. However, overall, chapters have a wide range of activities from which they can choose as they plan their activities and projects calendar.

 
 

Why haven't I heard of DeMolay?

 

Often DeMolay chapters become so involved in planning, organizing, and enjoying their activities, they overlook promoting their chapter within a community, as they should. However, in a television age, the news would rather focus on the bad acts of young people rather than those concerned about themselves and their communities, like DeMolay members.

If you have not heard of DeMolay, perhaps you have heard of some of the persons who were DeMolays as teenagers. These famous alumni include Walt Disney, actor John Wayne, comedians Tommy and Dick Smothers, pro football quarterback Fran Tarkenton, Dan Rather, Willard Scott, owner of the San Diego Chargers Alex Spanos, and news legend Walter Cronkite. Many of these individuals and other community and business leaders credit part of their success to their DeMolay experience.

A comment on DeMolay:
"I feel a great sense of obligation and gratitude toward DeMolay for the important part it played in shaping my life. Its precepts have been invaluable in making decisions, in facing dilemmas and crises, in holding on to one's faith and ideals, and in meeting those tests which are best borne when shared with others in a bond of confidence."
-- Walt Disney

 
 

Can you stop being a member if you don't like it?

 

Yes, you can stop participating at any time. A member will remain on our membership roll until they turn 21. Being on this roll entitles all members to participate in the DeMolay program if they desire.

 
 
What is the organization of DeMolay?
 

DeMolay in the United States is organized by state. Each state is under the direction of an Executive Officer. He coordinates the activities of advisors to assist chapters in operation. Each follows the same guidelines set forth by DeMolay International in order to provide a quality experience for young men that is in harmony with moral and legal standards. In Kentucky, the Executive Officer has organized volunteers in the state to provide activities for the chapters.

 
 
Is DeMolay is a Tax Deductible Charity?
 

DeMolay is a recognized 501(c)3 Charity by the IRS. Therefore all contributions to the organization are tax deductible.  To make a tax deductible contribution contact the KY DeMolay Office. Additionally, our adult workers may deduct certain expenses incurred by volunteering for a chapter (such as gas, tolls, lodging, etc.). For more information, contact a chapter.

 
 
Where are the Chapters in Kentucky Located?
 
Bluegrass Chapter – Lexington
Cherokee Chapter – Louisville
Gold Fidelity – Louisville
Northern Kentucky Chapter – Covington
River Cities Chapter - Ashland
Valley of the Cumberland Chapter - Nancy
Lincoln Chapter - Hodgenville
 
 

Is DeMolay a religious organization?

 

No. Among the requirements for membership in DeMolay is the belief in a Supreme Being, but not one particular doctrine, sect, or denomination. A young man’s religious convictions are his own. DeMolay’s members include those that follow Christians, Jews, Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and other religious groups.

DeMolay does not involve itself in religious discussions. It merely recognizes the importance of faith in the lives of young men. The virtue of Reverence for Sacred Things seeks to remind our members to rely upon and use their own faith in life.

 
A DeMolay’s Ethics:
A DeMolay serves God.
A DeMolay honors all womanhood.
A DeMolay loves and honors his parents.
A DeMolay is honest.
A DeMolay is loyal to ideals and friends.
A DeMolay is courteous.
A DeMolay is at all times a gentleman.
A DeMolay is a patriot in peace as well as war.
A DeMolay is clean in mind and body.
A DeMolay upholds the public schools.
A DeMolay is a good citizen.
A DeMolay preserves our high standard.
 
 

Why does DeMolay allow members of all religions to join?

 

The value of having membership across religious spectrum is in the opportunity it provides for members of one religion or denomination to understand the perspective of the other. The diversity of this country provides opportunities to be introduced to faiths, cultures, and traditions from around the world. By allowing young men of different backgrounds to participate it prepares the young man to rely upon his faith and respect the faith of others. This principle will be very important as he becomes a more active citizen. He will value the culture and traditions of others while standing confidently upon his own beliefs.

 
 

Where did the name DeMolay Come from?

 

The name came from Jacques DeMolay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar during The Crusades. The original nine members of DeMolay selected the name in honor of his high principles.

 
 

What is The Story of Jacques DeMolay?

 

The namesake of the Order of DeMolay was born in Vitrey, Department of Haute Saone, France in the year 1244. At the age of 21, DeMolay joined the Order of Knights Templar.

The Knights Templar was an organization sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church in 1128 to guard the road between Jerusalem and Acre, an important port city on the Mediterranean Sea. The Order of Knights Templar participated in the Crusades and earned a name for valor and heroism.

With many nobles and princes sending their sons to join the Knights Templar, the Order also became very wealthy and popular throughout Europe.

In 1298, Jacques DeMolay was named Grand Master of the Knights Templar, a position of power and prestige. As Grand Master however, Jacques DeMolay was also in a difficult position. The Crusades were not achieving their goals. The non-Christian Saracens defeated the Crusaders in battle and captured many vital cities and posts. The Knights Templar and the Hospitalers (another Order of Knights) were the only groups remaining to confront the Saracens.

The Knights Templar decided to reorganize and regain their strength. They traveled to the island of Cyprus, waiting for the general public to rise up in support of another Crusade.

Instead of public support, however, the Knights attracted the attention of powerful lords, who were interested in obtaining their wealth and power. In 1305, Philip the Fair, King of France, set about to obtain control of the Knights Templar. They had been accountable only to the Church. To prevent a rise in the power of the Church, and to increase his own wealth, Philip set out to take over the Knights.

The year 1307 saw the beginning of the persecution of the Knights. Jacques DeMolay, along with hundreds of others, were seized and thrown into dungeons. For seven years, DeMolay and the Knights suffered torture and inhuman conditions. While the Knights did not end, Philip managed to force Pope Clement to condemn the Templars. Their wealth and property were confiscated and given to Philip's supporters.

During years of torture, Jacques DeMolay continued to be loyal to his friends and Knights. He refused to disclose the location of the funds of the Order and he refused to betray his comrades. On March 18, 1314, DeMolay was tried by a special court. As evidence, the court depended on a forged confession, allegedly signed by DeMolay.

Jacques DeMolay disavowed the forged confession. Under the laws of the time, the disavowal of a confession was punishable by death. Another Knight, Guy of Auvergne, likewise disavowed his confession and stood with Jacques DeMolay.

King Philip ordered them both to be burned at the stake that day, and thus the story of Jacques DeMolay became a testimonial to loyalty and friendship.

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