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About Pentalpha Lodge #194

An image of the front of the Pentalpha Masonic Temple
left Front View of Pentalpha Masonic Temple

Current Lodge Officers #

Worshipful Master: Brian Viehland
Senior Warden: Carl Swanson
Junior Warden: Jeffery Reinsch
Secretary: James Kinnear, PM
Treasurer: John Wenzel
Senior Deacon: Omar Arab
Junior Deacon: Adam Wyatt
Senior Steward: Pat Word
Junior Steward: Brother P.
Marshal: Justin Weeks
Chaplain: Earl “Hank” Griffin III, PM
Master of Ceremonies: Jose Leonardo-Moreno
Tyler: Ken Grundy

Lodge History #

On July 7, 1893, a group of Masonic brethren assembled in Norman Hall (located above the John A Belt store) to organize a lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons in Gaithersburg. Lynch Lodge #163 A.F. & A.M. of Frederick, Maryland, fostered this action.

On July 27, 1893, the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Maryland, Brother Thomas J. Shyrock, granted a dispensation and Pentalpha Lodge was instituted. On November 22, 1893, at 10:00 a.m., a charter was granted by the Grand Lodge and Pentalpha Lodge was legally constituted. Pentalpha’s first elected officers were Brothers Robert M. Moore, Worshipful Master; E.D. Kinsley, Senior Warden; John A. Belt, Junior Warden; P.M. Smith, Secretary; and H.B. Cramer, Treasurer.

The first meeting took place in a rented hall over the harness shop belonging to J.H. Nicholls. On December 22, 1899, the cornerstone was laid for a new Masonic Temple on Russell Avenue. The building was built by Delta Lodge of Perfection, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. Pentalpha remianed in this building until late 1972, when the building was condemned and the Lodge was forced to move. The Temple on Russell Avenue was razed in 1976.

For the next fourteen years, the Lodge held meetings at various locations, including the Knights of Pythias Hall on Game Preserve Road, Darnestown Presbyterian Church and Epworth Methodist Church. In 1983, the house and land on old Route 118 (now Boland Farm Road) were purchased and meetings were held in the two-car garage better known as the “cozy lodge”.

In December 1992, Pentalpha held its first meeting in their new Lodge Room. During the first 100 years, other Masonic orders have made Pentalpha Masonic Center their home, including the Order of the Eastern Star (1920), The International Order of Jobs Daughters (1946), The International Order of Rainbow for Girls (1992), and the Montgomery County York Rite (2018).

Image of Masons laying the cornerstone of the Pentalpha Lodge #194 masonic temple in Germantown, Maryland
Symbolic Cornerstone Laying at Pentalpha Lodge’s Centennial