SHELTON D. REDDEN LODGE No. 139 (SDR 139) has been serving the Hyattsville and Prince George’s County (PG), Maryland (MD) community for over 20 years. Composed of Freemasons – a fraternal, community service based organization – the lodge’s major programs are its:
- Community Involvement Program
Coordinating walk/runs, breakfasts, food donations, revitalizations, and parade participation
- Seniors Assistance Program
Assisting the elderly with Bingo nights, food delivery, social events, and facility maintenance
- Youth Safety and Mentoring Program
Helping families with the free Masonic Child Identification Program (CHIP) and mentoring efforts
Prince Hall Freemasons welcome individuals of all backgrounds and faiths to join. SDR 139’s ultimate goal is to be the premier fraternity and institute in the area (MD, DC, and VA) for instructing its members on how to effect positive, lasting change in their communities. The brothers meet the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 PM at Rollingcrest Commons, 6060 Sargent Road, Hyattsville, MD, 20782.
History of Shelton D. Redden Lodge No. 139
Samuel T. Daniels, the Most Worshipful Grand Master (MWGM) of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Maryland and its Jurisdictions (MWPHGLMD), granted Shelton D. Redden Lodge No. 139 (SDR 139) a charter in Oxfordshire, England on July 11, 1981. The lodge was named after Shelton Dennis Redden, now MW Past Grand Master (PGM) and Grand Master Emeritus for the MWPHGLMD. The initial principal officers of the fledgling lodge were LeRoy White as the Worshipful Master (WM), Robert E. Burruss as the Senior Warden (SW), and Robert M. Long as the Junior Warden (JW).
Many members were reassigned to other posts due to their military careers and the lodge unfortunately had to be disbanded. The charter was then sent back to the MWPHGLMD. In 1992, Gerald Black, James Jones, and others formed the Hyattsville Study Club with the necessary number of Masons. Brother Black made a request for the charter to MWGM Samuel T. Daniels. The charter was granted Dec. 11, 1992 at the MWPHGLMD Second Constituent Lodge Workshop meeting and reissued with Gerald Black as Worshipful Master, James Jones as Senior Warden, and Ronald Raiford as Junior Warden. They were then installed as the lodge’s primary officers and the charter was activated on January 1, 1993.
Meetings were held at Bright Light Baptist Church in Takoma Park, MD. The fledgling lodge initially met in one of the conference rooms. However, due to space limitations, the decision was made to move to Fairmount Lodge #92 in Fairmount Heights for meetings.
During the administration of WM Charles B. Clark, Walter W. Brown was appointed as the District Deputy Grand Master (DDGM) for the MWPHGLMD’s Fourth Masonic District. DDGM Brown wanted the lodge to move back into the Hyattsville area. Therefore, the lodge moved again and began to meet at New Dawn Baptist Church in West Hyattsville, MD. In 2000, under the leadership of WM William A. Northern, the lodge was able to move to a more compatible location – Rollingcrest Commons, also in West Hyattsville. It is there that the lodge holds its meetings today.
The lodge listed many successes among its early accomplishments. A few of these projects were the creation of its own staves and columns, the purchase of new collars, the replacement of borrowed jewel adornments, the acquisition of administrative supplies, and the establishment of a purchase plan for covers at the principal stations.
Throughout the 2000s and 2010s, SDR 139 has grown and matured significantly, having numerous successful classes and raising scores of brothers. This lodge of Freemasons serves – and its members have come from throughout – the local area: Hyattsville, Beltsville, Bowie, Clinton, College Park, Greenbelt, Heights, Landover, Largo, Laurel, Mitchellville, Mt. Ranier, New Carrollton, Riverdale, Upper Marlboro, Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Columbia, as well as DC and VA.
Perhaps most importantly, SDR 139 has developed an identity and brand as being one of the premier community service organizations in Hyattsville. The lodge has established strong relationships with its community by supporting the elderly, needy, youth, and the surrounding vicinity. In 2013, the City of Hyattsville awarded the lodge a Proclomation of Honor in recognition of the members’ dedication to supporting the community.
Indeed, SDR 139 may not be the largest Prince Hall lodge in Maryland by way of numbers. But the charity in the hearts of each SDR 139 brother is large. By living by the principles of Freemasonry and engaging in charitable works, the lodge members can confidently point to the visibile and positive impact they collectively have had in the community where the lodge resides.