Our Namesake


Most Worshipful Past Grand Master and Grand Master Emeritus of the MWPHGLMD

October 17, 1936 – February 21, 2015

SHELTON DENNIS REDDEN was the Most Worshipful Past Grand Master (MWPGM) and Grand Master Emeritus (GME) of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Maryland and Its Jurisdiction, Inc (MWPHGLMD). He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to the loving couple of Marian E. Jackson and John Redden. At a young age his parents relocated to Toledo, Ohio where he received his formal education.

After graduating from Libby High School, MWPGM Redden decided to enter the US Air Force where he remained for 28 years. He retired from the US Air Force as a Chief Master Sergeant, the highest enlisted grade achievable. During his Air Force career, he obtained his Associates of Arts degree in Information Services from the Community College of the Air Force. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Processing from Golden Gate University in 1976. During his Air Force career, MWPGM Redden was assigned to Korea, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, England, and was involved in the TET offensive in Vietnam (1967-68). For his combat service in the TET offensive in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor.

MWPGM Redden was shown the light in Prince Hall Military Lodge #103 in Lancaster, California, and was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in May 16, 1970. He learned the beauty of Masonry under the watchful guidance and well-informed direction of the late Joseph A. Meekins, a revered Master Mason in Southern California. Continuing his ascension, GM Redden advanced to the 33rd degree in Kansas City, Missouri in October of 1977. He was elevated to active 33rd degree in October 1988 when the late Dr. I.H. Clayburn, the Sovereign Grand Commander at that time, appointed him Deputy for the Supreme Council, Orient and State of Maryland.

He was elected Grand Minister of State at the United Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Prince Hall Affiliation, Southern Jurisdiction, USA in October of 1991. He served as the 1st Lt. Grand Commander. He also served as the Worshipful Master of Donald E. Jones Lodge #121, as the DDGM of the 13th Masonic District in the United Kingdom, and as the Junior Grand Warden of the MWPHGLMD. He was elected to that office in August of 1993 and then to the office of Deputy Grand Master in August 1996. In the Spring of 1997, he was the recipient of the Gold Medal Achievement Award. And ultimately, on August 10, 1998, he was elected to the most prestigious position in Prince Hall Masonry in Maryland – that of the Most Worshipful Grand Master – where he served for over 12 years through December 2010.

He was a proud member of his namesake lodge, Shelton D. Redden Lodge No. 139, a Past Master of King Solomon Lodge #7, a Past Commander-in -Chief of James A. Mingo Consistory #334, and a Past Potentate of MISR Temple #213 – all of which are in the Jurisdiction of Maryland. He has served as President of the Grand Masters Council for Prince Hall Masons. Upon becoming MWPGM, he was also honored as Grand Master Emeritus. According to MWPGM Redden, among his proudest moments and highest achievements was working closely along side his dear friend, the late Right Worshipful Thomas H. Wise, Jr., Deputy Grand Master of the MWPHGLMD, and with the Grand Lodge of Maryland, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, to ensure mutual recognition between the MWPHGLMD and the GL of MD, AFAM.

He was married and had 5 children and 3 grandchildren.

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