HISTORY OF PRIDE OF FAIRFAX COUNTY LODGE No.298
Circa November 8th, 1947
As with all lodges operating under the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia, Pride of Fairfax County Lodge can trace its lineage to African Lodge No. 459 in Boston, Massachusetts. Organized in 1947 by 19 men of color, Pride of Fairfax County Lodge was chartered in the Gum Springs community of Alexandria, Virginia.
Gum Springs was established in 1822 by the direct descendants of slaves from Mt. Vernon and Woodlawn Plantations. As a thriving Black Community, there were many men of prominence who were held in high esteem as leaders in the community. Among them were Ferris Holland, Sherman King, Saunders B. Moon, Robert B. Moon and others who became the corner stone and foundation of Pride of Fairfax County Lodge.
Seeking knowledge in Freemasonry, these 19 men sought to improve their lot, not only as free men, but also as men of substance, men of dignity, honor and pride. Since they were exposed to Masonic Light, they saw Freemasonry as a way of uplifting the community in which they live, and that establishing a Lodge was a way of raising the level of the Black man's awareness.
Therefore, they sought the advice of Rev. William Henry who was DDGM of the 31st Masonic District. Bro. Henry was a skillful organizer, well-respected and well-versed in Masonic ritualistic work. With the assistance of other leaders of the Masonic Family, he initiated these nineteen men into Prince Hall Freemasonry, and when they were raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on June 20, 1947, they formed what we now know as Pride of Fairfax County Lodge.
Brother Henry continued to work as mentor to the Brethren, advising them on various requirements and actions they must take and, on November 8, 1947, Pride of Fairfax County Lodge No. 298, received its Charter under the Prince Hall Masonic Jurisdiction of Virginia. Its officers were:- Ferris Holland as Worshipful Master; Sherman King as Senior Warden, and John Gray as Junior Warden. Others of the original 19 members were: Harry M. Bates, Rodgers F. Harris, Preston Olives Thomas, H. Berry Azel, Q. Lester, James A. Portier, John Bushrod, Anssel Q. Mattier, Wells A. Proctor, David H. Counts, Saunders B. Moon, Betram E. Robins, Horace Clayborn, Robert B. Morgan, George Washington Thomas, and R. Gaines.
Pride of Fairfax County Lodge and its members have been active in the Gum Springs community for over 55 years. During its existence, the lodge has provided numerous scholarships to young men and women attending college; donated food and money to needy families during the holiday seasons; supported the Gum Springs Community Center with money and manpower; and spread the cement of friendship, brotherly love and affection to its members, members families and the community at large.