Warren, OH - The Mahoning Chapter 10 of the Royal Arch Masons recently celebrated a significant milestone - its 200th anniversary. Established in 1824, the chapter holds its meetings at the city's Masonic Lodge.

In a rededication ceremony marking the occasion, chapter leaders reflected on the enduring role of Masonic organizations. "Masons take good men and make them better, encouraging them to be active in their communities," said Thomas Weller, High Priest of the Mahoning Chapter. "From there, we build up to our philanthropic charities and community service."

Ryan Adams, Grand High Priest of the state's governing Grand Chapter, noted the rarity of a chapter reaching the 200-year mark. He attributed the Masons' longevity to their community-oriented and philanthropic focus.

While fraternal organizations like the Masons have seen fluctuations in membership over the years, leaders say there has been renewed interest recently, especially among younger men. They point to the Masons' emphasis on tradition, fellowship and community service as key draws.

The Mahoning Chapter is one of four Masonic groups that gather at the Warren temple. A parallel organization, the Old Erie Lodge, marked its own bicentennial in 2004.

Looking ahead, Adams and Weller expressed optimism about the future of Masonry in the Mahoning Valley. Statewide, there are 9,500 members in the Royal Arch, with 162 in the local lodge.

Providing historical context, Paul Clouser of Warren noted that many early American leaders were Masons, including nine signers of the Declaration of Independence and over a dozen signers of the Constitution. "The Masons were the leaders of the community and high-profile people," Clouser said. "Our Masons today are more important now than 200 years ago."

The rededication ceremony served as both a celebration of the chapter's rich history and a renewed commitment to its guiding principles of fellowship, philanthropy, and service. As Weller put it, "We are seeing more Masons making their communities better."

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