First Baptist Institutional Church Celebrates 126th Church Anniversary

Lakeland, Florida -- First Baptist Institutional Church embarked celebrated another milestone on Sunday, February 28, 2010.  A press release issued by the church in early March reports that the Sunshine City Consistory No. 147 Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masons and Electra Assembly No. 147 Order of the Golden Circle from St. Petersburg, Florida were on hand to witness the Church’s 126th Anniversary. 
Rev. Alex Harper, Sr. expressed his appreciation to all his committee members, the City of Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields, Polk Sheriff Grady and Masonic Order for their “faithful and dedicated efforts to community and the success of the historical celebration.”
Also rich in Masonic lore, event organizers recalled the history of the first Scottish Rite organization among African-Americans -  the African Grand Council of 1820 in Philadelphia, PA. - which was referred to as the council of Princess of Jerusalem. This original council arose through West Indian migration, a region where Stephen Morin first propagated the Rite. The minutes of the King David Supreme Council include a reference to merger of this African Grand Council with King David Supreme Council, thus becoming the first Prince Hall Council.

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