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An Interview with Ohio DeMolay

An image of Josiah Clark of Ohio DeMolay at a podium
Josiah Clark is the Ohio DeMolay State Master Councilor

Tell us a little about Ohio DeMolay. What is your role within the organization?

DeMolay International is the premier organization for young men ages 12 – 21. It provides its members with the opportunity to experience mentorship, leadership, responsibility, and team building. The real magic of DeMolay happens at the local chapter where young men can learn these lessons by personally planning their chapter’s programs. The Master Councilor acts as the primary youth leader of a DeMolay Chapter and is the one that ensures programs and activities happen through the chapter officers. I am the elected State Master Councilor for Ohio, so I propose, plan, and implement programs and activities throughout my term and ensure that the 20 or so DeMolay chapters in the State of Ohio are supported by State Officers. I also speak on behalf of Ohio DeMolay to all of the Masonic organizations, in particular the Grand Lodge of Ohio. 

How did you get involved with DeMolay? What has your experience been?

My father was a DeMolay when he was younger and it was through DeMolay that he met my mother. So from the start, DeMolay was an important part of who I was. When I turned 12, my dad had me sign up to join DeMolay. 

I was anxious at first as I was very shy and unmotivated at the time, but after several months of attending Chapter meetings and activities, I started to really feel at home in DeMolay. It ignited a spark in me that bled into all aspects of my life and made me a more well-rounded person. Over the years I have taken on several leadership roles at the chapter, district, state, and regional levels so that I could give back to the organization that did so much for me at a young age. DeMolay was the most formative experience of my youth and so much of who I am today.

What is the goal or mission of DeMolay? How do you hope to impact members’ lives?

The mission of DeMolay is to make young men better by surrounding them with similar minded peers and mentor support. While the DeMolay experience offers a wide variety of benefits, the one feature that benefited me the most was mentorship. Young men of different ages and backgrounds coming together in DeMolay allowed me to learn from so many different people. It was the State Officers who visited my chapter early on in my DeMolay career that inspired me to take on larger leadership roles. No matter how far I’ve come as a leader, the most important aspect of it, to me, is the opportunity to mentor the younger members so that I may inspire them just as I was. 

An image of Josiah Clark speaking
Josiah Clark at a DeMolay event in the State Capitol

Tell us about DeMolay’s philosophies and values.

DeMolay has seven core values: Filial Love, Reverence for Sacred Things, Courtesy, Comradeship, Fidelity, Cleanness, and Patriotism. Each of these virtues are emphasized as the best way for a young man to be well-rounded and of good character. Everything we do revolves around the idea of making young men better so that, when they become adults, they can be active participants in society.

What kind of activities or events do chapters host?

The great thing about DeMolay is that the chapters can choose to host whatever activities that the members want. However, there are several typical types of activities that frequently occur such as sporting events, charity drives, fundraisers, formal awards and honors ceremonies, dinners, overnighters, video game tournaments, board game nights, and dances.

Can you share any upcoming events?

March is what we call “DeMolay Month” and is intended to act as a celebration for our organization around the state. In recognition of that, each of our districts around Ohio will be hosting a new member initiation around March. This will culminate in the performance of our DeMolay Degree, the second ceremony of our initiation, at the Loveland Castle in Loveland, OH on April 1st. Any Master Mason is welcome to attend these initiations and we encourage every Ohio Master Mason to come and experience DeMolay. See the list of district Initiations below:

  • February 11th – Hamilton Chapter (7th District) Initiatory Degree in Hamilton, OH at 1 pm
  • February 25th – 1st District Initiatory Degree in Perrysburg, OH at 3 pm
  • March 3rd – 3rd District Initiatory Degree in Springfield, OH at 7 pm
  • March 4th – 4th District Initiatory Degree in Groveport, OH at 2 pm
  • March 26th – 2nd District Initiation (both degrees) in Painesville, OH at 3 pm

You can find links to the Governor’s email address of each of these districts to let them know you are interested in attending. For the most up to date information on Ohio DeMolay, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter. The link to our January issue is below and you can click the “Subscribe” button in the top left corner of the newsletter to fill in your information.  

Newsletter linked here. 

What is your favorite memory since becoming part of Ohio DeMolay?

My favorite DeMolay memory took place when I was just 12 years old. It was only a couple months after I had joined Ralph H. McMillan Chapter in Xenia and we hosted an overnighter at the Xenia Masonic Center where we held our meetings. Only a handful of members were available to attend, so I was hesitant because I didn’t know them as well as some of the others. It took me hours to really open up to these people; I didn’t know them very well, but this close environment let me really feel accepted by them. That was the moment I knew DeMolay was an important part of my life and it is what I regularly come back to when considering why I care for the organization so much. If it could bring such a reserved young man like myself out of his shell, then it can do wonders for any young man.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Ohio DeMolay could not do what it does without the support of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. Any member of the Masonic family can make a positive impact in a young man’s life by supporting our organization, not only the state-wide DeMolay, but especially the local chapters. The best way you can support us is to be involved with the DeMolay chapter closest to you and show the young men that you believe in them and are willing to invest in their future.

Looking to get involved with Ohio DeMolay? Head to the Ohio DeMolay website to learn how you can lead the next generation of Ohio Masons!

Want to learn more about Ohio Masonic Youth Groups? Read our interview with First Lady Jane-Anne and our conversation with the Ohio Rainbow Girls!