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MWB Tim Wheeland’s Year in Review

By September 29, 2022No Comments
A photo of Tim Wheeland
Most Worshipful Brother Timothy S. Wheeland

Imagine yourself exactly a year ago. What were your plans? How did you feel? What do you know now that you didn’t know then?

My plans were to get our Lodges, members, and our Grand Lodge engaged in the business of making Masons, reinstating Masons, and restoring Masons to our fraternity. 

After completing my Deputy Grand Master’s Roll-Out Program to over 1,200 men, I was confident and excited that our organization knew what needed to be done – and that a large portion of our Lodges would be interested and able to execute on the plans. 

What I realize now, and hope for future leaders, is that they accept the technological changes that the next generations of younger men will expect. We as an organization must embrace the future and continue making the changes that are needed to move our organization forward.

As a Grand Master and a Mason who joined the craft through a Grand Master’s One Day Class how did it feel to run your own One Day Classes?
It was truly amazing. There is nothing like being in a huge auditorium and having hundreds of men recite the various obligations that are part of our Masonic degrees. That in itself is such an amazing experience to witness.

When the classes finished, it was also great to talk with the next generations of Masons and listen to the excitement they had about joining our great fraternity. They were excited and we hope that their Lodges will utilize and build on that excitement within their own walls and within their membership.

Some of the more moving moments were seeing family members mentoring family members – fathers raising their sons, and in some cases, sons raising their fathers. Those were some of the truly memorable moments that I will always remember.

What are you most proud of this past year? What has been your biggest accomplishment?
I am proud of a number of things and it is hard to pick what I am most proud of. 

I am extremely proud of the fundraising efforts made across the state of Ohio for my and Kim’s charity this year – the Children’s Hunger Alliance. Members, Lodges, our Appendant Bodies, and various Masonic groups, came together and raised almost $50,000 to help feed the 700,000 hungry children across the state of Ohio. The funds that were raised will be presented to the Children’s Hunger Alliance at the Grand Master’s banquet at Grand Lodge in late October.

I am proud of how our Lodges and Districts responded to me pushing the decision making process down to the local levels on how they chose to make Masons. This allowed us to raise approximately 1,600 Masons over the year by utilizing both the traditional method and Grand Master Class events.

I am proud of how our Lodges and appendant bodies recovered from the COVID pandemic by re-engaging in in-person meetings and by utilizing virtual technology to engage those members who lived far away from their Lodges or who were still unsure of the lingering impacts of COVID.

I am also very proud of how our Lodges and Districts came together to help one another make Masons. I heard stories this year of Lodges putting out a call for help so they could conduct degree work and other Lodges / Districts answered the call and provided the resources that the Lodge needed to get the job done. Isn’t that how it is supposed to work – Masons helping Masons?

Picture of a Grand Master’s One Day Class
MWB Wheeland at a Grand Master’s One Day Class

Describe the theme you picked for this year, “Reflect on Masonry.” What does this mean to you now, as you’re reflecting?
“Reflect on Freemasonry” was a theme I thought was appropriate as we need to reflect back on our past, reflect on those who came before us and built the foundation of our fraternity, and reflect on how we got to where we are now – but I also believed (and still believe) that it is more important that we reflect on the future, reflect on the changes that need to be made to move this organization forward, and reflect on what we need to do to ensure that our organization is around (and relevant) for the centuries to come.

If we don’t reflect on what we need to do for the future, our organization will not be around for future generations – and we simply cannot let that happen.

We know you and First Lady Kim spent a lot of time traveling and working together this year. Any advice for the next Grand Master and First Lady on how they can make the most of their time working together?
Each couple has their own dynamics. Kim and I have been together for more than 35 years – and we each know our strengths and know our weaknesses. The best thing to do is to utilize each other’s strengths to push through the year. It is a long and very trying year. There will be moments when you don’t agree (or are just really tired) – and that is probably the best time to take a deep breath and spend some “alone time”.  

What has been your favorite, or one of your favorite moments, interacting with the Brethren of Ohio this year?
I have really enjoyed traveling to various Lodges and conducting my “Grand Master Surprise Lodge Drop-Ins”. During most of these events, my Grand Tyler and I pick a Lodge that is meeting on a given night – and we get in the car and go. We don’t tell anyone that we are coming – not even the local district leadership. We simply show up (10 minutes or so late) and then knock on the Lodge room door.  

The expressions we get from the Tylers when we walk into the Lodge are priceless. When we knock on the door, the looks that we get from the Junior Deacon (and the other Lodge officers who see us standing there) will always be etched in my mind.

The first thing I tell the Lodge when I come in is that we are not there for anything but fun and fellowship. While the presence of a Grand Master in the Lodge room can make the officers nervous – we always tried to lighten up the room with friendship and fun…. Because if you aren’t having a good time, you aren’t doing it right!

What advice do you have for the upcoming Grand Master?
The best advice I can give to the upcoming Grand Master (and future Grand Masters) is to have a plan, execute on the plan, and provide on-going updates throughout the year to the brethren on the results. Be open and transparent with where things stand on the various initiatives and how they are impacting our fraternity. Do what you feel is the best for the fraternity – and listen to many different sources for advice, direction, and guidance on what should be done.

Congratulations to the Grand Master on a great year! Interested to learn more about MWB Timothy S. Wheeland? Read our Conversations with MWB Tim Wheeland Part 1 and Part 2!