The first Masonic Lodges were formed in what is now Alabama in the opening years of the nineteenth century. By 1811, settlement of Huntsville had grown to sufficient size to support a Masonic Lodge and Madison Lodge № 21 was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. This Lodge continues to today as Helion Lodge № 1. At the opposite end of the state, Masons in the old French city of Mobile petitioned the newly organized Grand Lodge of Louisiana and Friendship Lodge № 6 was chartered in 1813. Within ten years, fourteen Lodges were chartered by the Grand Lodges of five different states. Nine of these Lodges banded together to create the Grand Lodge of Alabama on June 11, 1821.
Alabama was an early encourager of the Baltimore Convention of 1843, which had the goal of establishing a uniform ritual for all of the United States. Nonetheless, Alabama rejected the resulting The Masonic Trestle Board, although the Grand Lecturer’s comments suggest that it closely followed the adopted work of Alabama.
Freemasonry formed a tie that connected the towns and counties of the state. Over the years, 931 Lodges received charters to serve the needs of Alabama Masons. Included in this number were dispensations granted to a military Lodge during the Mexican War and nineteen traveling Lodges during the American Civil War.
Like many Grand Lodges, Alabama has demonstrated a concern for the families of Masons. Several schools were supported in the years prior to the Civil War and beginning in the 1850s there was a recognized need to care for our widows and orphans. The Alabama Masonic Home operated from 1913 to 2002. Since that time the Grand Lodge continues to direct the income of the Alabama Masonic Home Endowment Fund to provide care for Masons and their families including healthcare, community services and college scholarships
Today, Grand Master Bobby Pitts presides over 285 Lodges with a membership of 24,000. Notable Alabama Freemasons include Colonel William B. Travis, the leader of the besieged Texans at the Alamo;, LT George E. Dixon, LT William Alexander and James McClintock, associated with the confederate submarine Hunley; Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and numerous Governors including Albert Brewer, George Wallace and most recently Bob Riley.