James Morris Ward was born August 10, 1930. in Dyersburg, located in northwest Tennessee about ninety miles north of Memphis. Today he resides with his wife, the former Janet Doublin (Jan), in Jackson, Mississippi. They are the parents of one daughter, Kathy. Sir Knight Ward and his wife are members of Griffith Memorial Baptist Church where he is an active deacon and serves on the Finance, Budget and Bylaws committees. He also has been a member of several civic and professional organizations and actively participates in the United Givers Fund Drives, Savings Bond Drives, and Blood Assurance Programs.
Sir Knight Ward obtained his early education in the public schools of Dyersburg. After graduation from high school in 1948, he attended the University of Mississippi and later the University Center in Jackson where he completed courses in business administration, mathematics, and engineering. In 1965-66, he completed studies in mathematics, electronics, and economics at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.
He was employed by South Central Bell Telephone company for 35 1/2 years and during that period worked in engineering and construction management positions. At the time of his retirement in 1991, he was manager of district construction operations in Jackson, Mississippi.
Raised in Pearl Lodge No. 23, Jackson, Mississippi, on August 25,1967, Sir Knight Ward served as Master of his Lodge in 1971 and is now the Secretary. In 1979, he was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, and is now a member of the board of managers of the Masonic Children's Home. He is a past president and is Secretary/Treasurer of the Mississippi Masonic Youth Foundation, Inc.
He is a past presiding officer of his Chapter, Council and Commandery and is Secretary/Recorder of these York Rite bodies. He was Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of R.A.M. of Mississippi in 1985; Grand Master of the Grand Council of R. & S.M. of Mississippi, in 1986; and Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Mississippi. in 1982. He is a member of the Finance and/or Jurisprudence Committees of these grand bodies. He is a holder of the Knight Commander of the Temple and Knight Grand Cross of the Temple of the Grand Encampment.
He was elected Grand Sovereign of the United Imperial Council, Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine and Appendant Orders, in June of 1994, and he is a present or past officer of the following: the Grand College of America, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests; the Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees; and the Grand College of Rites. He is a member and past presiding officer of Mississippi Priory No. 36, KYCH and Mississippi York Rite College No. 83. He is a member of Tara Council No. 29, Knight Masons Mississippi College SRICF; Royal Order of Scotland; and the Order of Eastern Star. An active member of the International Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay, and a recipient of the Honorary DeMolay Legion of Honor. He is a member of the Scottish Rite Bodies of Jackson, A. & A.S.R., Southern Jurisdiction, and is Past Commander of the Council of Kadosh. He has served and is serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Jackson Bodies and has been invested with the rank and dignity of Knight Commander Court of Honor.
Elected to office on August 12, 1997, at the Adam's Mark Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, Most Eminent Grand Master James Morris Ward (pictured on our February cover) will preside over 220,000 Sir Knights who comprise the Knights Templar of the United States of America Our new Grand Master was appointed Right Eminent Department Commander of the Southeastern Department, 1982-1985, by Sir Knight Ned E. Dull, Most Eminent Grand Master, August 19, 1982. He was elected Right Eminent Grand Captain General of the Grand Encampment on August 9, 1988. in Lexington. Kentucky. He was elected Right Eminent Grand Generalissimo on August 20, 1991, in Washington, D.C. He was elected Right Eminent Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Encampment on August 16, 1994, and installed August 17, 1994 in Denver, Colorado. He was elected Most Eminent Grand Master of the Grand Encampment on August 12, 1997, and was installed on August 13. 1997. in St Louis, Missouri.
Reference: Biography, February 1998 Edition of the Knight Templar Magzine, page 7,8