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Purpose and Activities of the Knights Templar Organization

    Integrity, Obedience, Courage

    The Knights Templar is a Christian-oriented fraternal organization that was founded in the 11th century. Originally, the Knights Templar were laymen who protected and defended Christians travelling to Jerusalem. These men took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and were renowned for their fierceness and courage in battle.

    Today, the Knights Templar display their courage and goodwill in other ways. They organize fund-raising activities such as breakfasts, dinners, dances, and flea markets. They support Masonic-related youth groups and they raise millions of dollars for medical research and educational assistance.

    Currently, Templar membership consists of people from all walks of life, including doctors, lawyers, clergy, businessmen and entertainment personalities, all of whom profess a belief in the Christian Religion.

       Masonic Connection

    All Knights Templar are members of the world's oldest fraternal organization known as "The Ancient Free And Accepted Masons" or more commonly known as "masons". However, not all masons are Templars. Templary is but a part of the Masonic structure known as the "York Rite Of Freemasonry". VISIT:www.yorkrite.org

    Three Levels Of The Knights Templar

    The Knights Templar operate on a local, state and national level. But their religious activities extend across international borders as well. Nationally, there is The Grand Encampment of Knights Templar. This unit defines the 11 rituals and laws governing state and local level organizations. The state level is called A Grand Commandery of Knights Templar. This organization represents members of a state or an area of equivalent size. Finally, the local level unit is called a Commandery of Knights Templar. There are almost 1,300 Commanderies in communities across the United States, Germany, Italy and Mexico, with over 145,000 members. Similar bodies exist in other countries as well.

    To petition a Commandery of Knights Templar for membership, you must first be a member of a Masonic Lodge and other pre-requisite bodies, and must profess a belief In the Christian Religion. Commanderies organize many social activities, including Ladies Auxiliaries, Drill Competitions, Public Divine Services, Family Picnics, Organized Trips, Dinner Parties and Entertainments, Christmas Observances, Easter Sunrise Services, and Memorial Services.

        The Knights Templar Eye Foundation

    The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., is a 501 (C) 3 charity, sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar and was founded in 1956. Its mission is “to improve vision through research, education and supporting access to care.”

    The Foundation is a supporter and partner of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO’s) EyeCare America® and One® Network programs. The Foundation has expended over $148 million since its incorporation with over $24 million, awarded in grants to researchers working in pediatric ophthalmology and ophthalmic genetics.

    The Foundation is funded by donations from the Knights Templar membership, contributions made by Masons from throughout the Masonic Family, and the general public. These tax-deductible donations are designated for either the general or the endowment fund. Many members, as well as non-members, leave bequests as part of their estates supporting the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. in the preservation of sight.

    More information can be obtaining through the web site: www.knightstemplar.org/ktef

        The Knights Templar Educational Foundation

    K.T. Education Foundation Brochure www.knightstemplar.org/KTEdF.pdf

    The Knights Templar Educational Foundation, the first program of its kind, was organized in 1922. Since then, more than $38 million dollars has been loaned to 80,000 students to complete their last two years of college. This financial assistance is given without regard to race, color, creed, age or Masonic affiliation.

    The Knights Templar Educational Foundation Committee considers all applications for scholarship without regard to age, race, religion, National origin, gender, of Masonic ties or affiliations.  These scholarships are not "grants in aid", but are open to all students regardless of their financial circumstances as long as they meet the requirements established by the committee.  Financial aid to students who meet the required qualification may vary from state to state.

    The Knights Templar Holy Land Pilgrimage

    In addition to the many religious observances throughout the year, The Grand Encampment of Knights Templar sponsors an annual "Holy Land Pilgrimage". The purpose of the pilgrimage is to send Christian Ministers to the Holy Land for a Biblical Study and Historical/Cultural Immersion Experience.Masonic membership is not required and the Minister can be male or female.