In 1962, a group of Master Masons received a warrant and dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Texas Ancient Free & Accepted Masons to form a subsequent Lodge in Longview, Texas (Longview Lodge No. 404 was located downtown). The Lodge took residence in the Pine Tree Community of Longview and was called Pine Tree Lodge. In December, at the Grand Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Texas, Pine Tree Lodge was charted as the one thousand three hundred ninety-sixth Masonic Lodge in Texas. Thus, Pine Tree Lodge No. 1396 was born. The Lodge moved into a two-story residential structure on Premier Road. A new Lodge building was erected on Pine Tree Road in 1977, which still serves as the Lodge’s meeting place today.
Since 1962, the small Lodge on the outskirts of Longview has become the strongest and most active Lodge in East Texas. Today, more than 300 Master Masons call Pine Tree Lodge home.
The Lodge maintains its ties to the community by supporting Public Schools and honoring those committed to public service. Each year, the Lodge sponsors the Take Time to Read Program at Pine Tree Primary School, Spring Hill Primary School, and White Oak Primary School. Additionally, the Lodge awards the Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar Medal of Educational Excellence and a college scholarship to a graduating senior from each of Pine Tree High School, Spring Hill High School, and White Oak High School. The Lodge also honors a deserving member of the community with the Community Builder Award. This award was developed to recognize non-Masons who have gone the extra mile in providing community service. Past recipients have been elected officials, educators, pastors, and community organizers.
In 2009, the officers of Pine Tree Lodge were the driving force in the formation of a Masters’, Wardens’, & Secretary’s Association (MWSA) in the Tenth Masonic District of Texas. The MWSA meets at various Lodges within the district to encourage communication and camaraderie among the Lodges.
The future of Pine Tree Lodge has yet to be written. A generation ago, a group of men petitioned to form a new Lodge. They labored to extend and propagate the tenets of Freemasonry and set the foundation of Pine Tree Lodge. However, Freemasonry was not new to the community. A century earlier, a Masonic Lodge served the community of Pine Tree. Tusculum Lodge No. 86 served the community from 1851 to 1881, but the Lodge demised and surrendered its charter to the Grand Lodge of Texas. The only way to keep Pine Tree Lodge from suffering a similar fate is for the current members to labor just as hard as those men in 1962. The future lies with those who will follow in our footsteps, just as we follow in those footsteps left by the Charter Members. If you are interested in becoming a Mason and joining Pine Tree Lodge to lead it into tomorrow, remember; TO BE ONE, ASK ONE.