John W. Thompson Priory #3
Knights of the York Cross of Honor

Historically, the Templar Order was established to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. As a military order, their efforts were performed with such zeal that Chivalric Masonry was designated to commemorate the qualities exhibited by those Knights of the past and the active promotion of the Order by English Freemasons led to her growth in America.

A Priory is the highest Masonic York Rite body as it is a compilation of York Rite Masonry. Its Masonic Degree is called the Knights of the York Cross of Honor (KYCH) and only those who have been elected and served as a Worshipful Master of a Lodge, an Excellent High Priest of a Holy Royal Arch Chapter, a Thrice Illustrious Master of a Royal and Select Master Council and an Eminent Commander of a Knights Templar Commandery are eligible for membership.

On May 9, 1997 in Chicago, Illinois, the Nation's third Priory in all of Prince Hall Masonry was chartered. John W. Thompson Priory #3 came into existence through the efforts of Charles M. Jones. At inception, there were only two other chartered Priories in the country namely Alpha Priory #1 of Ohio and John Gilmore Priory #2 of Pennsylvania. After receiving the degrees from Alpha Priory #1, Jones drove for the establishment of the order within Illinois which became a reality in 1997.

John W. Thompson, Jr. Priory #3 was named in honor of the foremost Masonic historian within the State of Illinois. A Past Master of Universal Lodge #65, Past Most Excellent Grand High Priest, Past Right Eminent Grand Commander and Grand Recorder for the Most Illustrious Prince Hall Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters, Thompson was a man among men with a legacy within the Order that was second to none. As such, his name was a fitting name to promote the highest York Rite Body within the state.

The charter officers of John W. Thompson Priory #3 included:

  • Eminent Prior: Charles M. Jones, Jr.
  • Deputy Prior: Elmer S. Redd
  • Herald: Clyde L. Jenkins
  • Treasurer: Archie Leach
  • Registrar: Damon P. Anderson, Sr.
  • Prelate: William F. Redmond
  • 1st Lecturer: Tommy Sims
  • 2nd Lecturer: Leroy Gary
  • 3rd Lecturer: James A. Mitchell
  • 4th Lecturer: Raymond Tucker
  • Warder: Erlee Brown
  • Sentinel: Odell Poole