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Grand Masters

Past Most Worshipful Grand Masters of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Delaware and its Jurisdiction, F & AM

Available GMs Bios:

Select tab on the left to read the respective bio.

1 Herschel Draine
2 C. Portfield Harris
3 Marvin I. Gray
4 Solomon L. Henry
5 Frederick A. Duffy
1 Herschel Draine

Herschel Draine

Brother Draine, a native of Milton, Delaware, was an active member of Rising Sun Lodge # 4, Free & Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliated for more than fifty years. He rose through the ranks, holding all the various offices, and served several terms as Worshipful Master. He took great pleasure and pride being the instructor to the newly initiated and older Brothers.

 

In 1956, Brother Draine was duly elected to the position of Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F. & A.M. for the State of Delaware and its’ Jurisdictions. He was the first and only elected Grand Master from the Third Masonic District (Sussex County) and served two (2) one year terms.

 

On display in the Lydia B. Cannon Museum, are his original Grand Lodge gold chain collar and apron, the official regalia of Past Most Worshipful Grand Master of De.

2 C. Portfield Harris

C. Portfield Harris

C. Portfield Harris, affectionately known as “CP”, was born in our neighboring state of Maryland, in a town called Harve de Grace. He moved to Delaware and was educated in the Wilmington Public School System.

 

Upon graduation, he went on to attend Hampton Institute (now University). There, he distinguished himself in athletics and oratorical contests. He played quarterback, and in 1931 led his team to the CIAA Championship. Past Grand Master Harris also traveled with the famous Hampton Quartet, introducing them before their performances.

 

His usual vocation was that of an educator. He taught science at Bancroft Junior and Howard High school for a total of 32 years. Teaching was so much a part of his life that even after retirement, he continued to teach. He worked in both the parochial school system and the adult education system through James H. Groves High School.

 

Because of his commitment, Past Grand Master Harris was appointed by then Governor Russell W. Peterson, in 1970, to serve on the Council on Adult Corrections. He also became a member of the Wilmington Advisory Council on the Aging.

 

His Masonic career began in Star in the East Lodge #1, where he became Worshipful Master. He also was a member of Corinthian Consistory #5, where he served as their secretary. In 1961, he was awarded the honorary 33rd degree of Masonry. Other Masonic affiliations include Suakim Temple #60 (where he was a past Potentate), and Past Grand Patron of St. Matthew’s Grand Chapter, OES. He served as Most Worshipful GrandMaster of Mason for the Most Worshipful prince Hall Grand Lodge of the State of Delaware from 1958-62.

 

Most Worshipful Harris was a member of Central Baptist Church, where he served in several capacities: deacon, church treasurer, trustee, choir member, and Vacation Bible school teacher.

3 Marvin I. Gray

Marvin I. Gray

Marvin I. Gray was born in Rutherfordton, North Carolina on September 17, 1934. His father, Reverend Felix L. Gray was a Minister of a Holiness Church and his mother, Rose Gray was a church Missionary. He was educated in both Rutherfordton and Spindale, North Carolina. Upon graduation, Most Worshipful Gray went on to attend North Carolina A&T, in Greensboro, North Carolina. Having great athleticism, he was a member of the football team.

 

Most Worshipful Gray interrupted his studies to join the United States Air Force, so that he could help to support his siblings. The military provided him an opportunity to explore new cultures and people. Most Worshipful Gray had the rare opportunity to serve not only in Europe, but also in Asia. It was while he was in the Sovereign Kingdom of Thailand that he met his wife, Thavorn L. Wong-Ek. Together, they have three lovely children: Laddawan E. Strong, Supoch N. Gray and Michael L. Gray. He went on to retire from the Air Force with 23 years of service, and settled down in Felton, Delaware. His hobbies include an occasional game of golf, and at his wife’s request, fishing.

 

Holding on to the way his parents raised him, Most Worshipful Gray is a student of the Bible and continues to serve the Lord. He currently is an active member of St. James Union Church, AME, of Frederica, Delaware. He is treasurer of the Trustees Steward Board, Sunday school Teacher, member of the Senior and Men’s Choirs, and Chairman of the Annual Honorary Banquet. He try’s to live by the creed: “If I can help one soul, then my living will not have been in vain.”

 

Most Worshipful Gray was made a member of the Prince Hall Masonic family by Edwards Air Force Base Military Lodge #103, while stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, California. He has held the following offices in the subordinate lodges that he’s been affiliated with: Junior and Senior Warden and Worshipful Master. On a Grand scale, he has served as District Deputy GrandMaster, Worshipful Grand Lecturer, RW Grand Junior and Senior Warden, and RW Deputy GrandMaster. It was on June 26, 1993 that Past Master Marvin I. Gray was elected as Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons, for the State and Jurisdiction of Delaware. He has continued to be re-elected to this office every year since.

 

Most Worshipful Gray knows that the ultimate measure of his tenure will not be how he has stood during times of comfort and convenience, but rather how he faces up to trials and barriers that lie in his path to leading this Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge the next millennium. He has thus demonstrated that he is a patient man. He neither is conservative or radical, choosing to be prudent in all of his decision making. He has shown that he is a man of vision and demonstrated his firm conviction of the need for organization.

 

Most Worshipful GrandMaster Marvin I. Gray knows that today, more than ever, there is a need for a unity of people. Life is too short, and time is fleeting. He therefore has applied the same measure to his life as Frederick Douglass, who said, “Judge me not by the heights that I have attained, but the depths from which I came.” In doing this, he can be assured that his work will live after him. After a long illness, Marvin I. Gray 85, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, November 18, 2019.

4 Solomon L. Henry

Solomon L. Henry

Solomon L. Henry was born September 9, 1933, and was raised in Georgetown, DE, the son of the late John J. and Mary A. Henry, along with six brothers and one sister. He was educated at Richard Allen School in Georgetown. Richard Allen School consisted of grades one through eleven. His educational journey began in 1939 during the period of segregation, when black students had to travel to Delaware State College, currently Delaware State University, Dover, DE or Howard High School in Wilmington, DE to complete the twelfth grade. Solomon chose to attend and graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School for Boys in Philadelphia, PA.

 

After graduation he returned to Georgetown and was employed J. G. Townsend, Jr. & Co., processor of frozen vegetables. In 1997, he was appointed Plant Manager of J.G. Townsend & Co. In 2000 he was honored for 50 years with the company. He gives credit to all the people who worked with him to make it possible. Today he thanks God for giving him the perseverance to work hard, to be dependable, and to be dedicated to the organization that he represented as an employee.

 

In 2002, he had the pleasure of a visit from U.S. Senator Tom Carper, who dropped in to see the Townsend Operations. The Senator said he wanted to shake the hand of the man that had given his services to a company for over 50 years. He said that J.G. Townsend was a very lucky to have someone so dedicated and it was a pleasure to meet him. Two weeks later, Mr. Henry received a letter of thanks and an expression of gratitude from the Senator.

 

Bro. Henry became a Mason in 1958 when he was accepted as a member of Prince Hall Lodge #14 in Frankford, DE. He was Worshipful Master of that Lodge from 1965 to 1971. Appointed District Grand Lecturer, in 1967, he continued to advance and in 2000 was elected the Most Worshipful Grand master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State and Jurisdiction of Delaware. He served a one-year term as Chairman of the North East Regional Conference of Grand Masters. The Region includes DE, PA, NJ, NY, RI, CT, MA and Canada. His other Masonic affiliations include: Honorary Past Master of Morning Star Lodge #10, Past Patron of Lily of the Valley #14, OES – PHA; member of G. Oscar Carrington Consistory #93, Honorary Illustrious Potentate of Suakim Temple #60; Grand Inspector General of the Thirty Third and last degree of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Freemasonry, PHA, Northern Jurisdiction, USA, Inc.; Honorary Past Grand High Priest of the Most Excellent Grand Chapter of Holy Royal Arch Masons, PHA; Honorary Grand Joshua of Queen of Sheba Most Ancient Grand Court, Heroines of Jericho, PHA; and member of African Lodge #459, F&AM, Boston, MA (oldest Black Lodge in the world).

 

Bro. Henry is a member of Prospect A.M.E. Church, Georgetown, DE; a member of the NAACP and belongs to the Delaware Safety Association. He is married to Delores Beasley Henry; with two daughters from his first marriage, four stepchildren and nine grandchildren. The family enjoys playing games, talking and hanging out together.

 

Bro. Henry’s Mother and Father taught him to be respectful and nice to people and people in turn will be respectful and nice. His favorite quote is: “It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.”

5 Frederick A. Duffy

Frederick A. Duffy

Frederick A. Duffy was born November 9, 1949 in Lincoln “Greentop”, Delaware to the late William B. Duffy, Sr. and Willie Mae Duffy. A single father raised him along with his 2 brothers after his mother’s untimely death when he was just 6. His family includes his wife of 47 years, Delema, three daughters; Martina, Tishara, and Evelyn. Frederick has two grandchildren; Ashlee (Devon) and Charles, and two great grandchildren: Aree and Desire. This group of individuals make his life worth living. He was educated in the Milford School District graduating in 1967 from Milford High School. His undergraduate degree came from Delaware State University in Elementary Education (1971) with his graduate degree coming from University of Delaware (1984) in Instruction and ended his career with a Masters +60.

 

Mr. Duffy has worked as an elementary teacher and high school special education teacher, a high school assistant principal, and a high school and elementary principal. His work history also includes being the supervisor of special programs and adjunct professor at Wilmington University, which afforded him 42 years of educational service to young people in the state of Delaware.

 

Frederick has always been an active participant in many civic, community, professional, and fraternal organizations on the local, state, and national levels. To name a few; he is a proud member of Phi Delta Kappa Educational Fraternity, National Education Association, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Kent County Youth Program, Greater Milford Boys and Girls Club, President Kent and Sussex Industries Inc., Vice President Milford Senior Center, Carlisle Fire Company Advisory Board, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, and Future Farmers of America. Mr. Duffy is a member of the Mt. Enon Baptist Church where his roles include chairman of the deacons, trustee, the treasurer of the church, bus driver, lawn maintenance, and other duties as assigned. He has been a Sunday school teacher and the Superintendent of the Sunday school department, as well as being a member of the choir. He has mentored students in the Lake Forest, Milford, and Cape Henlopen School Districts

 

Frederick A. Duffy has been an active member of the lodge since 1982. He has been active in the Consistory as well as the Order of the Eastern Stars where he was the Grand Worthy Patron from 1999 until 2001 masonic years. Frederick is a member of Rising Sun Lodge #4 as a past master. He is a 33rd degree Master Mason who belongs to G. Oscar Carrington Consistory # 93, and
the Most Worshipful Past Grand Master of the State of Delaware in 2016. As an active member
of the lodge since 1982, he has been the Worshipful Master of Rising Sun Lodge # 4 for three
terms, as well as Senior Warden of the year in 1986. His involvement in the Order of Eastern
Star (Rock of Ages # 15) includes a few times serving as Worthy Patron of the chapter and he was
able to serve with two of his daughters; Martina and Evelyn when they were Worthy Matrons. In
1989, He is an active member of the Commander of the Rites where he serves as the 2nd Vice
President.

 

To say the least this humble and mild manner man has grown into quite the distinguished gentleman and continues to serve his community. He continues to keep giving back despite the many obstacles he has faced both personally and professionally. To God be the glory!

Complete List:

 NameLodge         Years of Service
1)Levi Anderson#1                 1849
2)Robert H. Lewis  
3)Moses Wilson  
4)William Blunt  
5)Frisby J. Cooper  
6)John W. Layton  
7)Benjamin J. L. Tomilinson  
8)Peter S. Williams  
9)William Caldwell# 21 
10)Thomas E. Postels  
11)Albert H. Bradley  
12)Amos F. Johnson  
13)John L. Hubert# 21         1918 – 24 / 1935 – 40
14)Conwell Banton# 21         1924 – 35
15)G. Oscar Carrington# 1         1940 – 47 / 1949 – 51
16)Clarence Burton# 1         1947 – 49
17)Perry Reese# 8         1951 – 56
18)Hershell Draine# 4         1956 – 58
19)C. Porterfield Harris – [Bio]# 1         1958 – 62
20)Stewart Simmons# 7         1962 – 66
21)Courtney P. Houston, Jr.# 6         1966 – 79
22)Herbert C. Norris# 1         1979 – 93
23)Marvin I. Gray – [Bio]# 28         1993 – 2001
24)Solomon L. Henry – [Bio]#14         2001 – 2005
25)James R. Fitzgerald, Jr.# 1         2005 – 2009
26)Franklin S. Chandler Sr.# 7         2009 – 2013
27)Nathaniel E. Williams# 6         2013 – 2016
28)Frederick A. Duffy# 4         2016 – 2017
29)Isacce Morris# 21         2017 – Present