What is Eastern Star?
The members of the Order of the Eastern Star are dedicated women and men who sincerely reflect the spirit of fraternal love and the desire to work together for good. It gives them the opportunity to give a part of their time to many projects that benefit mankind. Our lessons are scriptural, our purposes are beneficent, and our teachings are moral.
MISSISSIPPI holds a unique place in the history of the Order of the Eastern Star. First, because there have been two Grand Chapters in the state. Second, because Dr. Rob Morris, the man who conceived the idea and wrote the Ritual of the Order was a Mississippi Master Mason and conferred the degrees of the Order for the first time in the city of Jackson. The Grand Chapter now owns the Little Red Schoolhouse where Dr. Morris was teaching when he began to see the possibilities of such an order.
The first Grand Chapter of Mississippi was organized in 1870, becoming the second Grand Chapter to be organized. The Yellow Fever in 1878 prevented a meeting and apprehension thereafter in following years further meetings were impossible causing the Grand Patron, J. L. Power to request in 1881 the transferring of the Order in this state to the fostering care of the General Grand Chapter.
It was the Spring of 1906 before General Grand Chapter issued charters to sixteen chapters in Mississippi. A meeting was called on May 20, 1906 at Meridian to organize the Grand Chapter of Mississippi. Ten chapters were represented at that meeting and of those ten, two are still active chapters.
The Grand Chapter of Mississippi has been honored with many General Grand Chapter appointments but our pride was in the election of our own Edward F. McDonald, Past Grand Patron to the high office of Most Worthy Grand Patron in 1988. He served with Sister Lois J. Newman, Past Grand Matron of Missouri during the 1988-1991 triennium.
Purposes: The stated purposes of the organization are: Charitable, Educational, Fraternal and Scientific; but there is much more to it than that. Dr. Rob Morris, the Poet Laureate of Masonry, founded the Order using the beautiful and inspiring Biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values. These portray the noble principles which should adorn the personal lives of Eastern Star members. Eastern Star strives to take good people and through uplifting and elevating associations of love and service, and through precept and example build an Order which is truly dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness.
Projects: Concrete evidence of the charitable nature of the organization as it affects others is the millions of dollars which have been raised within the membership to support national, jurisdictional, and local charities.