The namesake of the Order of DeMolay was born in, France in 1244. At 21, DeMolay joined the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar was founded in 1118, when nine Knights took vows to protect Jerusalem and the Holy Lands. The Templars quickly earned a name for valor and heroism. Sanctioned by the Catholic Church, many nobles and princes sent their sons to join the Knights Templar, and the Order became very wealthy and popular. Because of their uprightness and solid credit, they were the bankers for many including the French Royal Family. In 1298, Jacques DeMolay was named Grand Master of the Knights Templar, a position of power and prestige. He was however in a difficult position as their raison deter had ceased with the loss of the Holy Lands. Philip IV of France, like much European royalty, deeply in debt to the Templars set out to take over the Knights. On Friday, October 13, 1307, Philip and French Pope Clement tried to suppress the Order throughout Europe, with false accusations, arrests, torture and executions. The rest of Europe found them innocent and left them to merge with other orders. For seven years, DeMolay and the Knights suffered torture and inhumane conditions. DeMolay stayed loyal to his comrades and their beliefs. On March 18, 1314, the Pope planned for DeMolay & his three first dignitaries to publicly confess their guilt and be reconciled to the church. Jacques DeMolay instead professed his and the Templars’ innocence. King Philip ordered him burned at the stake that day. This brave death deeply impressed the people and thus the story of Jacques DeMolay became a testimonial to loyalty and friendship.
Frank S. Land was the founder The Order of DeMolay and was founded in 1919, in Kansas City, Missouri. Land was a community leader, who at 28, already had a successful business career as a restaurateur. Frank S. Land was selected to act as the director of the Masonic Relief and Employment Bureau of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. This charity would come to help hundreds and hundreds of families. Land’s Blue Lodge Senior Warden asked Frank to find a part-time job for Louis Lower, the oldest son of a recently deceased lodge member. After meeting with Lower and discussing the situation with his wife Nell, Frank decided there was a need for an organization where boys would have the opportunity to associate with other boys, share common interests, learn responsibility and other skills that would benefit them throughout their lives. His ideal model for this organization included having business or professional men, Masons, taking interest in the young people, being a friend to them, advising them. They decided to form a club and meet at the Masonic Temple. The first meeting was with Lower and 8 friends. Heroic figures from history & the Bible were discussed for the group’s name. A picture of DeMolay caught their interest and Land explained his story of loyalty and courage. The group liked the name, but Land encouraged them to think on it and come back on March 24 with other suggestions and more friends. The night of March 24, 31 members voted on the name DeMolay