Indendent Order of Odd Fellows is one of the largest and oldest fraternal orders in the United States. Odd Fellowship was founded in England where it grew up during the 18th century. The Patriotic Order in England was followed by the Union of United Orders and the Loyal Order. In 1813, various lodges of the Union organized the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows. American Odd Fellowship was founded as the Washington Lodge #1 in Baltimore in 1819, and the following year affiliated with the Manchester Unity. The three links of Odd Fellowship symbol represent Friendship, Love, and Truth.
To Improve and Elevate the Character of Man
In 17th century England, it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and of pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. Those who belonged to such an organization were called "Odd Fellows". Odd Fellows are also known as "The Three Link Fraternity" which stands for Friendship, Love and Truth.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded on the North American Continent in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819 when Thomas Wildey and four members of the Order from England instituted Washington Lodge No. 1. This lodge received its charter from Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England.
Odd Fellowship became the 1st National Fraternity to include both men and women when it adopted the beautiful Rebekah Degree on September 20, 1851. This degree is based on the teachings found in the Holy Bible, and was written by the Honorable Schuyler Colfax who was Vice President of the United States during the period 1868-1873. Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were also the first fraternal organization to establish homes for our senior members and for orphaned children
A NEW PLACE TO MEET (The Three Links Building) The building, above, was originally built in 1914. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows has occupied the building since 1921. In 1964 they added the facade you see today, and they were so enthusiastic by this modern update that they threw a party on July 19, 1964 to celebrate it.
WE ARE A NON-PROFIT
CHARTERED AUGUST 21, 1841
THE ODD FELLOW CREED
Genuine Friendship, which hears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, is the first step toward progress and personal enrichment, and the teachings of Temperance, Prudence, and Justice. Love is the basis for all life’s ambitions, service to humanity, and more family oriented. Truth, the imperial virtue, promotes economic stability, equality under law, freedom of enterprise, the highest of ethical standards, and lasting peace, the ultimate goal of fraternity. Universal Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God is imperative to the survival of the World, and can be accomplished only through the practice of fellowship and understanding among all peoples and nations.
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ST. LOUIS LODGE NO. 5
INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODD FELLOWS
FRIENDSHIP LOVE AND TRUTH
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