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Virtual Event Topic: Strategic Assessment of our Masonic Facilities
James D. Cole, 33°, was installed as the nineteenth Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council, 33°, Southern Jurisdiction, USA, on August 19, 2019.
A Mason since 1983, he served as Worshipful Master of Craighill Lodge No. 160, Elliston, Virginia, in 1987 and as Virginia's Grand Master in 2001. Coroneted a 33º Inspector General Honorary on October 3, 2001, on January 1, 2003, he was appointed Deputy of the Supreme Council in Virginia; on October 7, 2003, he was crowned as an Active Member, later serving as Grand Treasurer General and Lieutenant Grand Commander.
He is a Royal Arch Mason, a Knight Templar, a National Sojourner, a Shriner, a member of the York Rite College, a life member of the Royal Order of Scotland, a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, a life member of the Scottish Rite Research Society, a Past Puissant Sovereign of the Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine, a Past Sovereign Master of the Allied Masonic Degrees. He holds 9th Grade membership in the Masonic Societas Rosicruciana and remains active in the Grand Lodge of Virginia, serving as Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of England and as a member of the Code Commission.
His honors include: honorary membership in 11 lodges; the Legion of Honor from DeMolay International and honorary membership on the International Supreme Council; the Grand Cross of Color from the Rainbow for Girls; the Pierpont Edwards Medal from the Grand Lodge of Connecticut for outstanding Masonic Service; the Grand Lodge of Virginia's highest award, the George Washington Distinguished Service Medal; commission as an honorary Kentucky Colonel; the Odie R. Howell Leadership Award from the Virginia DeMolay Foundation; the Albert Mackey Medal from the Grand Lodge of South Carolina; and Honorary membership in the Conference of Grand Secretaries of North America.
Born in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1958, he moved to Virginia in 1969, where he and his wife Mary Ann reside; they have two children and five grandchildren. Formerly employed as CEO of the Masonic Home of Virginia, Brother Cole is a CPA whose previous professional experience includes practice with an international accounting firm and almost 20 years in a variety of positions at Virginia Tech, a large public university. He holds both a bachelor's and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech. Both an author and consultant, he has served numerous companies, universities and non-profit organizations, including Masonic groups throughout the country, and has been a frequent speaker at business conferences.
Brother Cole has been active in community and church service, including more than 25 years teaching an adult Bible class and serving as an active lay speaker since age 15. He has been a high school basketball referee, a baseball umpire, a youth basketball and baseball coach, and a high school football announcer. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his grandchildren, reading and golf.