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Damascus Temple History

Who We Are

The Prince Hall Shriners are one of the oldest African American fraternal organizations in the United States.

Local History

Damascus Temple No. 58 was chartered August 18, 1912 A.D. in Louisville Kentucky under the leadership of Illustrious Potentate James H. Black. Noble Black served as Illustrious Potentate for many years to come. In the early days Damascus Temple No. 58 would hold their meetings at various members’ homes and a number of community churches. They were known in the community as the “Black Shriners”.

In 1992 Damascus Temple No. 58 hosted the 99th annual Imperial Counsel Session in the Oasis of Louisville; Desert of Kentucky under the leadership of Illustrious Potentate Pink J. Garner, Deputy of the Oasis (Louisville) Robert L. Hester, Deputy of the Desert (Kentucky) Huge R. Harland Jr., the presiding Imperial Potentate was Roy M. Moore of Egyptian Temple No. 5 Oasis of Los Angeles, Desert of California,. Damascus Temple No. 58 has a host of auxiliary units within the main body. The Legion of Honor members are comprised of those members that have shown to be above and beyond the average Noble. The LOH annually donated money to its adopted charity, the Roscoe C. Washington Student Aid Fund. “Lean on Me” and “If I can Help Somebody” was accepted as the LOH theme songs and is sung at each induction ceremony. The Past Potentate Council are actual and Honorary Past Potentates of Damascus Temple No. 58. Their mission is to lend good council and wisdom to the current Illustrious Potentate and the nobility as a whole. The Clown Unit AKA “The Derby City Klowns” has a mission to put a smile on every child face. The unit is involved in many activates throughout the year. Events such as the Derby Parade, the annual Barry Town YMCA Christmas party, St Stephens Halloween party “Trunk or Treat” and many other local charity events. Damascus Temple No. 58 continues to donate to many known and unknown charities in and around the Jefferson county community; Black Achievers, the 100 Black Men of Louisville, Kosair Shrine Temple, the Chestnut Street and Berry Town YMCS, the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of KY just to name a few. Damascus Temple Foundation, Inc is a socially responsible non-profit organization committed to serving disadvantaged and at-risk children and families in need. Their mission is to enhance and improve the health, education and welfare of the youth and disadvantaged in our communities. Damascus Temple No. 58 and the Prince Hall Shriners are showing their dedication to find a cure for diabetes. We have teamed up with the National Diabetes Initiative (NDI); our collaboration with the American Diabetes Association and their Research Foundation demonstrates our commitment to stamping out this debilitating disease. The Shriners as Mentors is a program to mentor at-risk” and “high-risk” African -American male youths and is a forum to improve educational deficiencies. There are many other local activities that the Temple participates in annually. The Earvin R. Williams Easter egg Hunt, the annual Temple Senior Dinner, the annual Thanksgiving food basket giveaway, annual community Christmas party and so many more too numerous to mention. Current Illustrious Potentate Simeon Pullum is working hard in and around the Louisville communities to set the example for others to follow. Damascus Temple No. 58 meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 1304 S. 28th Street Louisville.