Supreme Chancellor's Welcome and Program

To all Pythians and Friends,

Welcome to the Knights of Pythias.   If the Order is new to you, explore this site to learn more.  Go to “ASK US A QUESTION” for more information.  The Knights of Pythias offers tremendous potential for friendship, lifelong close friendships, and opportunities for community service, all extremely fulfilling.

The non-sectarian Order is based on the principles of Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence through community service.  It was founded February 19, 1864 by Justus H. Rathbone in Washington, D,C., in part to help bring the country together after the War.  The legendary friendship of Damon and Pythias is fundamental to the Order.  President Lincoln wished initial members well upon learning its purposes.  Presidents McKinley, Harding and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were members, with the last being initiated in the White House, February 1936.

The Order is three-tiered, national and international, Supreme Lodge, state and province, grand lodges, and local, subordinate lodges, existing in the United States, Canada, Italy, and England.  Interested  in joining, go to “ASK ABOUT MEMBERSHIP.”  There are also three auxiliary orders, the Pythian Sisters and Pythian Sunshine Girls, the Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan known as the fun order and the Nomads of Avrudaka, and the Junior Order.

The Knights of Pythias is committed to benefit the public with community service being the means for Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence, and it strongly promotes volunteer service. 

Support of our troops and veterans is longstanding as is the commitment to youth welfare.  There are programs supporting scouting and recognizing eagles scouts, promoting reading for first and second grade students, and a high school poster contest.  The current theme is, “Go Green, Help Save Our World.”  And, new this term are Project Safety, supporting Food Banks and Clothing drives, and Disaster Relief communication and coordination.  The charities of the Order are the American Cancer Society and Canadian Cancer Society.

Hopefully, you will join us with the potential for lasting friendships and unlimited opportunities to improve the quality of life limited only by imagination.

Please see the “Related Organizations” dropdown above, to learn more about our Auxiliaries.

We promote diversity and how it strengthens us, and are “Friends Working Together for a Better Community.”

Joel Fierstien
Supreme Chancellor


Click Here for a copy of the Word Document


Membership is the lifeblood of the Order.  We must focus on growth, recruitment, and retention. We have to be positive, imaginative, and have interesting programs and activities for our brothers and the community.  Grand chancellors and chancellor commanders please accept this challenge.  Each Supreme Lodge officer will work with several domains to bring in new brothers.  Membership tools available from the Supreme Lodge Office such as the Pythian Story, posters, business cards, flash drives, and yard signs are great in promoting and introducing the Knights of Pythias; and, now a new Membership Presentation video.  Personal one to one contact is most effective.  Take advantage of networking opportunities.  Supreme Inner Guard Donald L. Stamm is Membership Chairman for this and tentatively the next term for continuity and development of a plan covering an extended period.  Some domains have initiated large numbers of new Knights, inspirational to all; they should share how they were successful, tell “What works for me.” And, we are now in England!   Ask people to join!


Public Relations succinctly is brand promotion to gain name recognition.  “We must get our name out to the public”, this is imperative!  Create events and opportunities.   Participate in local events such as parades, fairs and festivals which are great with little or no out of pocket cost. A charitable event held by your lodge or domain is another example.  Be visible on electronic media sites, in  media articles, advertise in local publications, contact local radio & television stations, place flyers in local store windows, display yard signs, talk to people, organize activities.  Wear Pythian logo.  Do something.  We want the public to know about us and what we do.  The aim is Visibility and Recognition.


The Grand Lodge Public Relations chairman and committee should coordinate its public relations program with every lodge.   Public Relations is crucial!


Visibility on electronic sites is a must to reach a younger audience.  The website of the Order is a start, but a presence on sites such as Facebook and Twitter reaches a younger population. 

The Website is being revised and updated to be current, to be more informative, provide forms, a link to other Pythian sites, and a restricted non-public section.

Through Google “Ad Words” it is possible to appear immediately at the top of user searches.As an example, when “fraternal order” is sought, our page and link would appear.The pricing is on an auction basis at a rate for a month up to a maximum applicable only when the site is accessed.Information is available on the number of searches.For details, contact Randall Northcutt at 903-663-6054,


The Order embodies Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence through Community Service.  Designate a committee, select some thing or project or an existing project, and promote and publicize whatever is being done at every step - from planning and looking for help through recognition after completion. Conduct or support local food banks and clothing drives.    Capitalize on the great, unlimited opportunity to reach out to the public as well as for prospective members. Be proud of our Order and that we do things to benefit the community.



Reach the public and do things by volunteering your services and helping people.  Ask others to join you so that we may continue and expand our great work.  The Volunteer Program and commitment to Community Service are great membership and advertising tools.  Service for the public good distinguishes the Knights of Pythias as unique.


A Brother who volunteers 150 hours during the term should submit the information to the lodge secretary to be forwarded by the deputy supreme chancellor to the Supreme Secretary.   The Brother will receive a certificate of appreciation from the Supreme Lodge. 



This program is to encourage lodges to have programs to promote safety and awareness of potential hazards at home, work, and while traveling to anticipate and to avoid sources of injury.  Contact SR William Peal. 541-276-9112,, for suggestions.



The Supreme Prelate will coordinate communications to assist contact and recovery in areas affected by storm, flood, or otherwise when contact may not otherwise be available locally or within a domain. In the event there is no contact by a subordinate lodge with its grand lodge, the Supreme Prelate will attempt to facilitate communications and contact upon request.   Explore FEMA free courses which may be helpful to prepare for emergencies and to participate in relief efforts.



-The Pythian International is the official publication of the Supreme Lodge.  Its purpose is to inform the Pythian Order of what’s going on currently.  It is published electronically with hard copy available through lodge secretaries.  To view, go to our website, PYTHIAS.ORG.  Send information and photos to the Editor expeditiously. This will keep Pythian International fresh and informative.


There is always something happening somewhere in the Pythian Order! 




Medallion, Membership Acquisition (MAP), New Lodge, Rank Work, Honor Lodge, Membership Champion, and American Canadian Cancer Societies, Support our Troops and Veterans

            MEDALLION PROGRAM -Bronze and Silver medallions are available from the Supreme Lodge, and are an excellent way to honor members of the community and Order.

            MEMBERSHIP ACQUSITION PROGRAM- The Supreme Lodge will reimburse grand lodges or subordinate lodges up to $250.00, $10.00 per new Knight between September 1, 2018-June 30, 2020, subject to the budget, with a plan submitted more than 2 weeks prior to an event and a report following the event.

            NEW LODGES- Each domain is requested to start a new lodge.  The Supreme Lodge will give the Founder $250.00 and a new lodge a set of supplies.

            RANK WORK- Each domain is encouraged to develop a team of ritualists and alternates capable of presenting from memory where possible as that is most impressive to initiates.

 HONOR LODGE- This program is to recognize lodges doing an outstanding job, with a certificate awarded and letter of commendation from the Supreme Chancellor, with application made on a prescribed form.

 MEMBERSHIP CHAMPION- This program is to honor a brother for bringing in new brothers, to be nominated on the appropriate form submitted by the deputy supreme chancellor and to be selected by the Supreme Chancellor, Membership Chairman, and Supreme Secretary.  The recipient will receive a $1000 credit only to be applied towards the 2020 Supreme Lodge convention.

 AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY/CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY- These are the official charities of the Order, for promotion, participation, and fund-raising.  How dreaded and prevalent cancer in its many forms is and who hasn’t been affected.  This is our commitment to charity and support of those with cancer and their families and the opportunity for community service, volunteering,

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, VETERANS- The nations’ military and veterans deserve our support for their dedication and sacrifices to preserve our way of life, ideals, and freedoms.

Further information for these programs may be found in the prior two terms’ Programs with details, forms, and applications available from the Supreme Secretary.

EXISTING LODGES – Review how a lodge operates.   How closely does your lodge relate to ritual?  If not, change.  Some ideas:  interesting meetings, advanced planning, outside speakers, greet new members, give new and younger members a chance, new members on committees, officers, share responsibilities with younger members, call a Brother who is sick, offer a ride to attend, include Spouses or significant others in events, make meetings and events appealing and open, but in accord with our Statutes.  Make brothers proud to be Pythians.  Show what we have accomplished over 154 years.  Supreme Lodge Officers and the Deputy Supreme Chancellor are available to assist. 

If we convince former members we have made changes, perhaps they re-join.  As to former members who have moved, perhaps we can find a lodge closer to their new home.  It is often easier to recruit a former brother because he has some knowledge as to the Order. The keys to our future are limited only by the imagination. 

Share successful programs in the Pythian International and on our website, “What works for me.”

Describe your program so that other lodges and domains may be inspired and find something new for their brothers as well as community projects. 

DEPUTY SUPREME CHANCELLORS – The role of Deputy Supreme Chancellor (DSC) is important and vital to the Order and the Supreme Chancellor as a direct link to the grand lodge, a personal representative.  Supreme Lodge Officers will work with specific domains and together with the DSCs will have a great effect on implementation and success of our programs.  DSC’s should be promoting the Supreme Chancellor’s 2018-2020 Program throughout the term.  Full, complete, and accurate reports must be submitted to the Chief DSC on a timely basis. 



READ & RIDE PROGRAM --This program originated in Texas and has been a great success.  If a student reads a predetermined number of books, he or she will be eligible to win a bicycle.  It helps children and is our opportunity for great public relations.  The bicycles may be donated by local businesses or may be purchased from the manufacturer or retailer at a discounted price, helmets, also. This is a winning program..  Students enhance their reading skills, local business gets a tax write-off, and the Knights of Pythias gets visibility and potentially new members.   

If you or family has children in elementary school, speak with a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, or library director about the program.   Most effective is for a parent to introduce this worthwhile, winning program.  Contact Joe L. Bennett or Roger Fangman for information.


POSTER/VISUAL ARTS CONTEST -- The new theme is “GO GREEN, HELP SAVE OUR WORLD!”  It is important to recycle, reduce harmful emissions, and use natural energy sources. This is an important contribution by all who participate.   We want students to capture the meaning and spirit of being attentive to protecting our environment as it is the future.  There are monetary prizes to the winners.  The Poster Contest is an excellent opportunity for publicity through media releases throughout the Order, as well as the potential for recruiting new members.  Contact the Supreme Secretary for contest details.



BOY SCOUT/EAGLE SCOUT CONNECTION PROGRAM--The Eagle Scout/Queen’s Scout patch program continues, but without charge. Contact the Supreme Secretary for patches and certificates. Presentation at a Court of Honor provides an ideal opportunity to introduce the Order and to tell our story to scout families and leaders at an event recognizing community service projects something so encouraged by our Order.


JUNIOR ORDER –A Junior Order is a great way to recruit youth.  We must do more to reach students.  Recognize the importance young people as they are the future and our future.  They can help us help people and the community.  Start a Junior Order in your domain.  We will give $100 start-up money to each newly initiated Junior Order Chapter.  Additional information is contained in brochures available from the Supreme Secretary.



The Rathbone Memorial, burial place of our Founder, Justus H. Rathbone, in Utica, NY, is our Pythian shrine.  Every Pythian should visit this beautiful monument.  The memorial contains the Wall of Honor, an ideal place to inscribe the name of a Pythian Brother or Sister.  Contact the Foundation president or the Supreme Secretary for Rathbone Memorial Brochures which contain offering and price details.


SHAKE-A-CAN PROGRAM --Asking for a donation in front of a supermarket or at a shopping mall is easy, effective, and successful.   Introduce yourself and the Knights of Pythias and emphasize that “We help people.” Tell the public we are collecting to support our activities, what we do, our community causes and service projects, our work with youth, and support of the nation’s troops and veterans. Ask everyone to join us so that we may expand our reach.  One to one contact is very effective.   Thank everyone.  “Shake a Can” is an easy way to raise funds and an opportunity to give out membership materials.   In selecting sites, be mindful of the weather, and make sure to obtain necessary approvals from storeowners and governmental bodies.


PROMOTE PYTHIAN AWARENESS WEEK/PYTHIAN RECRUITMENT WEEK.  It is the week in February when the anniversary of the Order falls and when Pythians throughout the Order may act in concert to promote, recruit, as well as to celebrate the history of our great Order.


FOCUS -- The 2018-2020 Supreme Chancellor’s Program focuses on membership, visibility, and community service.  Many aspects from the past are retained, but with new features and approaches.  The aim is to provide leadership, inspiration, and motivation through this term’s program.


Be passionate about the order we love, our great Knights of Pythias.


Live Life to the Fullest.  Do the most for others. 


One person makes a difference.  You are the one!