I am pleased to announce the commencement of South Carolina’s first District Session since re-enactment!  While there are still many things that must be addressed we are moving forward as a collective with the blessings of our Honorable Grandmaster and the Committee of Management

Our mighty team of 2018 Executive Officers are as follows : 1. District Grand Master Shawn Cannon 2. District Deputy Kevin Williams 3. District Grand Secretary Dr. Ralph J. Singleton 4. District Grand Treasurer Derek Gamble 5. District Grand Director Bruce Benjamin 6. District Grand Auditor Preston Samuel. Also note that a District Grand Chaplain has been elected as well so we congratulate Rev. Ira Timmons.

The State should give thanks to Bro. Shawn Cannon for his tireless efforts and countless sacrifices to build a solid foundation for District 13 to stand on.

I would also like to send a special shout out to the youngest and brightest young men to join our Mysterious Three, Brothers Andre and Andrew Williams who attended the district session and justly served as delegates on behalf of Wayman Lodge #1339.  Be on the lookout for these two !

We have come a long way in the past three years and We are blazing a bright trail towards our future.  With the consolidation of the membership, there is nothing that District 13 and the GrandUnited Order of Oddfellows in America and Jurisdiction cannot accomplish !

I leave as I came in the bond of Friendship Love and Truth

Supreme Page, NG

Wayman lodge 1339


Brother Joseph H. Rainey was born on June 21, 1832 in Georgetown, South Carolina, a seaside town consisting mainly of rice plantations. His mother  Grace Rainey was of French descent. His father,Edward Rainey was a barber, and his master permitted him to work independently if he shared some of his profits, as required by law. Rainey used his earnings to buy his family’s freedom in the early 1840s, and in 1846 the family moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where Edward became a barber at the exclusive Mills House Hotel. As giving official instruction to black children was illegal, Joseph Rainey received a limited education and his father taught him the barber’s trade. In 1859, Joseph Rainey traveled to Philadelphia, where he met and married his wife, Susan, also a half–French mulatto, originally from the West Indies. Rainey continued to work as a barber, and the couple had three children: Joseph II, Herbert, and Olivia.

The Confederate Army called Rainey to service when the Civil War broke out in 1861. At first, he dug trenches to fortify the outskirts of Charleston. He later worked as a cook and a steward aboard a blockade runner, a Confederate ship charged with carrying tradeable goods through the Union Navy’s blockade of the South. In 1862, he and his wife escaped to Bermuda. The self–governed British colony had abolished slavery in 1834, and proved a hospitable home for the Raineys, who took advantage of the thriving economy and growing population that resulted from the lucrative blockade–running business. The Raineys lived in St. George and Hamilton, Bermuda, where Joseph set up a successful barbershop and Susan Rainey opened a dress store. It was here that he became one of our brethren,joining Alexandrina lodge no.1026, the second oldest lodge in the West Indies.

The Raineys were informed about the progress of the Civil War by passing sailors and, after the Union victory, returned to Charleston in 1866.

The wealth Joseph Rainey acquired in Bermuda elevated his status in the community, and looked upon as a leader, he soon became active in the Republican Party. In 1867, Rainey returned to Georgetown, South Carolina, and became the Republican county chairman. When a state constitutional convention was called in 1868, Rainey traveled to Charleston to represent Georgetown. In 1869, he also attended a state labor commission and served as Georgetown’s census taker. In the late 1860s, he worked as an agent for the state land commission and was a brigadier general in the state militia. Joseph Rainey was elected to his first public office in 1870 when he won a seat in the state senate, where he immediately became chairman of the finance committee.

In February 1870, Representative Benjamin F. Whittemore resigned his northeastern South Carolina seat, having been charged with selling appointments to U.S. military academies. The Republican Party nominated Rainey for the remainder of Whittemore’s term in the 41st Congress (1869–1871) and for a full term in the 42nd Congress (1871–1873). On October 19, 1870, Rainey won the full term, topping Democrat C. W. Dudley by a substantial majority (63 percent). On November 8, he defeated Dudley once again, garnering more than 86 percent of the vote, in a special election to fill the seat for the remainder of the 41st Congress.  Joseph Rainey was sworn in on December 12, 1870, as the first African American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. One month later he was joined by the second black Member, Representative Jefferson Long of Georgia. Rainey’s moderate policies were met with approval by both African–American and white voters, and he was elected without opposition to the 43rd Congress (1873–1875).

Rainey advocated for his constituents—both black and white. He used his growing political clout to influence the South Carolina state legislature to retain the customs duty on rice, the chief export of the district and the state. He also submitted a petition to improve Charleston Harbor and fought against an appropriations cut for Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter in Charleston. However, Rainey’s committee appointments and policies reflected his desire to defend black civil rights, and his loyalty to the Republican Party. Rainey received seats on three standing committees: Freedmen’s Affairs (41st–43rd Congresses), Indian Affairs (43rd Congress), and Invalid Pensions (44th–45th Congresses, 1875–1879). He also served on several select committees, including the Select Committee on the Centennial Celebration and the Proposed National Census of 1875 (44th Congress) and the Committee on the Freedmen’s Bank (44th Congress).

Rainey’s work on the Committee on Freedmen’s Affairs—created in 1865 to handle all legislation concerning newly freed slaves—earned him the most recognition.  On April 1, 1871, he delivered his first major speech, arguing for the use of federal troops to protect southern blacks from the recently organized Ku Klux Klan. Enumerating the dangers of returning home to South Carolina on congressional breaks, exposing himself to violence by the Red Shirts—a virulent South Carolina white supremacist organization—Rainey said, “When myself and my colleagues shall leave these Halls and turn our footsteps toward our southern homes, we know not that the assassin may await our coming, as marked for his vengeance.” The Ku Klux Klan Act was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on April 20, 1871, but the bill failed to stop Klan terrorism.  After his speech, Rainey received a letter written in red ink instructing him and other advocates of black civil rights to “prepare to meet your God.” White southerners virtually ignored the Ku Klux Klan Act, and congressional opponents circumvented its provisions by eliminating funding. In March of 1872, Rainey found himself arguing for the federal appropriations needed to enforce the act.

Rainey also advocated Radical Republican Senator Charles Sumner’s Civil Rights Bill of 1875, which outlawed racial discrimination on juries, in schools, on transportation, and in public accommodations. Sumner believed a law passed in 1872 granting amnesty to former Confederates should be conditioned by the passage of his civil rights bill. Although Rainey favored the Amnesty Act, which allowed most former Confederates to regain their political rights, he agreed with Sumner because of personal experience with discrimination in both Washington and South Carolina, ranging from exorbitant charges for drinks at a pub, to more serious violations of his civil rights. Rainey also described widespread segregation on public transportation, including trains and streetcars. Speaking for his black constituents, he declared, “We are earnest in our support of the Government. We were earnest in the house of the nation’s perils and dangers; and now, in our country’s comparative peace and tranquility, we are earnest for our rights.”

Rainey focused on the bill’s provisions for desegregation in public schools, an issue that had bedeviled race relations for more than a century. Breaking from fellow Republicans, he was among the minority favoring a $1 poll tax to support public education. Other Republicans successfully argued this would disfranchise most freed slaves. Nonetheless, Rainey continued to advocate education, later arguing that money from the sale of public land should be used to fund public education. Though the Civil Rights Bill passed the House on February 5, 1875, with the Senate quickly concurring, its diluted provisions failed to address desegregation or equality in public schools.

Rainey’s fight against discrimination was not limited to prejudice against African Americans. Appointed to the Committee on Indian Affairs, he made history in April 1874 when he took the chair from Speaker James G. Blaine, becoming the first black American to preside over the House of Representatives.  He oversaw the debate on an appropriations bill providing for the management of Indian reservations. Rainey also generally opposed legislation restricting the influx of Asian immigrants to the United States.

Throughout his career, Rainey involved himself in the economic issues that affected his race. Established by Congress in 1865, the Freedmen’s Savings and Trust Company (Freedmen’s Bank) was envisioned as a means to help newly emancipated African Americans build capital through secure savings. Two–thirds of the bank’s holdings were originally invested in United States treasury bonds. In 1870, an amendment to the bank’s charter allowing half of its deposits to be invested in real estate bonds came to the floor. Recognizing the instability of such an investment, Rainey opposed the amendment and stood behind congressional control over the institution: “I am opposed to any one man holding assets of that bank, having them wholly at his disposal, I do not care who he is, whether he be colored or white, whether he be a German or an Irishman it makes no difference to me. I want no one man to handle the assets of the bank.”  His position on the Select Committee on the Freedmen’s Bank gave him a voice, but he and his colleagues were unable to prevent the bank’s failure in 1874.

After an easy re–election in 1872, Rainey’s subsequent campaigns were made vulnerable by the growing threat to Congressional Reconstruction in the South. In 1874, Rainey faced Independent Republican Samuel Lee, another African American and a former speaker of the state house of representatives, in a dangerous and close campaign. When Rainey planned to travel to a meeting in Bennettsville, South Carolina, friends warned him that Lee’s supporters were planning a violent intervention. Accompanied by a large posse of friends and met by U.S. soldiers upon his arrival, Rainey arrived safely and the meeting was peaceful. Rainey won the election, taking 14,360 votes (52 percent) to Lee’s 13,563, but Lee demanded that the House Committee on Elections void some of Rainey’s votes due to a spelling error in Rainey’s name on some ballots.  The committee upheld Rainey’s election, with the whole House concurring in May 1876. That same year, Rainey defeated Democrat John S. Richardson for a seat in the 45th Congress, again winning a tight campaign with 52 percent of the vote.  Richardson later accused Rainey and the Republican Party of voter intimidation. Noting the presence of federal troops during the election, Richardson also claimed that armed black political clubs and black militia were scaring voters at the polls. Richardson’s election had been certified by Democratic South Carolina Governor Wade Hampton, and Rainey maintained that only the South Carolina secretary of state could certify elections. Rainey took his seat, but in May 1878 the Committee on Elections declared the seat vacant, citing irregularities. The House failed to act on the committee report, and Rainey kept his seat for the remainder of his term.

Rainey’s final two terms were wracked by setbacks for African–American civil rights in South Carolina and the final blow that virtually ended federal Reconstruction in the South. On the American centennial on July 4, 1876, black militia celebrated by parading through a street in Hamburg, South Carolina. When a group of white men attempted to cross the street, the black soldiers refused to stop. The white men subsequently fired upon and killed several militiamen. Debate over the incident became bitter on the House Floor during Rainey’s final term in the 45th Congress. Rainey condemned the murders and exchanged coarse remarks with Democratic Representative Samuel Cox of New York, who believed the “Hamburg massacre” resulted from poor government by black South Carolina leaders.  Bolstered by renewed Democratic control in South Carolina, John S. Richardson defeated Rainey in the 1878 election for the 46th Congress (1879–1881) by more than 8,000 votes. Joseph Rainey retired from the House on March 3, 1879.

Upon his departure from Congress, Rainey was promised that Republicans would nominate him as Clerk of the House of Representatives; however, Democratic control over the 46th Congress precluded Rainey’s selection as Clerk. When Republicans regained control of Congress in 1881, Rainey spent time in Washington trying to secure the appointment, but he lost the nomination. In 1879, Rainey was appointed a special agent of the U.S. Treasury Department in South Carolina. After being endorsed by 84 Representatives, including future President James A. Garfield of Ohio, Rainey served two years. In 1881, he started a brokerage and banking business in Washington, but the firm collapsed five years later. For one year, he managed a coal mining operation and a wood yard before returning to Georgetown in ill health. Joseph and Susan Rainey opened a millinery shop shortly before Joseph died of congestive fever on August 1, 1887.  There is no doubt in my mind that Oddfellowship was/is a pillar upon which our people are lifted out of despair! We just need to look at our long proud history to find the courage to do away with complacency and seek triumph in our future!

Our brother is another fine example of the what can be accomplished if we believe in our noble cause and do the work….In the bond of Friendship Love and Truth


Bro.Page NG Wayman lodge no.1339



Click the link above for a very rare look at an oddfellows parade!

Check out our new designs on http://tee.pub/lic/SodaCityOddfellows

We have a plethora of really cool designs to show your pride in Oddfellowship!

Also check out Bro. Jenkins who has an online store with some really awesome artwork available!



Support District 13 and drape yourselves in Friendship Love and Truth! 

I can remember an Undergrad Psychology professor once told my wife “to study art is to study history! “. Makes sense that some of the most precious gems of American History are pieces of artwork. Signs and symbols tell a story when words cease to convey the message. Looking back at old degree charts of an almost forgotten craft, I can only imagine the mindset of the brethren that came before us and the tumultuous times they not only survived but thrived in.  From 1843 to the Present the Order hasn’t changed much, but the time has come for the future generations of Oddfellows to stand!  I say that to say this : I would like to introduce to the world an Oddfellow who’s exemplary fortitude will be mentioned amongst the great many notable figures the Order has produced…..Bro. Jarrett “Lefty Unz” Jenkins of Columbia, SC

Bro.  Jenkins was born October 13th 197_…Not putting his business out there ha !  He joined Florence lodge 2212 in February of this year and has become a fine example of what an Oddfellow should strive to be.  He’s a proud father, a loving husband and one of the coolest cats this side of the Atlantic Ocean!  He’s an accomplished Emcee, as well as a visual artist with pieces he’s contributed to all over the southeast.  Just recently he was given the opportunity to speak at a career day for his son’s school, Bridgecreek Elementary.

Not only was he invited here but our brother was also invited to do an art symposium at his Alma Mater Richland Northeast High School ….





The Grand United Order of Oddfellows touts many remarkable men and women who provided unmeasurable amounts of service to their respective communities.

As the new breeds we intend, with heart in hand, to continue a proud legacy of charity , brotherhood, and benevolence for future generations to benefit from! Bro. Jenkins is just one of many, and soon we will again be a household name.  

In the bond of Friendship Love and Truth I leave as I came……

Bro.Page : Florence lodge 2212/Wayman Association 1339, District 13 Area II

Greetings and FLT from Myself and the Mighty brothers of Florence Lodge 2212 !

On August 12th of this year Florence Lodge brought in another Seven Worthy Brothers into the mysteries of our craft! This picture is historic in the fact that the wheels are turning on my plans to bring both the  Read more

One of South Carolina’s own !!! Been a while since I continued my search for notables from the Palmetto State, but this one is from the Soda City!!!

John Benjamin Lewie of Columbia, SC is a prominent, successful man of affairs. He is a versatile man, having struggled up from a humble place in life to one of large usefulness and influence among his people. At a time when it was harder to secure an education than it is now, he worked his own way through college, steadily refusing to be discouraged by the difficulties by which he was confronted. He was born in Lexington county, August 10, 1873, and is a son of Benjamin W. Lewie, a farmer.
Mr. Lewie’s mother was before her marriage Miss Rhoda May Counts.
As a boy young Lewie attended the rural schools but was ambitious for a better education than they could provide. Accordingly he entered Allen University in Columbia, S.C. , and completed his courses in 1895. Four years later the same institution conferred on him the B. S. degree. Mr. Lewie was an enterprising youth and worked his own way through college. He learned the Barber trade and found that helpful as a means to an end. Then he took up the laboratory end of dental work and found that helpful also. Inquisitive as Lewie was he eventually took the civil service examination and entered the postal service where he made good his living. He remained on that job for twenty years. Though not active in politics, he was a Republican and a member of the A. M. E. church. It is perhaps on account of his work in connection with the Grand Lodge of the S. C. Knights of Pythias, that he is most widely known. He is Grand Keeper of Records and Seal in that Order, a position which he held for six years. He is also prominent in the work of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows #GUOOF, where he was Permanent Secretary of #RichardAllenLodge No. 1876, and #HouseholdofRuth no.1832 . He was a loyal member of the #Prince Hall Masons where he served as #Secretary n #PastMaster for #CapitalCitylodge47, and also a brother in the #GoodSamaritans . We are truly inspired to re-discover the many countless members of our “Mysterious Three” that rose to prominence against the perils of life in the south….


In the bond of Friendship Love and Truth

Sister Norma Bannister Grant, Past DGMNG of Household of Ruth, Virginia presents the 2017 West Jordan Scholarship to Deondre Dagner at the State Convention Banquet for the Grand United Order Odd Fellows in America and Jurisdiction of the State of Virginia. Deondre received the financial award in the amount of $1,000. He will be attending Old Dominion University.

During the Virginia 56th Biennial session for Grand United Order Of Fellows in American and Jurisdiction it’s Virginia Sub-District No. 15 donated $2500 in checks at it’s State Convention Banquet. The money was presented to Virginia Union University for the Albert & Helen Ruffin Endowment Scholarship Fund. Since its inception in 2011 several students have received scholarships from the scholarship fund.