A priest’s message on entering Ann Arbor Commandery No. 13, Knights Templar

“And now, my dear brothers of the ancient and historic order of the Knights of the Templar, it is my privilege, and I gladly say to you, it is my privilege to address you in the close ties of a common responsibility and interest. Your historic order is committed in every detail and principle of its teachings and ritual to the upholding and vindication of this great hope and truth of human life. You are here because a dispensation has been committed to you to stand firm for the two pillars of the faith–'Jesus and the Resurrection.' All your past history, from the glorious enterprises of which the crusaders are a splendid illustration, ties you to a definite positive maintenance of the faith of the gospel. The gospel of Jesus is the raison d'etre of Templarism. As the other evening it was my privilege to take the obligations of your order, I felt as a Christian priest, how transcendently beautiful, how sublimely solemn, every teaching, every word, every sentiment of Templarism was. It was a revelation to me and all that the church is to me is brought to my heart with new beauty and fervor. A fine Knight Templar is a true Christian–must be–for Templarism means the Church. It has ever been the handmaid, the auxiliary of the church, it is not the church, it is true, but its ally, its defender, its exponent. Every Knight Templar, by the logic of his order and position, recognizes, vindicates, enters the church of God. Our danger is that we should not see this relationship, that the logic of your obligations should fail to carry you far enough and that we should remain outside the church door. Our place is within, and that because we are Knights Templar.”

“My brothers, Sir Knights, I pray for the choicest gifts and blessings of our common loving Father, upon your Commandery, upon every member of the same ‘in his vocation and ministry,’ and I pray each of us may go forward and take our place and do our full duty in the great army of our loving Captain, until in His loving wisdom He shall call us to the higher service of the other home.”

- Rev. William Hothersall Gardam, Rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church Ypsilanti on the Easter following his knighting as a member of Ann Arbor Commandery No. 13, Knights Templar, April 19, 1897