Most Excellent Grand High Priest

Grand High Priest Donavon Duncan Tidwell
Title: Most Excellent Grand High Priest
Year: 1969 - 1970
Home Chapter: Brownwood No. 141

Born at Iredell (Bosque County), Texas on February 16, 1906, the son of Chas. L. and Fannie (Harris) Tidwell. Attended school at Iredell, rural schools and graduated from Hico High School as class valedictorian in 1925. B. A. degree from Howard Payne College in 1931; Th. M. and Th. D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1936 and 1940 with major in church history. Additional study at the University of Missouri and Boston University.

Ordained as Baptist minister on December 31, 1925 by the Honey Creek Baptist Church near Hico, Texas. Student pastor from 1926 to 1938. Pastor of the First Baptist Church of De Leon, Texas, 1938-41 and Walnut Street Baptist Church, Carbondale, Illinois, 1941-44. Instructor in Church History, Baptist Foundation, Southern Illinois University, 1941-44; professor of Bible and Greek, Hannibal-LaGrange College, Hannibal, Missouri, 1944-46; professor of Bible and Greek, Howard Payne College, Brownwood, Texas, 1946-63 and chairman of the Division of Christianity at Houston Baptist College, Houston, Texas since 1963.

Married Thelma Turner at Hico, Texas on April 30, 1930. Two sons; David Duncan Tidwell and Truett Turner Tidwell.

Vice-president of the Southern Baptist Historical Society, 1942-44.

President of the Southwestern Association of Baptist Teachers of Religion in 1953. President of the Southwest Section of the National Association of Biblical Instructors (now American Academy of Religion) in 1954.

Author of the following books: A History of the Baptists in Erath County (Texas), 1937. Freemasonry in Brownwood, 1966. A History of the Baptists at Iredell (Texas), 1968. A History of Gray Lodge No. 329, A. F. & A. M., Houston, Texas, 1870-1970, 1970. Contributor to Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists and author of articles in religious, historical and Masonic publications.

Chairman of the Publications Committee for publication of Volume II and III of the Transactions of Texas Lodge of Research.


Raised a Master Mason in Hico Lodge No. 477, on June 9, 1928; Demitted to St. Johns lodge No. 28, Hannibal Missouri, 1945-46; Demitted to Brownwood Lodge No. 279, A. F. & A. M., Brownwood, Texas, January 2, 1947, Master 1955-56; District Deputy of the 109th Masonic District 1960; Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of Texas 1959; Committee on Grand Officers’ Reports and Fraternal Relations; Grand Representative of North Carolina. Charter member, Past Master and Fellow in Masonic Research of Texas Lodge of Research, A. F. & A. M.

Corresponding member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 2076, London, England; Missouri Lodge of Research; and Oklahoma Lodge of Research.

Exalted in Hico Chapter No. 271 now demised) on May 17, 1929. Demitted to Hannibal Chapter No. 7, R.A.M., Hannibal, Missouri, 1945-46. Demitted to Brownwood Chapter No. 141, R.A.M., Brownwood, Texas, December, 1946. High Priest 1956-57; Grand Chaplain of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas, 1957; District Deputy of the 33rd Capitular District; elected Grand Scribe in 1966, passed through the chairs, elected and installed Grand High Priest in 1969 and presided at the Annual Convocation in 1970. Grand Representative of Colorado.

Greeted in Hico Council No. 86, R. & S. M. (demised), Hico, Texas on May 18, 1929. Demitted to Centralia Council No. 34, R. & S. M., Centralia, Missouri in 1946 and received the Super-Excellent Master in that Council on January 29, 1946. Demitted to Brownwood Council No. 86, R. & S. M., Brownwood, Texas, December, 1946; Thrice Illustrious Master 1951-52, served as Grand Visitor (now District Deputy) for two years.

Knighted in Excalibar Commandery No. 5, K. T. in Hannibal, Missouri, May 17, 1945. Demitted to Brownwood Commandery No. 22, K. T. Brownwood, Texas, December, 1946, Eminent Commander 1952; Grand Prelate of the Grand Commandery Knights Templar of Texas, 1961-62; life sponsor Knights Templar Eye Foundation.

Received the Scottish Rite Degrees in the Dallas Scottish Rite Bodies, in 1952. Elected Knight Commander of the Court of Honour on October 22, 1957 with the investiture on January 11, 1958. Now a member of Houston Scottish Rite Bodies, Elected and Coroneted to 33nd Degree in 1967.

Member of the Order of the Silver Trowel; Order of High Priesthood; Knights of York Cross of Honour; and served as Prior of Texas Priory No. 23, K. Y. C. H. in 1966. Charter member of Nazareth Tabernacle XXXIV, Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, San Angelo, Texas, and Preceptor in 1957-58, Royal Order of Scotland, Society of Blue Friars (Masonic authors and scholars) and St. Austin Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine.

Member of the Philalethes Society; The Grand College of Rites of the U. S. A.; and Chairman of the Southwestern York Rite Conference, 1969-70.