Most Excellent Grand High Priest

Grand High Priest Farris Layne Benham
Title: Most Excellent Grand High Priest
Year: 1988 - 1989
Home Chapter: Sam J. Helm No. 445

Companion Benham was born in Clarksville, Texas, December 7, 1929, the son of l.F. and Letsy Benham. He was educated in the Texas Public School system, two years of commercial business school along with several extension courses in chemistry, electronics, and business management. President of Benham Natural Gas Service, Inc. since 1963.

He married Olene Leonard of Big Spring, Texas in October 1952. They have two sons, Stan and Bruce, and six grandchildren. They are members of Immanuel Baptist Church where he has served as Adult Sunday School Teacher and Olene sings in the choir. Olene is a member of the Eastern Star and Beauceant.


Raised a Master Mason in Odessa Lodge No. 955, A.F. & A.M. on February 29, 1968. Served as Worshipful Master in 1971-1972. Served as District Deputy Grand Master in 1982. Served as Regional Coordinator in 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1987. Life member of his Lodge and certificate holder since 1969.

Exalted a Royal Arch Mason in Sam J. Helm Chapter No. 445 on September 20, 1968. Served as District Deputy Grand High Priest in 1977. Grand Representative of Nevada near the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas. Served Grand Chapter of Texas as Grand Royal Arch Captain in 1981. He holds a certificate on Esoteric Work. Elected Grand Scribe in 1986, he served as Acting Grand High Priest in 1988. Elected Most Excellent Grand High Priest on December 6, 1988.

Greeted in Sam J. Helm Council No. 363 on September 20, 1968. Served as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1973 and 1974. Served as District Deputy Grand Master of the 44th Cryptic District in 1984. Grand Representative of Massachusetts, member of the Finance Committee. He holds certificate on Esoteric Work.

Knighted in Odessa Commandery No. 110 on July 29, 1971, served as Commander in 1979. Member of the Membership Committee in Grand Commandery. Life Sponsor, Knight Templar Eye Foundation.

Member of El Paso Scottish Rite Bodies and Plural Member of Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies with rank of 32nd Degree, K.C.C.H. Past President of Odessa Scottish Rite Association, Degree Master of 10th Degree at El Paso in Spring Reunion and Alternate Degree Master of the 9th Degree in Fall Reunion.

He is a member and Past President of Advisory Board of Odessa Chapter, Order of DeMolay Cross of Honor.

He is a member of El Maida Shrine and member of the Board of Shrine Mason Golf Tournament.

Member of the Odessa Chapter No. 447, O.E.S. He is a member of the Order of High Priesthood, Order of the Silver Trowel, Super Excellent Masters, Knight York Cross of Honour, York Rite College No. 36, Nazareth Tabernacle No. XXXIV, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests and Past Sovereign of Permian Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine.