Most Excellent Grand High Priest
|Biography: Billy Wayne Melton, the elder of two children, was born on October 18, 1926, in Van Zandt County, Texas to L.J. and Martha Mae Melton. He grew up in Grand Saline and Terrell, Texas, graduating from Terrell High School in 1945.
After graduation from high school, Billy volunteered for and was accepted in the Army Air Corp Cadet Training Program for pilots. He was one of the Cadets in a class of thirty-six, which was the last class of the Cadet trainees during World War II area. The Cadet Training Program was closed shortly after this and he was discharged in December 1946 without receiving flight training.
On November 20, 1948, Billy and Iva Lee Langford were married in Terrell, Texas and one child; (Vicki) Mrs. Ronald B. McCall, was born to this union. Vicki and Ron have one child, Madison Nicole McCall.
On December 1, 1948, Billy was accepted in the 14th Recruit Class of the Texas Highway Patrol, graduating on February 28, 1949, as a Texas Highway Patrolman. He rose through the ranks of the Texas Highway Patrol and retired as a District Commander of the Dallas District on August 31, 1988. During his tenure in the Highway Patrol Service he graduated from the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville, in Louisville, Kentucky in 1975, and was the class President. Billy taught in the Texas Department of Public Safety Training Academy in Austin for over ten years, and while engaged there, formulated and wrote courses in Case Preparation, Rules of Evidence and Courtroom Demeanor that were taught in the Academy for over twenty years. Before retirement he held Advanced and Instructor Certificates from the Texas Commission on Law Inforcement Standards and Education, and taught in various Police Training Academies throughout Texas. He is now a commissioned peace officer holding a Special Texas Ranger Commission. While with the Texas Highway Patrol Service, Billy also graduated from Comercial Flight Training School, earning a Commercial license and a Flight Instructors Rating.
Billy was raised a Master Mason on June 15, 1953, in Gladewater Lodge No. 852 in Gladewater, Texas and holds a class A certificate in the Esoteric work. He served as Master of Bloomfield Lodge No. 112 in Kaufman, Texas in 1961-62, and served as District Deputy Grand Master of District No. 13 of the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1962-63. He served as the representative to the Grand Lodge of Texas for the Grand Lodge of Norway in 1967-1981, and served as acting Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1969. Billy is now a member of Arlington Lodge No. 438.
In November of 1953, Billy joined the Dallas Scottish Rite Bodies, and on December 16, 1967, received the 33rd Degree. At that time it was reported that he was the youngest 33rd Degree Mason in Texas. For several years he conferred the 23rd Degree in the Dallas Bodies. Billy served as Wise Master of the Dallas Chapter of Rose Croix in 1994. He is presently a Reunion Director in the Dallas Scottish Rite Bodies, and is on the 33rd Degree team as well as the 11th Degree team.
On September 24, 1990, Billy was Exalted a Royal Arch Mason in Arlington Chapter No. 376, served as High Priest in 1995-96, received the Order of High Priesthood in 1995, and was the Grand Orator of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas in 1998-99. He was elected Grand Scribe in 1999, Deputy Grand High Priest in 2000, and Grand High Priest of the Most Excellent Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas in 2001.
He was Greeted on September 28, 1990, in Arlington Council No. 314, served as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1996-97, received the Order of the Silver Trowel in 1996. He received the Super Excellent Masters Degree in 1996, and was the Grand Chaplain of the Most Illustrious Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Texas in 1995.
On October 3, 1990, Billy was Knighted in Arlington Commandery No. 107. He served as Commander in 1998 and was knighted in Texas Priory No. 23, Knights of the York Cross of Honour in 1998. Billy is now serving as Marshall in The Order of Knight Preceptor.
Billy served as President of the Texas Police Association in 1988, which is the oldest Police Association in Texas being formed in Fort Worth in 1895. The association has over 6,000 members made up of police and police adminstrators from local, state and federal agencies in Texas. He served as President of the Offical Board of the First Methodist Church in Kaufman, Texas; President of the Methodist Menís Club, and President of the Methodist Menís Bible Class. He also taught Sunday School for many years and was a Certified Lay Speaker in the Methodist Church.
OTHER MASONIC ACTIVITIES
Secretary of the School Board at the Masonic Home and School in Fort Worth. Recipient of The Legion of Honor in the DeMolay. Member of The Red Cross of Constantine, St. Mark Conclave, Dallas. Member of The Royal Order of Scotland. Past Sovereign Master of the Holy Grail Council No. 287, Allied Masonic Degrees in Dallas, and is a recipient of the Red Branch of Eri. Past Governor of Trinity York Rite College No. 154 in Fort Worth, and received the Order of the Purple Cross in 1997. Member of The Scottish Rite Research Society. Member of The Texas Lodge of Research. Member of Hella Shrine Temple in Garland. Past President Tarrant County Past Presiding Officers Association.
Member of The Sons of the American Revolution. Member of The Sons of the Republic of Texas. Member of The Sons of the Confederate Veterans.