Most Excellent Grand High Priest
|Biography: Thomas William Snyder was born in Dallas, Texas. Tom is the son of Lois and Bill Snyder, and is the middle of three children. He was educated in the Dallas Independent School District and graduated from Sunset High School in 1966, where he lettered twice in baseball and was voted “MVP” in the City his senior year. After graduation he attended Christian College of the Southwest on an athletic scholarship, then Texas Technological University and Pan American College. In February of 1969 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was trained as an Interior Communications Electrician. After serving nearly four years, three of which were at various duty stations in the western pacific, he honorably separated from active duty as a Petty Officer Second Class. In December of 1972 he returned to Dallas and found work as a truck driver.
In the fall of 1975, he enrolled at the University of Texas at Arlington and began his studies in the field of engineering. While on Spring Break in 1977, he met his wife Linda Sorrells and his soon to be daughter Jame Ann. Tom and Linda were married in November 1979. While enrolled at UTA, he became a member of Tau Beta Pi and Chi Epsilon national scholastic honor fraternities and graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. Immediately following graduation, he went to work for Dallas Water Utilities. He gained experience in utility design and construction and became a Registered Professional Engineer in 1985. He ended his fourteen-year career at Dallas Water Utilities as Manager of the one hundred fifty million gallon per day Central Wastewater Treatment Plant. In 1993 he accepted the challenge of becoming the first Chief Engineer for the recently established Upper Trinity Regional Water District, and since that time has been responsible for the engineering design and construction of regional water, wastewater, and reuse water systems serving the Denton County area.
Tom was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on July 14, 1983, in Hutchins Lodge No. 1154, A.F. & A.M., and served as Master in 1987-1988. He became a plural member of Nash Lodge No. 638, and served as Master in 1992-1993. He served the Grand Lodge of Texas as District Deputy Grand Master of Masonic District 14-H in 1994 and is currently a member of Committee on Mediation No. 2.
He was exalted a Royal Arch Mason in Midlothian Chapter No. 211, R.A.M. on January 18, 1986, became a plural member of Love Field Chapter No. 478, and served as High Priest in 1989-1990. He is also, a member and Past High Priest of Dad Pender Chapter No. 80. He received the Order of High Priesthood in 1989. Tom served the Most Excellent Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas as District Deputy Grand High Priest of Capitular District 51-A in 1991, Grand Principle Sojourner in 1992 and Grand Guard in 2004. In 2009 he was elected Grand King. Tom progressed through the line and was installed Grand High Priest on October 18, 2011.
He was greeted a Select Master in Midlothian Council No. 148, R. & S.M. on February 1, 1986, became a plural member of Love Field Council No. 396, and served as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1990-1991. He is also, a member and Past Thrice Illustrious Master of Dad Pender Council No. 50. He received the Degree of Super Excellent Master in 1988 and the Order of the Silver Trowel in 1990. He served as Thrice Illustrious Master of the Order of the Silver Trowel of Texas in 1994. He served the Grand Council of Texas as District Deputy Grand Master of Cryptic District 51-B in 1993, Grand Conductor of the Council in 1992, and Grand Master in 1997.
He was knighted in Alexander C. Garrett Commandery No. 103, K.T. on March 28, 1986; served as Commander in 1992; and, he has served as Prelate since 1993. He is also, a plural member and Past Commander of Denton Commandery No. 45. He is the Grand Representative of the Grand Commandery of Nevada near Texas. In 2006, He was created a Knight Commander of the Temple by the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the United States of America. He served as Grand Commander in 2007-08.
He is a member of the Dallas Scottish Rite Bodies, and has been invested a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor. He currently serves on the 23rd Degree Team and previously served on the KCCH Investiture Team, on the 4th Degree Team, and as Captain of the 27th Degree Team.
Other memberships, orders and honors include the following. Member of Hella Temple A.A.O.N.M.S. Member of Texas Priory, Knight York Cross of Honour. Member of Ascension Tabernacle XX Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests. Currently serving as Senior General of Saint Austin Conclave Red Cross of Constantine. Past Governor and Charter member of Lyle L. Cross York Rite College No. 147. Recipient of the Order of the Purple Cross and Associate Regent of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America. Charter member of Alla Grotto, M.O.V.P.E.R. Charter member and Past Sovereign Master of Robert Bruce Brannon Council No. 270, Allied Masonic Degrees and has received the Red Branch of Eri. Charter Member and Past Excellent Chief of Rose of Sharon Council No. 49, Knight Masons. Member of Royal Order of Scotland. Member of Texas Chapter of Knights Preceptor. Member in Perpetuity of General William J. Worth Chapter No. 463, National Sojourners and Cowpens Camp Heroes of ‘76. Past Patron of Cockrell Hill Chapter No. 971 and Nash Chapter No. 320 Order of the Eastern Star. He holds the Grand Cross of Color from the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and the Legion of Honor from the International Order of DeMolay.