Grand Masters

Grand Master Joseph Weldon Clampitte
Title: Grand Master
Year: 2008 - 2009
Home Council: Houston No. 1

J. Weldon Clampitte was born in Houston, Texas on December 28, 1935, where he has lived his entire life. He attended San Jacinto High School, Houston Community College, and the University of Houston. He joined the Bellaire Fire Department in 1955 and left in 1957 to join the Houston Police Department. He attended the Houston Police Academy in 1957 and was employed by the HPD for 27 years during which time he served three years in uniformed Patrol Division and Dispatchers Office. He then went into plain-clothes investigations where he spent 7 years in the Juvenile Division and 17 years as a Sergeant of Detectives in the Homicide Division. He retired from the Houston Police Department in 1983. He is also retired from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in February 2004, where he worked as an Investigator since November 1984, obtaining the rank of Senior Investigator at the time of retirement.

Having been involved in law enforcement for so many years, it only seems natural that he found the love of his life while working at the police department. Weldon met Laura Lee Faulkner while both of them worked for HPD, marrying her a year and a half after he retired. Between them they have five children, all of which Weldon considers as his own. Weldon has two girls and a son while Laura has two girls. They also have four grandchildren between them, two girls and two boys. He is a member of First Methodist Church in Houston.

Weldon completed his degrees of Craft Masonry on February 5, 1959 in Bellaire Lodge No. 1336, where he later served as Worshipful Master of that Lodge in 1977-78. He affiliated with Gray Lodge No. 329 in 1988, and later served as its Worshipful Master in 1992-93. He is also a charter member of J.W. Chandler Lodge No. 1452 and served as its Charter Treasurer until 1992. Weldon is also an affiliated member of Holland Lodge No. 1 (1999), and became a charter member of Tranquility Lodge No. 2000 in 2000. He is an endowed member of all of these lodges.

Bellaire Lodge recognized his leadership abilities and his dedication to Freemasonry when they honored him as a recipient of the Golden Trowel Award. He was elected to serve Bellaire Lodge as its Secretary in 2003, where is still serving in that capacity. He received his fifty-year Service Award from the Grand Lodge of Texas on December 4, 2008 from Grand Master Griffin.

Weldon has served the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas as Grand Senior Deacon in 1983, for R.W. J.D. Buddy Baccus, District Deputy Grand Master in 1987, for R.W. John E. Jack Kelly, and as Grand Marshal in 1992, for R.W. A. D. Hanna Grand Orator in 2006 for R.W. Brian R. Dodson. He served as the Regional Coordinator for the Houston Grand Master's Conference Programs for the years 1985-1991, 1993, and again in 1996. In 2003, he was awarded the William Beck Award by the Grand Lodge of Texas for his may years of dedication to the craft.

Weldon has served many years on and has frequently been Chairman of the Committee on Grievances and Appeals of the Grand Lodge where is currently serving his third term in 2008. He also served as Chairman of the Grand Lodge Statistics Committee and as an Assistant State Coordinator for R.W. W. Vernon Burke, Jr., R.W. David B. Dibrell, and then for M.W. Michael D. Nanny.

Very Excellent Clampitte was exalted a Royal Arch Mason in Washington Chapter No. 2 on June 18, 1977, and is an endowed member. He served as Washington Chapter as its High Priest in 1986-87, Treasurer from 1987-2001, and its Secretary from 2001 to present. He received the Order of High Priesthood in 1986. He served as the Grand Royal Arch Captain in 1989 for the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas for V.E. Ferris Benham, District Deputy Grand High Priest in 1990 for V.E. J.D. Buddy Baccus, Grand Orator in 1995 for V.E. William Schroeder and in 2001 as Grand Marshal for M.E. Robert P. Bob Walker. He has served on the Grievances and Appeals Committee for several years. He also served as the State Coordinator for the York Rite Workshop Program both in 1991 and 1994. V. E. Clampitte served as the M.E. Grand High Priest of the Most Excellent Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas in 2005.

Right Illustrious Clampitte was greeted a Royal and Select Master in Houston Council No. 1 on June 18, 1977, and is an endowed member. He served as Thrice Illustrious Master of that council in 1987-88, Treasurer from 1987-2001 and Recorder from 2001 to present. He received the Order of the Silver Trowel in 1986. He served as Thrice Illustrious Master of the Order of the Silver Trowel in 2007 He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master in the Grand Council in 1991 for V.I. Richard Coates and as Grand Marshal in 1999 for V.I John Charles Elkinton. He has served on both the Purpose and Policies Committee and the Awards and Honors Committee. In 2006, he was elected R.I. Grand Principal Conductor of the Work, in 2007, as the R.I. Deputy Grand Master, and Installed as the M. I. Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Texas on October 21,2008.

Sir Knight Clampitte was Knighted in Ruthven Commandery No. 2 on March 23, 1979, and participated with their drill team for over 20 years as well as with Park Place, Melrose, and Houston Commandery’s Drill Teams. He later affiliated with Houston Commandery No. 95 where he served as its Commander in 1989. He is an endowed member in both Ruthven and Houston Commanderys.

While serving as Chairman of the Public Relations Committee for the Grand Commandery of Texas from 1990 to 1999, he created both the Cross and Crown and Excalibur Awards for the Grand Commandery of Texas. He also served as the editor for the Texas Insert for the Knight Templar Magazine for three years, only giving up that up in April of 2002. In 2006 he was awarded the Knight Templar Cross of Honor (KTCH) by the Grand Commandery Knights Templar of Texas. He received his Knight York Cross of Honor in 1990, in Texas Priory No. 23 and later became a charter member of Thomas H. Rideout Priory No. 75, where he served as its Eminent Prior in 1998. He was Knighted in Texas York Rite College No. 14 in 1985, and later became a charter member of the Gulf Coast York Rite College No. 106, where he served as its Pre-Eminent Governor in 1996. He was honored with the Order of the Purple Cross from the Grand Sovereign York Rite College in 1997. He served as the Very Eminent Preceptor (2003) of Resurrection Tabernacle XXI, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests. In 2002 (and currently serves as it Registrar,) he served as Puissant Sovereign of the San Jacinto Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine.

In 1965, he received his Scottish Rite Degrees in the Valley of Houston and has served as the head of two of its bodies. He is an endowed member of the Houston Valley. He received his Knight Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH) in 1977 and was coroneted a Thirty-Third Degree Inspector General Honorary in 1983. He also serves on the 33rd Degree Conferral Team.

He is an member and a Past Patron (1987) of Bluebell Chapter No. 856, Order of the Eastern Star. In 2006, Bluebell Chapter honored him with an Endowed Membership. He is a Past Sovereign Master (2003) of Houston Council, Allied Masonic Degrees and has received the Red Branch of Eri. He is a Past Excellent Chief (1998) of Anson Jones Council No. 47, Knight Masons. He is a member of the Texas Lodge of Research where he has served in several of the appointed offices. He is also a member of the Texas College of the M.S.R.C.F., and Lone Star Chapel no. 45, St. Thomas of Acon.

Dad Clampitte served five years as Chairman of the Advisory Council of Sam B. Cantey Chapter, Order of DeMolay in the 70’s and 80’s, and is the holder of the Honorary Legion of Honor. He was appointed as the Personal Representative of the Grand Master of DeMolay for the State of Texas in May of 2001, and was subsequently appointed to be the Executive Officer of DeMolay for Texas in August of 2001, where he still holds that position. Since becoming Executive Officer in 2001, he has been appointed to serve the International Supreme Grand Council of DeMolay as Grand 6th Preceptor in 2002-03, as Grand Almoner in 2007-08, and as Grand Sentinel for 2008-2009. He has also served on several Committees for DeMolay International.

Weldon, seeing that the Masonic Youth of Texas needed a financial boost to move into the future, established the Texas Masonic Youth Foundation in 2003. A few months later he asked the Grand Lodge of Texas to step up to the plate and be the first primary fund provider for the Foundation. The membership of Grand Lodge obliged at the 2003 Grand Annual Communication by granting the TMYF a one-dollar per capita donation by almost a two-thirds majority. The TMYF is working to be a 501 (c) 3 Foundation. Weldon is also in the process of obtaining funding from other sources to make the Foundation a viable and workable solution to helping the Masonic Youth of our state.

Weldon is a man and Mason known to be true to his word and never without an opinion to share. He is a leader with direction, having a definite destination along with the ability to motivate others in his quest to get there. A true Mason’s Mason.