On September 8, 1927 under the leadership of Sister Sarah Buckingham and sponsorship of Fidelity Lodge #55, a group of Southside residents of Indianapolis came together to form a Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. Meetings were held in a small building at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Barshaw Street. The first elected officers served from 1927 through 1930.
• Worthy Matron- Roberta Woodward
• Worthy Patron- George Brown
• Associate Matron- Anne Brown
• Associate Patron- Robert Squires
• Treasurer- Daisy Bacon
• Secretary- Beatrice Squires
• Conductress- Josephine Jackson
• Associate Conductress- Nettie Watson
• Marshal- Hattie Douhitt
• Organist- Alice Thurman
• Trustee- Anna Taylor
• Warder- Ada Cavanaugh
• Sentinel- George Royster
• Adah- Gertrude Dickerson
• Ruth- Sarah Buckingham
• Esther- Clotie Blain
• Martha- Lucena Jackson
• Electra- Eve Douhitt
• Chaplin- Alexander Brown
The foundation of Purity Chapter has been built on hard work and dedicated members. As the memberships began to grow, young people came from all over the city of Indianapolis uniting together in Christian love and with a mission to work in their community.
From 1927-2018 Purity Chapter has had over 52 Worthy Matrons and 25 Worthy Patrons. There have been 2 Grand Worthy Matrons (Sister Irene Brookins and Sister Barbara E Reynolds, 2017) and 5 Grand Worthy Patrons (Brother Thomas Maury, Brother Oliver B forte, Brother Lawrence Patterson, Brother James H Andrews, and Brother James R Hunter) in purity history. There have also been 2 past Honorary Grand Matrons (Sister H Marie Thomas, 2009 and Sister Myrtis Ross, 2017) There have been several Grand Queens and Miss Prince Halls that have represented Purity Grand Chapter.
The Matrons Mission: The Matrons Mission then and now is to build the chapters membership, represent her chapter at outside events, and to communicate and work with our Sister Chapters and Brother Lodges. Through dedication and perseverance, Purities members have made a tremendous stride to enhance their communities outreach services in the Indianapolis area.
Purity Chapter #51 has had six past District Deputy Grand Matrons:
• Sister Nellie Johnson
• Sister Irene Brookins
• Sister Evelyn Key-Brown
• Sister Miranda King
• Sister Myrtis Ross
• Sister Emma Jean Hines
Purity can also boast about Grand Queens
• Sister Rosa Pinnick, 1957
• Sister Nellie Johnson, 1958
• Sister Evelyn Key-Brown, 1965 & 1967
• Sister Lucy Gatewood, 1979
• Sister Marian Cole, 1981… crowned Miss Centennial of Prince Hall Grand Chapter
• Sister Marian Harris
Miss Prince Hall
• Sister Freddie Yeager
• Sister Barbara Reynolds, 1999
• Sister Dorothy Wills
• Sister Merian Harris, 2005
• Sister Kelly R Moore, 2012
In 2014 under the Most Worshipful Grand Master Otis Dodson, Purity Chapter sponsorship was redirected to C.R. Richardson, Lodge #69. Current meetings are held at Southern Cross Lodge, #39. 1544 Columbia Ave Indianapolis, IN 46202. Under CR Richardson a budding relationship has come about through joining the brothers in their Annual picnic, Annual Banquet and Ronald McDonald House making/serving meals.
Purity continues its Annual Calendar Tea (PWM Vivian Watts) at the seat of Associate Conductress. In 2015 under the direction of Sis Patricia Pope a winter sock drive “Warm Feet “was started to keep the homeless feet warm. Our first year we did over 200 sock donations! A homeless toiletries drive was started by Sis Vikki Matthews which she collects toiletries, wash clothes puts them in bags /purses and passes them out to the homeless, this is an ongoing community service. GWM Sis Barbara Reynolds donated several boxes of bags for the use. Purity also goes to the Wheeler Mission to assist with making Sack Lunches for the homeless and feeding them monthly under the direction of PWM Gwendolynn Johnson.
Purity continues the legacy Sister Pearle V. Fisher Past Matron of Union Chapter #1 organized in 1945 on O.E.S. chorus. Officers and members of Purity Chapter participated in the chorus. The Choir traveled throughout the state of Indiana and performed at Chapter banquets, O.E.S. church services and at the annual Grand Chapter concert each year. In 1989, Sister Myrtis Ross, Sister H. Marie Thomas, Sister Juanita Johnson and Brother Lawrence Patterson joined the O.E.S. Mass Choir. Sister H. Marie Thomas and Brother James Andrews are current members of the Prince Hall Masonic Choir.
In 1949 Purity Chapter along with union Chapter #1, Leah Chapter #2, and Pride of the West Chapter #45 co-sponsored the first St. Patrick’s Day Tea. This Tea was an annual event for tea. Also in 1949 Sister Fannie Jewell started an O.E.S. Newsletter that highlighted the sick and shut-in and Chapter events. Sister H. Marie Thomas restarted the newsletter and Sister Barbara Reynolds continues to publish an O.E.S. newsletter.
Brother Thomas Maury started the Maude B Herring Youth Fraternity for Purity Chapter. Purity has had three Grand Youth Supervisor’s Sister H. Marie Thomas, Sister Arnell White, and Sister Barbara Reynolds. The Maude B. Herring Youth Fraternity along with other subordinate Chapters of District #2 Youth Fraternities were combined in 2000 at the request of the Grand Worthy Matron Sister Edna P. Rowley. The Indiana Youth Fraternity of District #2 continues their outreach service in the Indianapolis community. The youth fraternity meets on the fourth Saturday of each month at Meridian Lodge located on Martin Luther King Street.
Purity Chapter attended the first state-wide convention, held in 1950. The 19th Biennial International Conference of the Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliation was help August 17, 1952 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Purity Chapter was in good attendance and received many compliments for their spirit, love, and cooperation. They were also recognized as the most congenial Chapter in the state.
In 1956 Fidelity Lodge and Purity Chapter joined together to develop a joint board named the Prince Hall Masonic Building Association. The Boards purpose was to purchase and maintain the building located at 143 W. 40th Street. Shares were sold and the proceeds allowed this building to be called “home” until its sale in 2004. In 1959. The Hattie Wagner Nurses were organized. The Nurses hosted many projects, special event programs, and fundraisers that sustain their annual scholarship awards programs. The Scholarships were awarded to African American students who demonstrated a need for college tuition assistance. In 2005 Sister Emma Jean Hines received the honor of becoming Grand Nurse Supervisor Emeritus of Prince Hall Grand Chapter.
During the years 1996-1997 under the leadership of Sister Allene Childs as Worthy Matron. Purity celebrated their 70th Chapter Anniversary. Sister Childs was and still is a hard worker and dedicated member of Purity Chapter. As Worthy Matron, she had a quilt made that had all her current elected and appointed Officers and all the members’ names on each square. Sister Childs traveled to Chicago to purchase badges for Purity’s Officers and donated these badges to the Chapter. She also donated all the paraphernalia for King Solomon’s Court: Sister Barbara Smith, the Associate Matron donated the camel.
From 1999 to present Purity Chapter has always had members that participate in Grand Chapter. These members hold elected and appointed seats.
In 1999 a Special Project committee was formed, their initial project was to raise money for an altar for the Chapter. In the kitchen of Sister Merian Harris, Sister Allen Childs, Sister Patricia Harris, and a few other members: cakes, candy, and other tasty desserts were made to be sold as a fundraiser. The fund raiser was a great success and they exceeded their goal. The committee members were Sister Martha Alvis (Chairperson), Sister Merian Harris (Co-Chairperson), and Committee members: Sister Allen Childs, Sister Patricia Harris, Sister Amaryllis Jackson, Brother Don Johnson, and Sister Dorothy Wills.
In 2004, Purity Chapter gave their first Lawrence A. Patterson scholarship award to Michael Jackson, Sister Amaryllis Jackson’s grandson.
Purity Chapter continues their relationship with Fidelity Lodge as they have an Annual Widows Brunch under PWP Wilson Lorick. Just this November 11, 2017 they honored the late H.Marie Thomas HPGM for all her works.
Purity celebrated 90 years this September 24, 2017 at Crestwood Village East, the theme “No One Left Behind” giving insight to special needs people. Under the guidance of the chapter and Presiding Worthy Matron Kelly R. Moore and Grand Worthy Matron Barbara E. Reynolds. The celebration was one of the best and themed the color purple /white and pink as the late PM Robyn Jacksons favorite color purple which exuberates royalty, the White for Purity and pink unconditional love an understanding.
Purity’s strong foundation reflects the hard work and dedication of those Sisters and Brothers who have departed this land and now live in the land of the everlasting with our Heavenly Father up in heaven. For they leave with us a rich heritage on which Purity’s strength, structure, joy, sorrow, and love are built upon. Yesterday is history, today is the present, and tomorrow is the future. Prosperity for tomorrow will depend upon our action today. To leave a record of achievement for yesterday! Purity continues to reflect on their legacy. Our goals are to work in the unity, love, joy, peace, and devotion with one another. Our dedication to outreach service in our community is crucial in today’s society. Our strong foundation continues as we labor hard to uphold the memories and dedication of our departed Sisters and Brothers. It began 79 years ago with a vision, we stand today together with faith, hope, and love for each other. The Lord said, “I will make you wise and show you where to go. I will guide you and watch over you.”
1 Corinthians 16:14
“Let all that you do be done in Love”