18th District Square &Compass Club

Ken Coates Freemasonry-in-Action Fund
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.      1 Corinthians 13:13

The Needs of a few...
Each evening in the Greenville area, dozens of individuals face the stress of a loved one's illness and the need for rest, but due to the high cost of medical care, many of these people find themselves unable to afford proper lodging. This fund was created to provide temporary lodging for the parents of children or the spouses of senior citizens who are hospitalized.

How Does it function?
The Ken Coates Freemasonry-in-Action Fund augments and compliments the efforts of several charitable endevors throughout the Greenville area. This project, working in close cooperation with several major hotels in the area, accepts recommendations from the Hospital Staffs for parents needing rooms. When a room is required, the fund coordinator as contacted and approves the gift.

Where Does the money come from?
The Ken Cotes Freemasonry-in-Action Fund will continuously accept donations from everyone. It has established an account into which 100% of all donations are deposited. Only the interest from this Fund is used to provide accommodations. All donations are tax deductible.

Who supervises the Account?
The Funds Board of seven Directors is annually elected from Greenville area Masons and non-masons who serve without a fee. Their meetings are held monthly and are open to all. Copies of their By-Laws, Officers, Proceedings, and Financial status are available upon written request. All Administrative costs and activities are financed by the sponsoring organization, The Square and Compass Club of the 18th Masonic District.

Who was Ken Coates?

This Fund is dedicated to the memory of Ken Coates for many reasons, especially for renewing our goals of charity. We remember the experiences shared with Ken; the many accomplishments because of his support. Our memory of him is associative, as with many other good things in life. Like the rose, he beautified our lives and his presence was always sweet and his character was colorful and pleasant to be around. Yet the thorns of his courage were strong and resolute. We admired that courage; that sense of dignity, that resoluteness that could not be compromised.

T.S. Lewis said: courage is not one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. In questions of Right or Wrong in the morality of life, Ken was tested every day. His leadership in the formation of New Hope sorely tested all of his courage. His courage is what we remember, for courage is faith put into action.

We live by faith or we don't live at all. Ken had faith. Ken lived his faith and courage carried him through the doubts that plague us all. While working with the patients at both the Shriner's Hospital and the Greenville Children's Hospital, Kenneth P. Coates, one of our most dedicated Masons, often took it upon himself to provide temporary lodging for needy parents of the children.

Courage puts a new face on everything, and Ken's courage made us continue to believe in the projects with which he was associated. Ken had courage. This is our memory of Ken.

Kenneth Paul Coates was a native of Greer, S.C., a graduate of Wofford College, served with the Navy in Vietnam, married to the former Sharon Reese, and father of three daughters. He was a member of Taylors First Baptist Church, and served as a Deacon.

Ken was raised a Master Mason on 7 March 1969 in Taylors Lodge No. 345, and served as Charter Senior Deacon of Pelham Lodge No. 423. He later served Pelham as it's Master in 1986 and 1991.

Ken was an Honorary Member of Wade Hampton Lodge No. 404 and Truman Durham Lodge No. 424. In 1989 he was commissioned by the Grand Lodge of Brazil as it's Representative to the Grand Lodge of South Carolina. Subsequently he was elected an Honorary Member of Lodge Sorocaba in Brazil, and served on the Ritualistic Divan of Hejaz Shrine and was later a member of the Past Masters Unit.

Ken was very active in the Scottish Rite receiving the rank and decoration of KCCH and held several appointed offices. His untimely passing prevented him from receiving the well deserved 33rd Degree of the Rite.

Ken was a charter member of Pelham Council Allied Masonic Degrees and was President in 1993. He was a member and officer in Easley York Rite bodies, the S.C. Masonic Research Society and Myrtle Lodge Knights of Pythias.

Ken served as President of the 18th District Masters and Wardens Club in 1986. In this period he was instrumental in the founding of New Hope Masonic Home. He served on it's Board of Directors and as President until it's conversion to this Fund.

Ken joined the 18th District Past Masters Club in 1987 and served both on the Widows Assistance Committee and Funeral Service Committee. In 1989 the Club elected him President.

Ken was also very active in the Greenville community. As a young man he worked diligently with the Junior Chamber of Commerce, becoming it's President in 1969. He was also elected to Who's Who of the South and Southwest in 1978-79. He served the Taylors Lions Club with distinction becoming its President in 1983-84. His service with the Rape Crisis Council won him the honor of being elected Volunteer of the Year in 1984.

For further information contact:
Ken Coates Freemasonry-in-Action Fund
c/o William "Bill" Rogers, Treasurer
104 Elaine Court
Easley, S.C. 29640
(864) 850-3491


James R. Humphreys, Secretary
3 Notchwood Ct.
Greenville, S.C. 29611
(864) 246-4682