Backroom discussions have been swirling for months. G. Clay Smith was quoted during District Deputy trainings that they were going to “take back the fraternity” and in reference to scotch and cigar pictures being posted online, “this is not Animal House.”
In early December 2022, rumors surfaced about an incident involving Jim Rumsey and three other people (two of whom are masons). Purportedly, masonic charges were levied against Jim Rumsey. Jim Rumsey purportedly levied charges against the two members who filed charges against him. Grand Master Billings accepted none of the charges. Our opinion is this was done to try to get the parties to find peace and harmony. The two other brothers involved in the incident were never charged.
During the Grand Communication, rumors continued. There were reports Jim Rumsey, who was running unopposed for Grand Junior Warden, would face challenges from the floor. This indeed occurred. Chip Green, George Moxley, and John Wilkerson were nominated from the floor. Chip Green appeared to be the nominee pushed by Past Grand Masters Terry Stogner and Paul Underwood. The two others, Moxley and Wilkerson, appeared to be taking advantage of the opportunity.
Jim Rumsey won on the first ballot, gaining a clear majority of all votes counted. It is our opinion, and according to ongoing backroom discussions, that had Rumsey lost the election, Paul Underwood would have been nominated from the floor for Grand Secretary, running against Justin Duty.
Is there more to these backroom discussions?
We all know by now what happened during the installation. Read more about G. Clay Smith’s attempt to prevent the installation of Grand Junior Warden, Jim Rumsey here: Installation Interrupted. You can also read a good synopsis on Chris Hodapp’s blog, Members to Grand Master: The Eyes of Texas Masons are Upon You.
Many questions remain unanswered. Why is Jim Rumsey being targeted when the other two brothers remain unaffected? Why has G. Clay Smith, now Grand Master, not taken any action to resolve this situation?