Right Eminent Grand Commander

Knights Templar of Tennessee


John Wiseman Simmons II

John Wiseman Simmons II was born on September 16, 1952 in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the son of the late Johnnie Wiseman Simmons and Zelpha Parsons Simmons. He attended school in the Jefferson County public school system and graduated from Hueytown High School. He attended Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and graduated with a degree in mathematics. He attended graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he received masters and doctoral degrees in mathematics and computer science.

Brother Simmons taught mathematics at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and mathematics and computer science at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He also taught computer science at the University of Memphis, while working as a software developer for FedEx, from which he retired in 2015. He then taught computer science for one year at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He also was music director for thirteen years at McLean Baptist Church in Memphis.

He is married to Linda Marie Simmons. They are members of Ellendale Baptist Church in Bartlett, Tennessee. He teaches Sunday School there occasionally as needed.

Brother Simmons was raised a Master Mason on January 2, 1975 in Hueytown Lodge 843 in Hueytown, Alabama. He is now a member of Oakville Lodge 599 in Memphis, where he served as Worshipful Master in 2000 and 2016. He served the Grand Lodge of Tennessee as Right Worshipful Grand Chaplain in 2021.

Companion Simmons was exalted a Royal Arch Mason in Bloomington Chapter 127, Bloomington, Indiana, on March 22, 1975, and served as Excellent High Priest in 1990. He is currently a member of Park Avenue Chapter 204 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he served as Excellent High Priest in 2019. He served the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Tennessee as Right Excellent Grand Chaplain in 2016. He received Grand Chapter Distinguished Service Medal in 2020.

Companion Simmons was greeted a Select Master in Bloomington Council 87, Bloomington, Indiana, on March 22, 1975, and served as Illustrious Master in 1992. He is currently a member of Park Avenue Chapter 108 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he served as Illustrious Master in 2020. He received the Ish Sodi award in 2018.

Sir Knight Simmons was knighted in Bloomington Commandery 63, Bloomington, Indiana, on November 15, 1975, and served as Eminent Commander in 1992. He is currently a member of Park Avenue Commandery 31 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he served as Eminent Commander in 2018.

Sir Knight Simmons was elected Eminent Grand Captain General of the Grand Commandery of Tennessee on March 23, 2021 and has advanced each year, being elected Right Eminent Grand Commander on March 26, 2024.

Bro. Simmons received the Scottish Rite degrees in Birmingham Consistory on May 12, 1976, and transferred to Memphis Consistory in 1994. He received the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor in Memphis on October 18, 2003. He was coronetted a 33rd Degree Inspector General Honorary in Nashville on December 10, 2011.

Bro. Simmons joined Hueytown Chapter 353, Order of the Eastern Star, in 1975. He is a member of Heritage Chapter 62, OES, in Memphis.

Bro. Simmons is a member of several appendant bodies:

St. Stephen’s Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine
Tennessee College, Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis
West Tennessee York Rite College 141
Emerald Isle Council 346, Allied Masonic Degrees
Tralee Council 41, Knight Masons
Rosslyn Chapel, Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon
Filius Dei Tabernacle, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests
Andrew Jackson Chapter, Order of DeMolay
Royal Order of Scotland

Order of High Priesthood
Order of the Silver Trowel
Knight Crusaders of the Cross
Tennessee Priory 15, Knights of the York Cross of Honor
Indiana Past Commanders Association
Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor

West Tennessee Forest 213, Tall Cedars of Lebanon
Masonic Order of the Four Black LLamas
Yellow Dogs
Royal Order of Zanzibar


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Nashville, TN 37203-3726