IOOF dinner set for Saturday
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows will meet for a dinner Saturday at the IOOF Lodge on the Beverly Five-lane. There will be a social hour from 5 to 6 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6 p.m.
Speakers for the dinner will be Sovereign Grand Master Charles “Chuck” Renninger and Rebekah’s Chief Matriarch of Salem Encampment Vivian Pursell.
Renninger was initiated into Friendship Lodge of the IOOF in January 1976. He has held several positions in the lodge including noble grand and treasurer. In 1978, Renninger was initiated into Fred D. Stuart Encampment No. 7, which subsequently consolidated with Mt. Nebo Encampment No. 6 until the reinstatement of Fred D. Stuart Encampment in July 1992, Renninger being one of the charter members of the revived encampment. He is a past chief patriarch of his encampment and is currently serving as grand junior warden of the Grand Encampment of the District of Columbia. Renninger is a member of Schuyler Colfax Rebekah Lodge No. 10 and Washington Canton No. 1 of the District of Columbia, and Tucker Canton No. 8 of West Virginia.
Renninger was nominated and elected grand representative for the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia in March 2000. In each successive election, he was re-elected to that position and continued to serve as grand representative until 2010. That year, he was elected to the position of sovereign grand warden. At the 2011 session, he was elected as deputy sovereign grand master, and in August 2012, he was elected to the position of sovereign grand master, the highest office of the order.
Renninger was nominated and elected grand warder of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia in 1986, subsequently deputy grand master in 1987 and grand master of the Grand Lodge in 1988. He was elected grand treasurer of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia in 1992, a position he has held since then.
Renninger has served on the local United Nations Pilgrimage of Youth Committee and has been chairman or co-chairman of that committee for a number of years. Since 1976, he has taken an active part in touring the UNP delegates while they are in Washington, D.C.
Renninger was appointed to and has served since its inception on the board of directors of the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs United Nations Education Pilgrimage for Youth Inc. where he has served several terms as president of the board.
Also, he has served several terms on the board of directors of the Odd Fellows Temple of the District of Columbia. He was elected and served as assistant secretary and later secretary of the board, a position he still holds.
Renninger has served on the board of directors of the Odd Fellows Home in the District of Columbia.
He is an active member of the organizing committee for the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Pilgrimage to the Tombs of the Unknown at Arlington, Va. For the last five years, he has served as co-chair of the committee.
Renninger was elected and served as president of the Mid-Atlantic States Conclave consisting of the jurisdictions of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
Pursell, of Winston-Salem, N.C., was installed as secretary of the International Association of Rebekah Assemblies in Wichita, Kan., in August 2002. Prior to her move to Winston-Salem, she retired as a civil engineer technician form the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, in September 2002 with 36 years of federal service.
She was initiated in the Rebekahs in October 1968 and served the jurisdiction of Florida as treasurer from 1982 to 1984; secretary from 1984-1995, receiving secretary emeritus in 1995; and assembly president from 1999-2000. She was initiated into Salem Odd Fellows Lodge No. 36 in January 2006 and Salem Encampment No. 20 in February 2008. She is currently serving as chief matriarch of Salem Encampment.
Her husband, Bill, whom she married in November 1970, has been a member of the Odd Fellows Order since July 1975.
He is a past grand conductor of the Grand Lodge of Florida, and past patriarch of Salem Encampment No. 20. They are both active in the Jurisdiction of North Carolina.
Pursell was born in South Carolina and lived in Florida since the age of 6 months. She is the eldest daughter of the late Grace and Burle E. Wiggins Sr. Her sister, Martha, served the Jurisdiction of Florida as treasurer and is currently Warden of the Rebekah Assembly. She is married to Connie Cox. Her brother, Burle E. Jr. and his wife, Phyllis, have two children, Shelley and Adam.