Ferguson holds highest IOOF seat
ELKINS — A local member of the IOOF Randolph Lodge 116 currently holds the highest ranking in the Odd Fellow Organization — Sovereign Grand Master.
Larry Ferguson, of Elkins, will be honored the first weekend of December, and will have a Testimonial Tribute at the Isaac Jackson Hotel Dec. 3. Reservations for the Testimonial dinner are being accepted through Nov. 1.
Ferguson was inducted as the Sovereign Grand Master Aug. 18 during a ceremony in Rapid City, South Dakota. He is the third person from West Virginia in 197 years to rise to this rank and is the first person ever from the local lodge, Randolph Lodge 116 to go this far.
“There were about 1,000 people who attended the ceremony from throughout the world,” Ferguson said. “The Testimonial Tribute Committee is expecting about 200 people to attend the ceremony Dec. 3.”
He said holding this new position is a very humbling experience. He said the Odd Fellows is in 26 countries.
“When I attended Elkins High School I was shy and did not like speaking in front of others,” Ferguson said. “When I was in Reno, Nevada in 1989 I led devotions in front of more than 1,200 people. That same year, I did the devotions at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington.”
Ferguson said he joined the IOOF in 1974.
“Never in my wildest dreams when I joined the Lodge would I have thought I would get to do anything like this,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said after joining the Odd Fellow Lodge he became a Noble Grand and then was elected as financial secretary, a position he held for 38 years.
On the state level, he was a District Deputy and also a Grand Warden.
He was Grand Master of the state from 1988 through 1999 and Grand Representative from the state of West Virginia. In August 2015 Ferguson became the Deputy Sovereign Grand Master.
During his tenure, Ferguson has traveled to 46 of the 50 U.S. states and has traveled through a large portion of the Canadian provinces.
“I have made friends everywhere I have traveled,” Ferguson said.
Those interested in attending the Testimonial Dinner can make reservations before Nov. 1 by contacting June Miller at 304-226-3448.