Most Excellent Grand High Priest
Ronald Jasper Coates was born August 16, 1961 in Centerville, Tennessee, the son of A. J. and Willie B. Russell Coates. He was educated in the public school system of Hickman County, graduating from Hickman County High School in 1979. Leadership Hickman; graduate of 2005-2006. Certified Public Administrator; 2006, County Officials Certificate Training Program of the University of Tennessee.
Brother Coates has been employed with the Hickman County Highway Department as a Road Grader Operator and Foreman since June 4, 1979 and was elected Road Superintendent of Hickman County on August 5, 2010. He served as Secretary of the Tennessee Counties Highway Officials Association during 2013 and served as President during 2016 – 2017. He served as a County Commissioner of the Hickman County Legislative Body from 1986 to 1990. He is a member of the Centerville Church of Christ.
Brother Coates was raised a Master Mason on May 24, 1984 in Centerville Lodge No. 618; served as Worshipful Master during 1988 and served as Secretary from 2005 through 2010. He was elected Secretary for 2013 and presently serving as Secretary. In the Grand Lodge, he served as Grand Steward during 1996. District Chairman from 1989 through 2000 and is presently serving as Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Virginia near the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. Brother Coates was elected Junior Grand Warden on March 23, 2000, advanced each year, being elected Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Tennessee on March 27, 2003. He was inducted into the Past Grand Master’s Association of Tennessee on March 24, 2004; served as Secretary from 2004 – 2009 and served as President during 2009 – 2010. He also served as the secretary for the State of the Craft Committee of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee from 2004 – 2009 and served as President during 2009 – 2010. He is presently serving on the Grand Lodge of Tennessee Library & Museum Committee.
Companion Coates was exalted in Dickson Chapter No. 123 on February 21, 1987, served as High Priest during 1991 & 2017 and received the Order of High Priesthood on March 25, 1991. He is presently serving as Grand Representative of the Grand Chapter of British Columbia and the Yukon near the Grand Chapter of Tennessee. He served on the Advancement of Royal Arch Masonry Committee. Companion Coates was elected Excellent Grand Captain of the Host of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Tennessee on March 25, 2014 advanced each year and elected Most Excellent Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Tennessee on March 20, 2017. Companion Coates is a Life Member of Anchorage Chapter No. 3 of Anchorage, Alaska.
Companion Coates was greeted in Dickson Council No. 107 on February 24, 1987, served as Illustrious Master during 1991 and received the Order of the Silver Trowel on March 25, 1991. In the Grand Council, he served as Grand Marshal during 1992. He was awarded the Cryptic Mason of the Year Medal from the General Grand Council in 1992. During 1999 and 2000, he served as Grand Instructor. He also served on the Ritual Committee.
He is presently serving as Grand Representative of the Grand Council of Ontario near the Grand Council of Tennessee. He is a member of Nashville Council No. 1. He is a Life Member of Anchorage Council No. 1 of Anchorage, Alaska.
Sir Knight Coates was knighted in Clarksville Commandery No. 8 on March 21, 1987, becoming a charter member of Dickson Commandery No. 41 in 1991, served as Commander during 1993, served as Recorder from 1994 through 2007 and is presently serving as Prelate. He received the Knight Crusader of the Cross on April 23, 1993. In the Grand Commandery, he served as Grand Standard Bearer during 1993, served as a District Instructor from 1994 through 2000 and served as Grand Prelate during 2014. He is presently serving as Grand Representative of the Grand Commandery of Vermont near the Grand Commandery of Tennessee. He is presently serving as Chairman of the Appeals and Grievances Committee of the Grand Commandery. He is a holder of the Grand Encampment Membership Jewel Award. He is a member of Nashville Commandery No. 1. He is a Life Member of Anchorage Commandery No. 2 of Anchorage, Alaska.
Brother Coates received the Scottish Rite Degrees in Trinity Consistory; Valley of Nashville in April 1985. He is a Life Member in the Valley of Memphis, Orient of Tennessee; on October 29, 2005 was invested with the rank and decoration of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour and on December 12, 2009 was coroneted a 33rd Degree Inspector General Honorary. He served as Venerable Master in the Valley of Memphis Lodge of Perfection during 2012-2013. He serves as Prior in the conferral of the 32nd Degree and Grand Minister of State in the Knights Commander of the Court of Honor Investiture. In 2009, he completed the Scottish Rite Master Craftsman Program #1. He is a member of the Tri-County Scottish Rite Club.
Brother Coates was made a noble of Al Menah Shrine Temple on December 13, 1985; served as Hickman County Shrine Ambassador from 1987 through 1997. Member of Al Menah Shrine Past Masters Club, Cumberland Clan No. 151 Shrine Hillbillies; served as Raban of the Clan of Outhouse #1 and presently serves on the Al Menah Shrine Membership Committee.
Brother Coates was made a member of Tennessee Priory No. 15 Knights of the York Cross of Honour (K.Y.C.H.) on March 28, 1994, Knights of the York Grand Cross of Honour (K.Y.G.C.H.) in 2003. He served as Eminent Prior of Tennessee Priory No. 15 Knights of the York Cross of Honour during 2009 and 2015. He is a member of Middle Tennessee York Rite College No. 143; served as Governor during 2001 and received the Order of the Purple Cross from the York Rite Sovereign College of North America on July 28, 2001 and designated an Associate Regent of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America. Middle Tennessee York Rite Association; served as President during 1995, awarded the York Rite Mason of the Year from the Middle Tennessee York Rite Association on October 22, 2004. Old Hickory Conclave Red Cross of Constantine; served as Sovereign during 2006 and served as President of the Tennessee Red Cross of Constantine Association during 2008. He served on the Credentials Committee of the United Grand Imperial Council of the Red Cross of Constantine for the year 2005-2006. Tennessee Lodge of Research; served as Worshipful Master during 2001 and designated with rank and honor of Fellow.
Brother Coates is also a member of the Royal Order of Scotland, Grand College of Rites of the U.S.A., Pilgrim Preceptors Mayflower Conclave, West Tennessee Forest #213 Tall Cedars of Lebanon, Holy Manger Tabernacle No. XLVIII Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest; served as Very Eminent Preceptor during 2012 and was elevated to the rank of Knight Commander, Tennessee College Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitiatibus Foederatis; served as Celebrant during 2013, Cornelius Chapel # 104 St. Thomas of Acon; presently serving as Marshal, Masonic Veteran’s Association of Tennessee, Tralee Council No. 41 Knight Masons, Ezra Council No. 89 Knight Masons; served as Excellent Chief during 2009, Middle Tennessee Past Master’s Association; served as President during 2003, West Tennessee Past Master’s Association, Ray S. Garton Council # 403 Allied Masonic Degrees; served as Sovereign Master during 2004 and created a Knight Commander of the Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri the same year, Allied Masonic Degrees Association of Tennessee: served as President during 2012, Edwin Hickman Chapter #550 National Sojourners; served as President during 2013, Defeated Creek Camp Heroes of 76; served as Commander during 2015 and Centerville Chapter No. 329 Order of the Eastern Star; served as Worthy Patron during 1993 and 1996.
Brother Coates was invested with the Honorary DeMolay Legion of Honor from The International Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay on July 9, 2004. Honorary member of the High Twelve International. Member of the Masonic Order of the 4 Black Llamas receiving this in Maggie Valley, North Carolina at the York Rite Summer Assembly on July 13, 2014. Holds honorary membership in several masonic lodges. He is also an Honorary Kentucky Colonel. Member of Sam Davis Lodge Knights of Pythias in Centerville, Tennessee.