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Edward B. Darnell, was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Lafayette, Indiana. At the age of thirteen, he moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he was educated in the Detroit Public Schools System. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the Detroit Institute of Technology, an MSW, from Wayne State University, in the Field of Social Work - Community Organization, and a Specialists Degree in Gerontology, from the Universite of Michigan.

Having served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict, upon discharge, he married his high school sweetheart, Gwendolyn Wilson, who was then serving in the United States Air Force, as a 2nd Lieutenant. They have two sons, Glenn and Gary, from that union of 45 years.


Brother Darnell, was raised a Master Mason on March 27, 1959, in Unity Lodge #28, Prince Hall Affiliated. In December of the same year, he as appointed Senior Deacon, progressing through the line until subsequently being elected to the Office of Worshipful Master on December 9, 1967. He also enjoys the distinction of being a Past Elected Grand Lodge Officer of Michigan, a member of Symbolic African Lodge #459, Boston Massachusetts, an Honorary Member of both the Illinois and North Carolina Prince Hall Grand Lodge. On April 25, 1995, he was accorded a Life Membership in the MWPH Grand Lodge of Michigan and in August of the same year, he was made an Honorary Past Grand Master of the Jurisdiction of Colorado, Wyoming & Utah, and Parats of the Republic of South Korea. During the Oklahoma Grand Session in 1999, he was unanimously voted by the membership to be made an Honorary Past Grand Master of that Jurisdiction also.

He is the Senior Past Commander-In-Chief of Wolverine Consistory #6, one of the largest Prince Hall Consistories in the Northern Jurisdiction, and Senior Active 33rd Degree Mason for Michigan. In 1977, he was Elected to the Office of Grand Recording Secretary of the United Supreme Council, Northern Jurisdiction, and presently holds that position. He is Past President and Founder of the Eagles Club - Commanders of the Rite, A.A.S.R. In 1978, he was made an Honorary Member of the United Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction, by the late Sovereign Grand Commander, John G. Lewis, and on May 7, 1984, was Elected to the "Scottish Rite Hall of Fame", and awarded a Bronze Double-Headed Eagle by the late Sovereign Grand Commander, Russell S. Gideon.

In 1973, he was among the first to receive the newly established prestigious Imperial Council Legion of Honor Award and during the years 1974-75, served as the 47th Illustrious Potentate of Marracci Temple #13, Oasis of Detroit, Desert of Michigan. He served on numerous important Imperial Council Committees, prior to being Elected to the Office of Imperial Outer Guard in Denver, Colorado, in 1982. In August 2000, he was elected the 35th Imperial Potentate of all Prince Hall Shriners, "All Over The World".

Honorary Memberships have been bestowed upon him by the following temples from accross the Imperial Domain: Rabia #8, Jacksonville, Florida Medinah #39, St. Louis, Missouri Persian #46, Indianapolis, Indiana Syria #49, Denver, Colorado Alla Baba #53, Columbus, Ohio Zembo #70, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Aleikum #96, Covington, Kentucky Amer #107, Dayton, Ohio

In 1993, the Spring Class of new Shriners from Marracci Temple #13, was named in his Honor, and in 1995, he was Elected Chief Merrimaker of Marraci Temple #13. In August, 1998, he received his Life Membership status in the Imperial Council, for 30 years of unbroken service. In June, 2000 he received his Honorary Past General Grand High Priest Degree from the General Conference of Grand Chapters, Holy Royal Arch Masons, PHA.

He is a member and Honorary Fellow in the Phylaxis Society, Past Editor of the Phylaxis Newsletter, and Past President and Founder of the Great Lakes Chapter of the Phylaxis of Michigan. On March 11, 2000, he became the recipient of the John G. Lewis Medal of Excellence, presented by the Phylaxis Society during their Annual Session in Kansas City, Missouri. He is a member of the Detroit Chapter No. 1, Holy Royal Arch Masons, Eureka Commandery No. 1, Knights Templars, and Past Patron of Tyre Chapter #39, Order of the Eastern Star. He has held membership in the Detroit Renaissance Lions Club, Inc., and American Legion Post #303. A former Elected Precint Delegate and Appointed Notary Public. A Life Member of the NAACP, a Charter Member of the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame, Past Member of the Governor's Air Service Task Force, a Member of the United Supreme Council Benevolent Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and fromer Member of the Board of Directors, United Community Services, Detroit, Michigan.


He is cited in "Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1974", for his outstanding Civic involvement. In 1982, he was listed in "Great Black Men in Masonry -Qualitative Black Achievers, Who Were Freemasons", by Dr. Andrew Mason Cox, and in 1984, became one of the only twelve Blacks cited in "Who's Who in Freemasonry", a Caucasian Publication, listing some 364 distinguished Biographies. In 1986, the Governor of Oklahoma declared him an Honorary Member of the State of Oklahoma. On May 9, 1988, he was Commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by State Governor Wallace G. Wilkerson, and on June 20, 1991, he was made an Honorary Citizen of Lovisville, Kentucky. In 1990, he was the recipient of the "Humanitarian of the Year Award, presented by the Florence Ames Chapter #17, I.B.P.O.E. of W., and in 1990, he was also awarded the annual Lee J. Barrett Award by the Detroit Metropolitan Visitors & Convention Bureau, an award he was to receive a second time in 1997, and in 1994, he was bestowed the Honorary title of Captain, in the Capitol Heights Police Department, Capitol Heights, Maryland. In the same year, at the 101st Annual Session of the Imperial Council held in St. Louis, Missouri, he received the coveted Seagram's Vanguard Award.

In February of 1994, he delivered the Keynote Address, at the first Annual Fellowship Banquet ever held between Caucasian and Prince Hall Masons, in the State of Pennsylvania, where he received a Bronze Citation from the Caucasian Grand Master.


He was employed by the Ford Motor Company, taught in the Detroit Public Schools System, worked as a Licensed Social Worker for the State of Michigan, was Director of the Office of Civil Defense for the City of Detroit, prior to completing eighteen years of service as Deputy Director of Detroit City Airport, retiring in November of 1991.


He is proud to claim Hartford Memorial Baptist Church as his Church Home, where he serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees, the Rev. Dr. Charles G. Adams, Pastor.