Shrine Temple was chartered by the Imperial
Council Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, later to be renamed Shriners International, in 1888. Ararat was the 38th Shrine Temple
to be granted a charter.
distinguished names are numbered among the members
of Ararat Shrine. Our officers and members have
always been among the community's civic, religious
and fraternal leaders.
are extremely proud that former President of
the United States, Harry
S. Truman was a member of Ararat Shrine
for more than 50 years and previously served
on our Divan. He later relinquished his position
on the Divan to when he assumed the responsibilities
of being a United States Senator.
enjoys a unique position in Shrinedom in that
we have produced more Imperial Officers than
any other Temple. The first member of Ararat
Temple to become Imperial Potentate in 1898 was also
our first Potentate, Mr. Ethelbert F. Allen PP (1887-92). Mr. Allen also served as Grandmaster of Missouri Masons in 1888 to 1889.
The second Past Potentate of Ararat Shrine to
become Imperial Potentate in 1924 was James E. Chandler PP (1911).
late Frank S. Land PP (1931), who
founded the Order
of DeMolay, was the third past Potentate
of Ararat Shrine to assume the title of Imperial
W.W. (Woody) Bennett PP (1960) was the fourth past Potentate
of Ararat to hold the position of Imperial Potentate
in 1975. Dedicated to even further service to
the Shrine, Woody was elected Chairman of the
Board of Trustees, the corporation that supervises
and operates the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children. Bennett
Auditorium at our Temple is named in his honor.
M. Saunders, who served as Recorder of Ararat
Shrine from 1935 to 1948 was elected to the
position of Imperial Recorder in 1948 and served
in that position until his retirement in 1980.
first meetings of Ararat Shrine were held in
the offices of Mr. Ethelbert F. Allen. Various
meeting places have been used since that time.
One was the Elks Hall at Seventh and Main in
Kansas City. In 1980, the meetings were moved
to the Armory at 15th and Grand. From there
we moved to Strope's Hall at 15th and Central. The name Strope's
Hall was changed to "Shrine Hall" and Ararat met
there for almost eleven years.
1901 the Temple was moved to a new building
which later became the Kansas City Power and
Light Company home. That same year Ararat Shrine
was host for the Imperial Shrine Council Session
and the meetings were held in the then called
Standard Theatre, later known as the Missouri
Theatre and now known as the Folly Theatre.
December 1911, Ararat Temple moved into a building
of its own at 12th and Prospect.
November of 1925 a new building was erected
on the northeast corner of 11th and Central
and was occupied until 1940. This building was later occupied by KMBC-TV9 and the Lyric Theatre.
the entire fourth floor of the Hotel Continental
in downtown Kansas City was leased as a Temple,
and these facilities were used until 1945 when
Ararat Shriners purchased the old American Hereford Building
at the northwest corner of 11th and Central.
1971, 11.6 acres of land at I-435
and Eastwood Trafficway was purchased and Ararat Shrine moved to its present
facilities in January 1975. The Addition of
Bennett Auditorium was completed in 1979 becoming one of the finest Shrine facilities
of the 191 Shrine Temples.
Ararat Temple Name
Shriners International requires that all Shrine Temples adopt names
of an Arabic nature. There is no official record
of why the founders of Ararat chose this particular
name. Mount Ararat, where
tradition and the Bible say Noah's Ark landed, was once located in Armenia and is currently among lands controlled by modern-day Turkey.