The History of the Hadji Temple

Our History

The Pensacola Shrine Club was chartered by Morocco Temple on June 5, 1945.  Morocco Temple, in order to honor their newest Shrine Club, came t0 Pensacola in 1946 and conducted the First Ceremonial to take place in Northwest Florida.  Through the years, Pensacola Shrine Club flourished and, in due time, Morocco Temple Chartered Clubs in Panama City and Fort Walton Beach.

The Imperial Council, in 1966, granted permission for signatures to be collected on a petition for dispensation to form a Shrine Temple, in Pensacola, to be known as Hadji.  All three Shrine Clubs worked together to obtain the 1,000 signatures required.  The dispensation was granted on July 14, 19667, during the Imperial Session which took place in Washington, D.C.

During the ensuring year, Hadji Temple met all criteria for receiving it’s Charter and on July 11, 1968, in Chicago, the Charter was granted.  Members of Hadji’s first Divan were Illustrious Sir J. B. Hopkins, Potentate; Ray Henry Schmidt, Chief Rabban; Preston E. McArthur, Assistant Rabban; J. T. “Dutch” Weidlich, High Priest & Prophet; W. A. “Andy” Hibert, Oriental Guide; William C. Nellums, Treasurer; C. Ed Wood, Recorder; Herbert N. Nizell, Jr., 1st Ceremonial Master; Carlos G. Murr, 2nd Ceremonial Master; and John R. Bray, Captain of the Guard.

Hadji Temple worked hard and prospered and by January 1, 1985, could proudly claim a membership of over 4,300 Nobles.

During the preceding two years, with the cooperation of Hadji Temple, a group of Nobles from the Panama City Shrine Club had been collection signatures on a petition to form a new Temple.  In July 1985, while during the Imperial Session in Atlanta, dispensation was granted to form a Temple in Panama City to be known as Shaddai.

When Shaddai’s dispensation was granted, Hadji automatically relinquished jurisdiction of over eight counties and lost the membership of almost 1,000 Nobles.  At that time, they held the exclusive jurisdiction over Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties and had over 2,600 members.

Hadji’s beautiful Mosque is located on 33 landscaped acres at 800 West Nine Mile Rd.  We have the facility, we have the Nobility, and we have the will to grow and perpetuate the world’s greatest philanthropy, Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.

More About Hadji

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Photo of Hadji Shrine temple entrance

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