At the close of the Civil War in 1865, Masonic Lodges began to appear in the Southern States. Rev. James M. Simms, a Baptist minister and a free man from Savannah, Georgia, had moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he was made a Mason. As soon as the Civil War ended, Rev. James M. Simms, clothed with Masonic authority as a District Deputy Grand Master, returned to Savannah to live and establish Eureka Lodge, No. 1, F. &A.M.on February 4, 1866. In December 1866, Hilton Lodge No 13, F. &A.M.was established with both Lodges receiving warrants from the Prince Hall Lodge of Massachusetts. On December 13, 1866, Banneker Lodge No. 38, F. & A. M., was established at Augusta, Ga., by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
Rev. J. M. Simms called these three Masonic Lodges to meet in Savannah, where on June 24, 1870, he organized the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Georgia Free and Accepted Masons. Rev. James M. Simms was elected to serve as its first Grand Master.