The Deep South Shrine Organization was first conceived in 1979 via a telephone conversation between PP James E. Poe, #151, Jackson Tennessee, PP Harry T. Coleman, #169, Sommerville, Tennessee (Deputy of the Desert of Tennessee), and PP Charles R. Audry, #18, Montgomery, Alabama (Deputy of the Desert of Alabama). We were officially organized in December 1979 in Nashville, Tennessee.

This organization of Shrine Temples provided a forum for addressing the individual concerns of the members and to attempt to address the perceived disparity in the distribution of appointed Imperial Officers—other than those constitutionally mandated appointments (i.e., Deputy of the Desert, Deputy of the Oasis, Imperial Organizer and Imperial Advisor.) During the initial meeting, discussions were held to address the concept of the organization, membership, and to obtain the approval for organization. Each Deputy of the Desert agreed to inform their respective Grand Master of the intent of the Deserts to organize and solicit the Grand Masters support.

During the Alabama Gala Day, held in April 1980 in Birmingham, the Deputies of the Deep South Shriners Organization endorsed Noble James E. Poe, #151 as their candidate for the office of Imperial Outer Guard of the Imperial Council. PP James E. Poe was elected as the Imperial Outer Guard of the Imperial Council during the (number) Imperial Council Session held in the Oasis of Cleveland the Desert of Ohio.

Since that time, the Deep South Shriners has endorsed and subsequently elected the following members of the Deep South to the Imperial Council Divan:

Dr. A Ralph Slaughter 1986

Donald R. Parks 1990

Charles Davenport 1998

Eric Myers 2002

Dr. Corey H. Thomas 2010

Jerwon L. Avery 2014

Dr. Pierre E. Rutledge 2021

Mario L. Eury 2021

The Deep South also endorsed many other candidates, and subsequent members, of the Imperial Council Divan for the offices of Imperial Treasurer, Imperial Recorder, and Imperial Auditor. Although the purpose of the Deep South Shriners is not political in nature, the members do participate in the election process of the Imperial Council.

Past Presidents

Nobles who have served as Presidents of the Deep South Shriners Organization and the years of their service are as follows:

1. Charles R. Andry 1979-1984

2. Fred Johnson, Jr. 1984-1986

3. Donald R. Parks, Alabama 1986-1992

4. Fred Johnson, Jr., Arkansas 1992-1994

5. Byron A. Martin, Tennessee 1994-1995

6. Ulysses S. Reed, Alabama 1995-1997

7. Roland Dykes, Tennessee 1997-1999

8. Jessie Thompson, Mississippi 1999-2001

9. James H. Woodard, Oklahoma 2001-2003

10. Carl Finnerson, Florida 2003-2005

11. Tillman Brown, Louisiana 2005-2007

12. Earnest E. Edwards, Arkansas 2007-2009

13. William Reid, South Carolina 2009-2010

14. James Johnson, Jr. , Georgia 2010-2012

15. Freeman Holifield, Sr. Alabama 2012-2014

16. Rodney Jones, Sr., Louisiana 2014-2016

17. Billy McLamb, Florida 2016-2018

18. Paul L. Webb, Oklahoma 2018-2020

18. Burnell White, Jr., Texas 2020-Present