The Knights Templar is a Christian-oriented fraternal organization that is based on the history and mythos surrounding the medieval crusading order of warrior monks, known as the Knights Templar, which existed from the 12th to the 14th century. Originally, the Knights Templar were laymen who protected and defended Christians traveling to Jerusalem. These men took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and were renowned for their fierceness and courage in battle.
Today, the Knights Templar display their courage and goodwill in other ways. They organize fund-raising activities such as breakfasts, dinners, dances, and flea markets. They support Masonic-related youth groups and they raise millions of dollars for medical research and educational assistance.
Currently, Templar membership consists of people from all walks of life, including doctors, lawyers, clergy, businessmen and entertainment personalities, all of whom profess a belief in the Christian Religion.
The Knights Templar operate on a local, state and national level. But their religious activities extend across international borders as well. Nationally, there is The Grand Encampment of Knights Templar. This unit defines the rituals and laws governing state and local level organizations.
The state level is called A Grand Commandery of Knights Templar. This organization represents members of a state or an area of equivalent size.
Finally, the local level unit is called a Commandery of Knights Templar. There are almost 1,600 Commanderies in communities across the United States, Germany, Italy and Mexico, with over 260,000 members. California Grand Commandery is made up of 50 constituent Commanderies, with a total membership of approximately 6,000.