The Ararat Shriners have called Kansas City their home since 1888 and brought the Shrine Circus to Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium for 79 years. Beginning in 2015 Ararat Shriners moved the Shrine Circus to a new venue at the Independence Events Center, newly renamed the Siverstein Eye Center Arena, also the home of the outstanding Missouri Mavericks hockey team. We have included a short history of our great fraternity where our members give back to the community in various ways, most notably through the 22 renowned Shriners Hospitals for Children. Ararat Shriners also send thousands of children to the Circus each year free of charge with proceeds from the Shriners Open Buddy Bass Tournament. The remainder of the income generated by the circus supports the Shrine fraternity, keeping the lights on so that the fraternity can continue their good works.

Ararat Shrine Temple was chartered by the Imperial Council Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in 1888. Ararat was the 38th Shrine Temple to be granted a charter.

Many 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.

We 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.

Ararat 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 was also our first Potentate, Mr. Ethelbert F. Allen. The second Past Potentate of Ararat Shrine to become Imperial Potentate was James E. Chandler.

The late Frank S. Land, who founded the Order of DeMolay, was the third past Potentate of Ararat Shrine to assume the title of Imperial Potentate.

W.W. (Woody) Bennett 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.

George 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.

The 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 we met there for almost eleven years. 

In 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.

In December 1911, Ararat Temple moved into a building of its own at 12th and Prospect.

In November of 1925 a new building was erected on the northeast corner of 11th and Central and was occupied until 1940. This building is now occupied by KMBC-TV9 and the Lyric Theatre.

Next, the entire fourth floor of the Hotel Continental in downtown Kansas City was leased as a Temple, and these facilities were used unit 1945 when we purchased the old American Hereford Building at the northwest corner of 11th and Central.

In 1971, we purchased 11.6 acres of land at I-435 and Eastwood Trafficway. We moved to our present facilities in January 1975. The Addition of Bennett Auditorium was completed in 1979.We now enjoy one of the finest Shrine facilities of the 191 Shrine Temples.

The 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.