The Fort Worth Magicians Club was organized on September 6, 1940 at the home of Ren Clark after several magic enthusiasts began meeting together to share their love for magic. Ren Clark served as President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians in 1947-48, and in 1948 the club became affiliated with the IBM as the “Ren Clark IBM Ring 15, The Fort Worth Magicians Club.”
This designation served the club well until tax liability concerns prompted the club to seek incorporation. Led by Trustee Bob Utter, the club received non profit IRS 501(c)6 corporation status on September 4, 1991 as The Fort Worth Magicians Club Inc. The IBM Ren Clark Ring 15 was not recognized in the incorporation. However the club did continue to associate with the International Brotherhood of Magicians as the IBM Ren Clark Ring 15.
Due to liability related concerns, particularly in regards to hosting TAOM conventions, club President Arthur Emerson led the club in 1994 to revise its bylaws and acknowledge in them a complete separation of The Fort Worth Magicians Club from the Ren Clark IBM Ring 15. Henceforth the two clubs have remained independent from each other but have continued to meet simultaneously.
SAM Assembly 138 was originally charted as the Mid-Cities United Magicians Club (abbreviated as MUM) on March 12, 1977 in Hurst, Texas. There were 7 members on the charter: Robin Clay, James Eaton, William Ridge, Paul Shaffer, Darren Walker, Randy Yates and William Yates. Unfortunately due to inactivity and the demise of the magic shop in that area that promoted the club’s formation, the SAM recalled the club’s charter on October 14, 1981.
During the late 1980’s, a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians was established in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area, led primarily through the efforts of a local minister by the name of Cameron Ainsworth. The group named itself the DFW/FCM (Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians). After several years of continuous meetings, Cameron moved from Fort Worth to pastor a church in another state. Subsequently the club’s meetings became infrequent, its membership dwindled, and ultimately the club also became inactive.
Early in 2001, a seminary student by the name of Darren Smith approached Bruce Chadwick, owner of the Illusion Warehouse retail magic shop about reviving the old Fort Worth chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians. Chadwick’s store provided a good meeting location due to the fact that it was located only about three blocks north of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, at 3917 McCart Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas.
Subsequently a small group of individuals began to meet at Chadwick’s store on a monthly basis. Naming themselves the Alliance of Illusionists, or AOI for short, the magic group quickly grew with most of its members joining the club due to the influence of the Illusion Warehouse. Within months the club had over 60 members.
On Tuesday evening October 9, 2001, the Alliance of Illusionists members voted to dissolve their club name, recharter and reestablish the 1977 Hurst SAM Assembly 138 Mid-Cities United Magicians Club. They renamed the club the Bruce Chadwick SAM Assembly 138. The club continued to meet monthly for the next several years at Chadwick’s magic shop.
Somewhere during 2005 and certainly by early 2006, a number of members in the three magic clubs concluded that magic would best be served in Fort Worth if there were only one monthly magic club meeting. Therefore on Thursday June 1, 2006, The Fort Worth Magicians Club, the Ren Clark IBM Ring 15, and the Bruce Chadwick SAM Assembly 138 all voted to start meeting concurrently.
Since that time all three magic entities have met simultaneously at the same date, time, and place to practice, promote and seek the advancement of the art of magic. The SAM Assembly and the IBM Ring maintain separatism for proper alignment with their respective national magic organizations, and The Fort Worth Magicians Club Inc remains independent from the IBM Ring and SAM Assembly to fulfill the obligations of it’s non-profit legal status.
One of the distinctives of The Fort Worth Magicians Club is to honor those club members on a yearly basis that go above and beyond to promote and participate in the club and club activities. Past designees include:
John Hatzenbuhler – 2007
Hal Hudgins – 2008
Geoff Grimes – 2009
Larry Heil – 2010
MIchael Dimsdle – 2011
Leland Van Deventer – 2012
Michael Stein – 2013
Bill Irwin – 2014