HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Assembly 138 was originally charted in Hurst, Texas by the Society of American Magicians as the Mid-Cities United Magicians Club (abbreviated as MUM). Seven members appear on the March 12, 1977 charter. They include Robin Clay, James Eaton, William Ridge, Paul Shaffer, Darren Walker, Randy Yates and William Yates. Unfortunately due to inactivity primarily because of the demise of the “Magic and More” store that promoted the club's formation, the SAM recalled the club’s charter on October 14, 1981.
During the mid 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 the late 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 club meetings became infrequent, membership dwindled, and ultimately the club also became inactive.
REBIRTH OF THE ASSEMBLY
Early in 2001, a seminary student by the name of Darren Smith approached Bruce Chadwick, owner of the Illusion Warehouse retail magic shop (www.IllusionWarehouse.com) about once again starting a Christian-based magic group. Chadwick's store provided a good meeting location due to the fact that it was located at 3917 McCart Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas, only three blocks north of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Subsequently a small group of individuals began to meet at the Illusion Warehouse. Within a matter of months the group grew to over sixty members. As emphasis of the club shifted towards general magic and illusion, it named itself the Alliance of Illusionists (AOI).
On Tuesday evening October 9, 2001, the Alliance of Illusionists members voted to petition the national SAM organization to become the Bruce Chadwick SAM Assembly 138 Alliance of Illusionists. The National Council of the Society of American Magicians then renewed the Assembly 138 charter on April 20, 2002.
Charter members include Edgardo Ferrer, Bob Miner, Grady W. Patterson, Wilford D. Lewis, Jo Ann Lewis, Mark Jones, Raymond L. Landy, Martin Lee Patterson, Stephen C. Hires, H. Craig Davis, Larry J. Brown, Jr., and Bruce Chadwick. Click the Documents page of this website to view a copy of the 2002 charter in PDF format.
Early in 2006, members of the Fort Worth Magicians Club Inc, the Ren Clark IBM Ring 15, and the Bruce Chadwick SAM Assembly 138 Alliance of Illusionists began discussing the idea of meeting together on a monthly basis, mainly because there was so much overlap in membership.
After surveying its membership and determining there was an overwhelming interest for such an association, SAM Assembly 138 President Larry Brown sent a letter to the Fort Worth Magicians Club and Ring 15 suggesting that the three clubs merge into one entity.
However the Fort Worth Magicians Club and the Ren Clark IBM Ring 15 politely rejected because the Fort Worth Magicians Club and Ring had recently separated from each other for liability reasons and so the Fort 'Worth Magicians Club could become a non-profit corporation. The Fort Worth Magicians Club and the IBM Ring 15 did extend a written invitation for SAM Assembly 138 to start meeting with them concurrently.
So on Thursday June 1, 2006 the three clubs started meeting together at the same date, time, and place to promote and seek the advancement of the art of magic, with the understanding that each club would remain independent.
Unfortunately during the approximate ten years the three clubs met concurrently, the meetings were usually referred to as Fort Worth Magicians Club meetings, and not also the meetings of IBM Ring 15 and SAM Assembly 138. Also with the three clubs appearing to function as a single club, it is easy to understand how newer members thought the Fort Worth Magicians Club, the SAM Assembly 138, and the IBM Ring 15 were a single entity.
The Fort Worth Magicians Club does not require its members to also be members of the IBM or SAM. Therefore during the decade that the clubs met concurrently, Ren Clark IBM Ring 15 and Bruce Chadwick SAM Assembly 138 membership declined drastically.
SAM Assemblies must maintain a minimum number of national SAM members to sustain their charters. With the SAM Assembly 138 membership critical, SAM members gathered for a special meeting on Tuesday evening July 5, 2016 and voted to reinstate monthly Assembly 138 meetings on the third Thursday of each month.
The move for Assembly 138 to once again have its own independent monthly magic club meeting on the third Thursday of each month was very successful. The Assembly exploded in size. In fact on April 6, 2017 the Executive Committee of the Fort Worth Magicians Club even terminated its ten year old invitation for Assembly 138 to meet with them concurrently. The Assembly updated its bylaws, revised its membership application process, become a 501(c)6 non-profit corporation, and renewed its mission to be the best magic club in Fort Worth, Texas.
A NEW ERA
The club continues to evolve to meet the needs of club members regarding magic education, fellowship, and camaraderie. With the 2023 SAM National Council's push to affirm LGTBQ agenda, the increases in national SAM membership dues for its members, and additional fees instituted for the printed version of MUM magazine, members renamed the "Bruce Chadwick SAM Assembly 138 Alliance of Illusionists" as simply the "Bruce Chadwick SAM Assembly 138." Members also established the "Alliance of Illusionists," an independent magic club that meets concurrently with the Assembly.
Now members have the option to join the national Society of American Magicians and also the Bruce Chadwick SAM Assembly 138 (members also get automatic membership in the Alliance of Illusionists), or members can join only the Alliance of Illusionists without national SAM affiliation.