An Up-Close Look at the AME Church’s Partnership With Black-Owned Banks and Credit Unions

National Bankers Association Chairman Preston Pinkett (left) & Bishop Reginald Jackson (right), president of the Council of AME Bishops joined forces with other leaders in July to form a partnership between black banks and churches.
National Bankers Association Chairman Preston Pinkett (left) & Bishop Reginald Jackson (right), president of the Council of AME Bishops joined forces with other leaders in July to form a partnership between black banks and churches.

Nationally the African Methodist Episcopal Church has entered a partnership with some 19 Black owned banking institutions around the country to begin an innovative economic collaboration. In Charleston, SC, where Community Owned Federal Credit Union is the premier such entity, that process is in its infancy.

C.O. Federal Credit Union President and CEO Perrin Middleton last week said the credit union currently is partnered with only one local AME church, but discussions with others soon may begin. Ebenezer AME Church in downtown Charleston long has been among the more progressive and economically proactive church congregations. Middleton said the church is partnered with the credit union to finance both structural and ministry activities.

Middleton said he is encouraged that the South Carolina District AME convention is slated to be held later this month in North Charleston. That will provide an opportunity for Black banking institutions in the state to meet with individual church officials. C.O. Federal Credit Union and Brookland Federal Credit Union in West Columbia are the two premier Black owned banking institutions in the state.

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SOURCE: Barney Blakeney
The Charleston Chronicle