EATONVILLE, Florida. – Dozens of people came to historic Eatonville Saturday morning to witness more history in the nation’s oldest black incorporated municipality.
It was a community festival with live music, food and face painting as people celebrated the grand opening of the city’s first-ever financial institution.
It is called Unity of Eatonville Federal Credit Union, located at 323 W Kennedy Blvd. in the heart of Eatonville.
“We never had a credit union here, never had a financial institution, so it’s been 135 years,” said bank board member Kimberly Stewart.
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“This is a community that has often been overlooked and underserved by banking institutions, so this is really important because it will be a catalyst for change,” said George Williams, founding board member and chairman of the board. administration.
Bank executives said that while their goal is to expand eventually, they are now taking the time to invest in the community and teach its residents basic skills.
“Teach them financial literacy, teach them financial empowerment and just increase their overall (feel) so that we can hopefully close this wealth gap between the black community and other communities,” Stewart said. .
Willie C. Barnes is a pastor at the nearby Macedonian Missionary Baptist Church and one of the visionaries for opening this bank.
“It’s an opportunity for people to invest in their own community and they own it, and that’s why it’s important,” Barnes said.
Bank executives said they would start opening accounts as early as Monday morning. They will be open six days a week, every day except Tuesday. Leaders said the goal was also to attract church members from the Missionary Baptist Church of Macedonia on Sunday.
Learn more about Unity of Eatonville FCU by visiting their website.
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