William Penn, an early champion of democracy and religious freedom once said, “Patience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains.” When the leadership at Singing Oaks Church of Christ in Denton came to an impasse it was an act of patience and diligence that ultimately led them to Independent Bank.
More than seven years ago, the church elders agreed the best interest of the community could be served by purchasing a 66 acre tract just north of their Congregation Center. After many attempts and complications stemming from shared-ownership (of the land) they could not reach an agreement. For many years afterward the property sat vacant and unused.
Serving those in need
Singing Oaks Church of Christ continued to serve the community. Where there were people in need you would often find their congregation members offering a helping hand. Their food shelter and sponsorship of a “Haircuts for the Homeless” program are two of the many positive programs church members organize to improve the lives of others.
Meanwhile, the idea to use those 66 acres for the greater good never faded. Seven years later elders Steve Speck and Jerry Browder of Singing Oaks Church of Christ entered Independent Bank for the first time. The persistence of another elder, Jerry Cheatham, and realtor, Barbara Russell, had resulted in uniting the current owners of the 66 acres, and now they needed to find an organization that would finance the deal.
How did we meet?
Steve and Jerry along with Singing Oaks’ other elders assembled a list of banks, and met with a number of them before talking with Independent Bank. Nothing clicked. Then they met with B.J. Donalson, AVP Commercial Lending and Dan Brooks, Executive Chairman at Independent Bank and immediately sensed their willingness to help. Working with Independent Bank was very different. The committee culture they encountered in previous meetings, at previous banks was non-existent.
B.J. and Dan were very personable and accommodating, but more importantly they were direct and addressed every concern, every question – right on the spot. Independent Bank was pleased to get involved. They helped Singing Oaks Church of Christ acquire financing for the land under very favorable terms. The bankers were proud to support Singing Oaks work within the community.
We’ve grown together
Since financing the loan, Singing Oaks Church of Christ has moved all their banking needs to Independent Bank. The church administrators and personnel really appreciate working with a local community bank. The difference is remarkable. “It sounds like a cliché,” remarks Steve “but when you walk into the bank everybody knows your name. It’s just like the famous TV show Cheers!”
“I am old enough to remember when personal banking was personal. Independent Bank has brought that back into play.”
~ Steve Speck , Elder
Singing Oaks Church of Christ
Now, the banking relationship couldn’t be stronger. B.J. and Courtney Williams, Treasury Management Sales and Support Specialist recently updated Singing Oaks Church of Christ with Remote Deposit Capture – a feature church leaders never considered before. The church is also expanding their use of online banking and currently in discussions with TransFirst regarding the addition of a merchant services account. “Things couldn’t be better. Everybody at Independent Bank has been very responsive”, said Steve.
The elders of Singing Oaks Church of Christ know the virtue of patience. Through it they discovered a financial partner that shares their vision and passion to help the community. Steve mentioned he has been meaning to send Dan Brooks a note saying they’re all very impressed with the quality of people working at Independent Bank.
The message has been received. Thank you, Steve.