Community Spirit Bank was the town of Red Bay’s first bank. We opened with the name Bank of Red Bay on June 11, 1908 in the Red Bay Hotel. Our roots run deeper than any other business in this community. We pride ourselves on being a true community bank and serving the citizens of our communities.
In 1917, after operating in the hotel for 9 years, we decided it was time to build our own building and we moved from the hotel to the south side of Main Street. That brick veneer structure is still standing in Red Bay. The original vault door has been removed and is on display in the Red Bay Museum.
By 1939 our directorate decided to build a new modern banking facility on the corner of our present location. Occupying the first 25 feet by 75 feet of the building we are presently in today. If one could look under the present brick and stucco, you would see the original limestone. For a small community bank, that 1939 structure was second to none.
As economic growth continued after WWII, our bank building doubled in size in 1958. At that time, the total footings of the Bank were almost a whopping $2 million dollars.
In early 1963 safe deposit boxes were installed and made available to the Bank’s customers. Later in 1963 the time and temperature sign was installed, and this was a big hit with the community. Then in 1965, our first “drive-in window” was installed and we were one of the most “modern” banks in the surrounding areas. Around this time the bank had grown in footings to almost $4 million dollars. This was enormous in our community at that time. We got our first financial competition in our community during the year of 1966.
By the time the 1970’s arrived, our Bank building had doubled in size again. The additions completed in 1975 resulted in the building you see today. During this time we found ourselves coming of age on our first automated system. This was the first time since 1908, that transactions were not hand-written into the ledger books.
Also in 1975 we opened our Vina location. Then another location, we call “Redmont,” was opened on Golden Road in 1978. So called, as it lies directly between Red Bay and Belmont, MS.
A milestone was reached in July 1982, when we went onto our own computerized operating system. The technological age was upon us and the Bank, like always, worked to stay at a forefront of the advancements.
In the late 1990’s, the Bank decided to open a small branch downtown Russellville. That branch opened May 1, 1998 and operated until March 2007, when the new Russellville building on Hwy 43 bypass was completed.
We ventured into Mississippi in the late 1990’s as well. Our Belmont, MS location opened January 15, 1999 as Spirit Bank (to adhere to regulatory guidelines). Then on January 1, 2012, Spirit Bank was able to merge into our existing bank Community Spirit, and is now operated as a branch office.
We are Community Spirit Bank!
In the early part of 1997, management suggested that we change our name from Bank of Red Bay to a name which didn’t tie our name to a single community. The name Community Spirit Bank was chosen. The ownership of the bank never changed, just the name. Our name was chosen because our Bank had become known for the support we lent to the communities in which our branches were located. Our directors, officers, and employees exemplify personal service to all our customers, as well as our community’s citizens. This new name reflected our philosophy and the longevity of our brand.
And today it still holds true. We are a “real community bank.” The values and beliefs of Community Spirit Bank haven’t changed much over the last century. How we do business will continually evolve. Carrying on the traditions that have guided us to where we are today will never change!