A little history about our "roots" that run over 75 years deep.
Our History Since 1939
Freedom Bank was established as Belington Bank and opened for business on May 10, 1939. Equity in the bank was $30,000, being 500 shares issued at $60.00 per share. In 1945 the first dividend of $1.00 per share was paid. One of the first employees said money was kept in cigar boxes and told how she was rowed in a boat by a gentleman down Crim Avenue to reach the bank during one of the periods of flooding.
The current main office of Freedom Bank was opened for business on May 10, 2004, sixty-five years after the first opening. This new location also houses all of the support operations for the organization.
Freedom Bancshares, Inc., a one-bank holding company, was formed in 1988.
As the name of Belington Bank was reflective of a geographical location, the name was changed from Belington Bank to Freedom Bank effective June, 2004.
The first of four branches was opened in Elkins in 1991. In 1992 the Philippi Office was opened at its current location. The Bridgeport office was opened in 1995, followed by the Buckhannon Office 1996.
The second location of the main office in Belington was directly across Bridge Street from the first location. Even though the bank had experienced flooding throughout the years, the worst happened in November, 1985. The waters of the Tygart Valley River ravaged through the streets of Belington and the bank was inundated with 5.5 feet of water. The location is currently utilized for parking for our main office.
The five offices of Freedom Bank have a total of fifty-nine employees, ten of which are part time, and are a great asset to the bank and the communities in which it serves. The employees are involved in various organizations, such as Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Kiwanis, Development Authority and Revitaliztion Committees. Relay for Life is a major interest of many employees and for the past five years the group has collected and contributed the most money to the efforts in the Barbour County. To raise these funds, employees have contributed by payroll deductions; provided lunches for employees for a contribution; organized and sponsored bingo; held raffles and operated concession stands at community events. These same employees also hold various drives throughout the year to contribute to local organizations for distribution. Food drives are held at Christmas time. A Senior Sweetheart drive is also held around Valentine's Day, with items being distributed to residents of personal care homes in the area.
Freedom Bank also supports the youth livestock organizations in its market area, as well as supporting 4-H, FFA, schools and youth-oriented teams and activities, as we realize these children are our future.
Freedom Bank has current assests of $154 million. The bank has experienced change in management leadership in the past few years. When the previous President/CEO retired in 2011, the bank named its first woman as President/CEO in 2012. As an additional note, the first woman Chair of Freedom Bank was named in 2010. In the past couple of years additional directors and executive officers have been hired, which has enhanced the 'foward-thinking' to better serve our customers.
Freedom Bank is moving forward in offering additional products and services. It recently began participating in a secondary mortgage program with one of its fellow West Virginia Community Bank members and offering credit cards with our logo through the Independent Community Bankers Association.
Freedom Bank's mission continues to be "to enhance the lives of the customers and the communities in which we serve".