In October, 1952, R.V. Welch, Postmaster with the U.S. Postal Service in Lufkin, Texas was contacted regarding the organization of a credit union to service Federal Employees in the area. Mr. Welch then begins his plight by discussing and recruiting other employees. On December 1, 1952 ten U.S. Postal employees were notified by the State of Texas Department of Banking that the application for charter was granted on November 26, 1952, Charter # 248. Mr. Welch was the first member and serving in various capacities of the credit union for numerous years. On December 8, 1952 the first meeting was held, board of directors, supervisory audit committee members were appointed.
Getting the credit union up and running was a task; enlisting new members were somewhat of an obstacle due to the available cash flow of the employees. In 1952 the average starting salary of a postal employee was $1.04 per hour. Mr. Welch offered to loan Julius McMullen (#2) the $5.00 needed to join. It just so happened it was payday and Julius had the needed funds.
There was no set hours of operation at this time. Mr. Welch kept the credit union books at this desk at the post office, as a member needed assistance Mr. Welch would halt his daily job duties and attend to the members needs. The book keepers salary at this time was $15.00 per month. Mr. Welch held this position from December 1, 1952 through October 12, 1954.
At the end of the first year of operation, December 1953 the credit union had 55 members with share balances of $5,174.80 and loan balances totaling $4,868.88. The credit union was experiencing a slow, steady growth.
The first annual meeting was held January 29, 1954. 18 members were in attendance. The credit union at this point had 58 members with total share balances of $5,590.20, total loans of $5,106.43.
September 1954, the credit union was examined, a discrepancy was found in the books in the amount of $341.68 and to this day this book keeping error still baffles the charter members as to where the error occurred. On October 12, 1954 Mr. Welch resigned his position as bookkeeper but continues to serve in various other capacities of the credit union.
From October 12, 1954 through June 13, 1955 several people maintained the book keeping until another bookkeeper could be enlisted. On June 13, 1955 Julius McMullen, charter member #2, a civil service secretary for the postal service, operated the credit union again from his desk at the post office in between his full time job duties. During these times in order to attract a quorum at the annual meeting, the charter members, directors, committees and spouses would donate their time and supplies to host a chili supper for all members. Funds were not available to pay for such items. At some point in 1956, there was a closet inside the Federal Building that the credit union set up a desk in; the office was so small an individual could barely turn around in it. At some point between 1955 and 1957 bank examiners indicated to Julius that the credit union was not getting off the ground like it should and the board should look at closing. The board voted to weather the storm and see if they could make it work. On September 24, 1957 Julius had to resign from his position as bookkeeper due to his job duties being reassigned to a rural carrier and would no longer be available in the office. On September 24, 1957 Gordon Hall was appointed to the book keeping position as a rate of $25.00 per month.
On January 14, 1958, the 5th annual meeting of Angelina Federal Employees Credit Union was held at the community center in Lufkin. 16 members were in attendance. Due to not having a quorum of 25 voting to elect the board of directors, the annual meeting was postponed until January 21, 1958 to be held in the civil service room of the post offices. At this time the credit union had grown to 71 members with 34 of those having loans, total assets being $14,905.00, total loans being $11,847.00.
At the board meeting held August 5, 1958 discussion was held regarding the appointment of an educational director with the intent of increasing interest in the credit union, however this position never materialized.
At the board meeting held October 16, 1958 there was a visitor, Mr. Wolfskill, who explained the reason behind current efforts to introduce a bill at the next session of legislature to be held which would remove credit union’s from the jurisdiction of the Department of Banking and establish a department or division of credit unions in legislation. The board voted to support this effort.
The year of 1959 was an uneventful year with a slow share and loan growth. In March 1960 the board felt that the Texas Credit Union League was not benefiting the credit union on a local level and voted not to pay dues for 1960. In May 1960 the credit union received a letter from CUNA stating that we must maintain affiliation with said society in order to keep our insurance in force. Check was submitted for dues along with letter of protest. Carl Carroll, president pointed out at the annual meeting held January 21, 1961 that nineteen members own 85% of the shares and the other 80 members own the other 15%. He urged the membership to be “savers” in the credit union, as this would add up rapidly and provide a nest egg for them for that rainy day.
In August of 1962, with space being cramped in the closet, the board agreed that President Carl Carroll should write a letter to Congressman John Dowdy requesting space in the present post office building. Conducting business was an increasing problem.
In January 1963 the necessary form was submitted to GSA requesting office space in the old post office building. In April 1963 the current postmaster gave verbal approval to have credit union office in coffee bar of new post office.
Throughout the remainder of the 1960’s the credit union continued a slow growth, after 10 years of service the credit union had grown to a meager 133 members, $36,973.49 in shares and $35,222.00 in loans. The book keepers salary was $65.00 per month. The board of directors and committee members began to be active in various facets of TCUL and the Tyler Chapter of Credit Unions meetings. Dividends in the range of 5.00% continued to be paid to the membership at year end.
In closing the 60’s, as of December 31, 1969 the credit union had grown to 279 members, with total assets at $146,018.25, 125 loans on the books with balances of $128,172.00. The average share account had a balance of $478.00. During the past 10 years the credit union had written off 2 loans in the amount of $1,629.00.
AFECU provides all the benefits of a member-owned financial institution to all federal employees working or residing in Angelina, Cherokee, Houston, Jasper, Liberty, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler and Walker Counties. Also included in the field of membership are the immediate families of these groups. The immediate family is defined as spouse, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, brothers, sisters, and their spouses. We proudly serve employees of the following groups:
Membership in AFECU is an ongoing benefit to employees and associates of participating companies or groups. As a full-service financial institution, the credit union:
A: To become a member of the credit union, contact the credit union at (936) 632-7691 or (800) 569-9799. You must open a share (savings) account with a minimum of $25 initial deposit. To remain a member, you must maintain a $25 balance in your account and demonstrate regular activity. You will have access to all of our services once you open your share (savings) account.
A: You may apply for a loan as soon as you become a member. There are no membership time requirements for loan qualifying.
A: To add a member you will need to complete a new signature card, which you and the joint member sign where indicated. To remove a joint member, all joint members of the account need to agree to the removal, or the account can be closed and remaining joint members may open a new account.
Yes! “ONCE A MEMBER – ALWAYS A MEMBER” You are still able to continue your membership, regardless of any new profession or where you live.
A: Our Member Service Representatives have all the necessary forms. If you wish, they will be happy to fill them in for you. All you have to do is tell them how you want your money distributed and sign your name. AFECU will take care of everything else.
A: Your check stub from your employer is your permanent record. You may also enroll in online banking to have access to your accounts.
A: This service is free to all participating AFECU members.