75-year-old credit union started with humble beginnings

Carrying on a legacy

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In a town where bank towers clearly reach for the sky, one very stable financial institution thrives under the radar.

Michelle Outlaw is the current president of the First Legacy Credit Union.

She said, "We are walking through the doors our ancestors opened for us."

One of the so-called ancestors is Eugene Grigsby. He was the father of Miriam Grigsby Bates.

"Dad would bring the ledger home from school. He would have an adding machine there," Bates said.

Mrs. Bates now lives in the northwest Charlotte home where she grew up, and where the credit union was birthed back in 1941.

The dining room table was part of the office. That's where her father spent many hours after coming home from work. He was the full time principal of the old Second Ward High School.

"They had the vision. They had the foresight to create that institution for the community," Outlaw said.

The name First Legacy came in recent years. It was initially called the School Workers Federal Credit Union.

Long-time customers like Larry Melton embrace its place in Charlotte.

"The word 'legacy.' It is standing on the shoulders of so many people that have gone on," he said.

African American employees at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Johnson C. Smith University were the first customers.

"It's our goal to continue growing that for the next generations to come," Outlaw said.

Branches are now in four counties with 8,000 members and assets of nearly $40 million.

Actions that would bring a smile to a man with great vision.

"I think he would have been quite proud," Grigsby said of her father.

It goes beyond pride, because this place of banking is the little engine that could and, 75 years later, still does.

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