All timeline stories.

On the Shoulders of Giants 

Herman J. Russell, Sr., Citizens Bancshares Corporation Chairman Emeritus. An entrepreneur and philanthropist turned a small plastering firm into one of the most successful African-American-owned real estate development and construction companies in America. Russell, a lifelong Atlantan who counted among his friends several presidents and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther..Read More

Bethal AME Church

Historic Big Bethel AME Church

A spirit of community- On February 16, 1923, a disastrous fire took place at the Big Bethel Church. The bank was quick to respond and was instrumental in helping with fundraising activities that eventually led to the reconstruction of the church

Paving the way the for future generations

For 100 years, Citizens Trust Bank built its reputation on being there for its customers and the communities they represent, especially during critical times. The Bank’s actions during the global COVID 19 crisis, especially through its participation with PPP application process, were essential to saving small businesses and the communities..Read More

Expanding to Support Our Customers

Again, the bank’s commitment to expanding to support the growth of its customers, was reinforced through its most recent acquisition of approximately 5,000 new customer relationships from another financial institution to support the citizens in that community. Well-executed, the strategic purchase strengthened the Bank’s market footprint and afforded the Bank..Read More

Mission Visionary

Cynthia N. Day was named the President & CEO of Citizens Bancshares Corporation and Citizens Trust Bank.  She was the first woman to be named as a permanent sitting CEO of the Company succeeding a trailblazer, Dr. Johnnie Clark, who was the first woman to lead the Company as an..Read More

Continued Growth

March 30: Living up to its commitment to its shareholders and customers by continuing to grow while maintaining a strong and solid foundation, Citizens Trust Bank completed another successful merger through its acquisition of the Peoples Bank branch in Lithonia, Georgia. This purchase in the southeast corridor of Atlanta significantly..Read More

Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr.

Opening the First Branch

During the struggle of the civil rights movement as Black Americans fought for equal rights under the law in the United States, Citizens Trust Bank continued to mobilize its support for the community it served. Citizens Trust Bank opened its first branch, the Westside Branch. This facility was opened in..Read More

A Historic First

Citizens Trust Company became the first African-American owned bank in the United States to become a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).  And, in 1947, Citizens Trust Company was the first Black-owned bank to be a member of the Federal Reserve System.

Bank where you feel at home

August 16: The doors of Citizens Trust Company were opened on Sweet Auburn Avenue with $500,000 in capital stock. The goals of the new bank were threefold: to promote financial stability and business development, to stress the principles of thrift and to make home ownership possible to a larger number..Read More