Our Legacy: We’ve Got a Story to Tell

Citizens Trust Bank celebrates its 100-year legacy. We could not be prouder of experiencing and celebrating this 100-year journey with our customers and our community. Our story is extraordinary. It has been a beacon of purpose, impact and resiliency– Follow the timeline below of some of our bank’s most noted accomplishments.

We all have a story to tell. Perhaps, you or your business has been impacted by a relationship with Citizens Trust Bank. Share your story of how a relationship with us has supported your legacy forward.

Take our 100th year celebration quiz – to test your knowledge of CTB.

Noted Bank Accomplishments

1919The Beginning

Mission Visionary

Mission Visionary

Five men envisioned a bank which would primarily serve black citizens of Atlanta, Georgia. Led by businessman Heman E. Perry, along with James A. Robinson, Thomas J. Ferguson, W.H. King and H. C. Dugas, later called “The Fervent Five”, pooled their talent and resources to develop an black owned and..Read More

August 16, 1921Open for Business

Bank where you feel at home

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

1923Spirit of Community

Historic Big Bethel AME Church

Bethal 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

1934FDIC

A Historic First

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.

1955Challenging Times

Opening the First Branch

Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr.

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

1998Merger

5th Largest African American Financial Institution

5th Largest African American Financial Institution

February 2: Under the leadership of James E. Young, president of First Southern Bank and Dr. Johnnie L. Clark at the helm of Citizens Trust Bank joined in alliance to form the nation’s fifth largest African American owned financial institution. This agreement would merge the banks whereby Young would assume..Read More

2003Continued Growth

On the Shoulders of Giants 

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

20092nd Merger

Continued Growth

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

2012New President and CEO

Mission Visionary

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

2017August 4th

Expanding to Support Our Customers

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

2020Forward Together

Paving the way the for future generations

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