North Carolina has its first new charter in 10 years, the recently opened Shepherd's FCU in Charlotte.
The low-income CU, which conducted grand opening ceremonies on Friday, is sponsored by the nonprofit Neighborhood Church Coalition and chartered to serve the 1,400 members of Unity, the Way of Holiness Christian Church in Charlotte.
Shepherd's CU has been in formation for nearly four years and represents the work of the North Minority Support Center, a Charlotte community development group, said a spokesman for the North Carolina Credit Union League, which also assisted in the chartering.
In dedicating the facility, which has four teller stations, Florence McCoy, pastor of the church, recounted for the crowd the long struggle to get the financing and regulatory approvals.
"So many times when I sat on the computer until four or five o'clock in the morning trying to answer all of the rejected letters that I would get, I felt like sometimes I was at my wits' end and I felt like sometimes I was going to pass out," McCoy said.
McCoy, who has a general accounting background but is not a CPA, said she had no money to hire legal counsel to assist her with the complex process.
"But what she lacked in funding, training and practical experience she more than made up for in an unwavering faith in God and an unshakeable vision to bring the cooperative into being," the league said in an e-mail bulletin distributed Monday.
Standing in Shepherd's lobby, "McCoy and other people who gathered shed tears of joy as the grand opening celebration unfolded," the league said.