The first new North Carolina charter in 10 years, Shepherd's Federal Credit Union, opened for business this month in Charlotte.
The low-income CU, which conducted grand opening ceremonies Sept. 17, 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 has assisted in the chartering operations.
In dedicating the facility with 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 wit's end and I felt like sometimes I was going to pass out," said McCoy.
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," noted the league in a bulletin.
The NCUA issued Shepherd's charter Aug. 26, calling it "a long-term hope to a group striving to build a more prosperous community."
It is the third FCU chartered in 2010, said the NCUA.