League, CU support key to Lutheran FCU's launch, organizers say

February 27, 2015

ST. LOUIS (3/2/15)--With the amount of vision and perseverance that it requires, chartering a credit union is not for the faint of heart. Missouri hasn't seen a new federally chartered credit union since 2005. After more than two years hard work and faith, Lutheran FCU (LFCU) received its charter from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Dec. 22.

Click to view larger imageThomas Buuck, left, president/CEO of Lutheran FCU, and Amanda Middleton, operations manager, led the credit union's charter process. (Missouri Credit Union Association Photo)

"The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA), vendors and local credit union leaders provided invaluable support during this process," said Thomas Buuck, LFCU president/CEO (Missouri Difference Feb. 25). "That coupled with the overwhelmingly positive reception from our membership made Lutheran FCU a reality."

Headquartered in St. Louis, LFCU will serve nearly 3 million people nationwide--its field of membership will include Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregations or other associated LCMS entities.

The idea to establish a faith-based credit union was initiated and overseen by the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) board. With nearly $1.8 billion in assets, LCEF provides investments and loans to LCMS ministries.  

LFCU's chartering process was led by Buuck and Amanda Middleton, who were both employees of LCEF. Middleton recently accepted the position of operations manager at LFCU.

MCUA assisted Middleton and Buuck during the chartering process. MCUA employees met with them several times, invited them to events and put them in contact with suppliers.

"Anytime we had a question, MCUA was immediately right there," said Middleton. "We were allowed to attend the annual convention, and they connected us with other credit unions."

Buuck and Middleton are appreciative of the introductions made by Kevin Shaw, MCUA's director of the Office of Small Credit Unions. They named some of their most helpful credit union connections: Josh Rodriguez, president/CEO Missouri Valley CU, St. Peters, Mo.; Dan Vogler, executive vice president, and Jack Fox, senior vice president/chief operating officer, Anheuser-Busch Employees' CU, St. Louis; and Brian Eyestone, president/CEO, Southpointe CU, St. Louis.