MEMPHIS MOMENTS
6:11 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Solvent Savings Bank and Trust Company

Robert R. Church, Sr.
Robert R. Church, Sr.

Robert R. Church, Sr., founded the Solvent Savings Bank and Trust Company in 1906. It was Memphis' first black-owned-and-operated bank.

By 1907, the bank had survived the city's financial crisis, unlike some of its larger competitors; however, Robert R. Church, Sr., had to step-down as leader of the company because of poor health.

In 1911, Robert R. Church, Jr., took over his father's company. By 1920, Solvent Savings Bank and Trust Company had become one of the nation's largest African American banks.

In October 1927, Church's bank merged with the Fraternal Savings and Trust Company to form the Fraternal and Solvent Saving Bank and Trust Company. The newly-merged financial institution continued to support many African American owned companies through business loans.

Unfortunately, in December of the same year, the bank's doors closed due to bankruptcy.

To learn more about all of our regions history, visit the Pink Palace Family of Museums, their Facebook page, or http://www.memphismuseums.org.