History of Community Service Credit Union
People Helping People – A Great Beginning
The credit union movement has long taken pride in its philosophy, People Helping People. The start of Community Service Credit Union was no different.
The year was 1953; the setting, an office on a prison unit in the small town of Huntsville, Texas. W.H. Gaston, Director of the Texas Prison System, sat down to write a letter to O.B. Ellis, General Manager of the Texas Prison System. In his letter, Gaston documented his concerns about the assignments of salary warrants between fellow employees. Along with his concerns, he proposed a solution to the problem – the development of a credit union. Gaston outlined his proposal, which included farm wardens that would volunteer as agents of the credit union, assigned specifically to their unit, a Board of Directors, savings accounts, and loans against salaries earned. Ellis gave his blessing over the idea, but further approval would be required from the Texas Prison Board. Permission was granted by the board shortly after.
55 employees pooled together $10,115 in shares, and the Texas Prison Employees Credit Union was chartered on April 6, 1954. Membership was limited to employees of the Texas Prison System, all of which had to pass through a heavily guarded entrance inside prison walls to reach the credit union office. Just 4 short years after being chartered, the Texas Prison Employees Credit Union underwent a name change; despite the change to Department of Corrections Employees Credit Union, the credit union continued to thrive and grow.
After 30 years of operating on Texas Prison System property, the time came for relocation. April of 1986 brought in a new building on the outskirts of town, a location which is still used as the main office today. With the new location, DOCECU was now able to offer drive-thru service and a night depository.
The decision was made in 1988 to expand from SEG Based to a community charter, which would give the credit union opportunity for more growth. October welcomed Walker County into the field of membership and a new name, Community Service Credit Union.
During the 90’s, CSCU introduced Audio Response Units, allowing members access to account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. CSCU expanded deposit and loan services throughout those years to include a credit card program, mortgage loans, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts.
The new millennium started off with a technological bang – In 2001, internet banking and bill pay were introduced to CSCU members.
In 2008, a second office was opened to better serve the community on the south side of Huntsville. The new office is located minutes away from the local college, Sam Houston State University, which continues to see growth in students and faculty each year. In 2009, CSCU became a Credit Union Service Center Outlet at both Huntsville locations. This allows members of other participating credit unions to access their accounts.
2009 also marked the year that CSCU began offering Commercial Accounts and Commercial Lending.
The Here and Now – 2010 to Present
2012 would bring an update to internet banking and bill pay, one that was more personable for the member. PopMoney (Person to Person payments) were introduced, offering members a cheaper, more affordable alternative to wire transfers or mailing checks.