LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Community Trust Bank is WLAF’s business of the week.  Community Trust Bank acquired First National Bank of LaFollette in 2010, and the name changed in 2011. The financial institution has been serving the community for well more than 100 years.  According to Community Trust Bank Market President Rhonda Longmire, the original bank building began as First National Bank of LaFollette in 1904 and was on the corner where it is now located.  

In 1971, a fire destroyed the building and temporary banking was established in a building on North Tennessee Avenue. That building once stood where the parking lot for the Royal Lunch and Billiards is today.  According to Longmire, that location was put together quickly for customers to have access to funds. 

Longmire began working at the bank in 1975 at the age of 20 as a bank teller at this temporary location. She recalled  that people had donated pieces of carpet to cover the floor and it was “duct taped together” to make a “carpet of many colors.”

Community Trust Bank has three locations in Tennessee; two in LaFollette and one in Clinton. This is the Central at Tennessee Avenues office in Downtown LaFollette.

Thankfully the vault had managed to survive the fire and all records were maintained, which was a good thing because there were no computers.

“It’s crazy to think about now, not having computers, but the 12 of us did it,” Longmire said. 

After starting in 1975 as a teller, Longmire moved to the loan area as a loan processor. 

“Clarence Farris was the president and hired me.  When I had my interview, he had me look at a piece of coal and tell him about it,” Longmire recalled.

Rhonda Longmire (red jacket, right) and Community Trust Bank hosted this Chamber of Commerce “Coffee Connection” in November 2019.

At the time she was hired, Conrad Troutman senior was Chairman of the Board.  When Clarence passed away in 1976, Fred Cain became president of the bank. The building was built back in 1979 on the corner of Tennessee and Central where the bank currently is.  Then in 1993, a complete renovation was finished, and the addition was added. 

Longmire graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1992, and as this process was taking place and sat for the CPA Exam.  She worked 21 years at First National Bank of LaFollette.

This location of Community Trust Bank is at the entrance to Wier Woods between LaFollette and Jacksboro.

Longmire left the bank in October 1996 after passing the CPA exam and went to First State Bank which, with a name change, became First Volunteer.  She was then asked to be the President/CEO of First National Bank of Oneida in 2005.  

“I came back home when Marvin Minton,  Market President, asked me to come back to where I started and replace him when he retired.  He was instrumental in my success as he encouraged me to go back to school and mentored me.  I have tried to do the same for coworkers,” Longmire said.

She also said it feels great to have worked her way up to this position. 

“Banking wasn’t a woman’s thing, so it feels amazing and blessed to be in this position,” Longmire said.

In 2010 the bank was acquired by  Community Trust Bank and the name changed in 2011 to Community Trust Bank.  

“I am pleased and honored to work here as Market President. It was not something expected that I have gotten to do and feel really blessed. Community Trust operates as a community bank should-we give back in our community and we make loans as a community bank should,” Longmire said.

The bank particularly does SBA and USDA loans to companies who may be starting up.  In fact, for 11 years in a row,  Community Trust Bank has been the top SBA lender in the state of Kentucky and has made major headway as an SBA lender in Tennessee.

Community Trust Bank in LaFollette is WLAF’s business feature of the week. Rhonda Longmire is the Market President of the bank.

Community Trust Bank is a Kentucky based institution with headquarters in Pikeville, KY and was originally founded in 1903. It serves the people and communities of Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee and is celebrating 117 years of service. Community Trust Bank has 70 locations in Kentucky, six in West Virginia and three in Tennessee.

“The LaFollette Market is proud of serving the financial needs of our community. The first nine months of 2021 we have closed over $84,000,000 in loans. We do loans all over East Tennessee in the Tri Cities, Knoxville, Sevier County, Morristown and other locations. We serve our communities,” Longmire said.  

For more information, contact Community Trust Bank at 423-562-3364. The bank is located at 106 South Tennessee Avenue in downtown LaFollette. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/01/2021-6AM)

One Reply to “Community Trust Bank is WLAF’s business feature of the week”

  1. Great people. Great bank.
    Caring, kind, and completely trustworthy people. They treat you like family.
    You are in the best of hands here. I wouldn’t dream of banking anywhere else.

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