Credit union to benefit LCMS members gets charter

An early Christmas gift came for Synod members Dec. 23, as the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) granted a charter for a forthcoming LCMS-focused credit union.

After almost three years of work and collaboration between the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) and partnering agencies, the NCUA approved the new entity, called Lutheran Federal Credit Union (LFCU).

“It’s an exciting enterprise for members of the LCMS,” said LCEF President and CEO Richard Robertson. “The support received for this concept through survey web-credit-union-INand focus group responses indicated a strong need and desire for an entity such as this.”

Robertson said LCEF’s role has been to provide organizational assistance and start-up capital to bring this new entity to fruition. “The LCEF board and staff are pleased to have been part of the process that led to the granting of a charter to operate,” Robertson said.

The credit union is a corporation separate from LCEF, and it will operate in separate offices at 10733 Sunset Office Drive, Suite 460, in St. Louis.

“Through LFCU, banking transactions can be conducted with an entity that shares our church’s mission and values. It’s another opportunity to promote Christian stewardship,” Robertson said.

“The credit union is focused on providing state-of-the-art banking products with superior customer service,” said Tom Buuck, formerly LCEF’s chief credit officer who has worked closely with regulators to gain the approval and prepare operations. “The purpose of this LCMS-focused credit union is to offer products and services which individuals, congregations and ministries would otherwise use through secular entities. We can now offer them at lower costs and to benefit organizations of the LCMS.”

Along with the granting of a charter, the NCUA approved the field of membership for the credit union to include the LCMS; associated districts; congregations and schools and their members; LCMS agencies, employees and their families.

“Personal loans for LCMS rostered church workers is an area of opportunity the credit union offers,” Buuck said. Currently, LCEF is limited in the number of states it can offer loans; the credit union will be a national entity offering loans in all 50 states.

NCUA regulators working with Buuck said the number of proposed products the credit union may offer is unprecedented. However, Buuck said they based the decision to allow the large number of products because of LCEF’s impressive “track record.”

A governing Board of Directors appointed for Lutheran Federal Credit Union is working on plans associated with actual operations. Members of the board are:

  • Michael Kzirian, Cranford, N.J. — board chair;
  • Sue Elsholz, Birmingham, Mich. — secretary and treasurer;
  • Ken Krueger, St. Louis — board member;
  • Randall Peterson, Gladstone, Mich. — board member; and
  • Richard Robertson, St. Louis — board member.

Buuck said Lutheran Federal Credit Union could become operational as early as the second quarter of 2015. Details about the exact offerings, scheduled launch and timeline for full rollout will be announced by the credit union board and those selected to lead the new enterprise in the coming months.

Questions about the credit union may be emailed to


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15 Responses to Credit union to benefit LCMS members gets charter

  1. ORChuck January 13, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

    Please start taking a e-mailing list of people who would like to be kept abreast of LFCU’s progress and readiness to accept customers.

  2. Dawn McCollough January 14, 2015 at 7:36 am #

    Love this! Anxiously awaiting the offering!

  3. L. J. Beckman January 14, 2015 at 8:53 am #

    This is a very positive newsbreak! Thank you for it.

  4. January 14, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    Joyous news! I’m in without a doubt.

  5. Sharon Mogg January 14, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    Very interested. Please keep in touch.

  6. Bill Tomlin January 14, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    Look forward to learning more

  7. Michael Piper January 15, 2015 at 3:08 am #


  8. Edward Harvilla January 15, 2015 at 7:46 am #

    Hopefully the executives of this credit union will alert non-resident depositors of the consequences of Missouri tax liability on earnings from deposits in this credit union such as any requirement to file an annual Missouri, non-resident tax return and/or pay Missouri state tax.

  9. LFCU Response January 15, 2015 at 4:24 pm #

    We respectfully submit that the above comment is not applicable to this situation. (As in all personal tax matters, you should consult your tax advisor.)

    • Edward Harvilla January 17, 2015 at 7:07 am #

      Doesn’t the requirement to file Missouri tax form MO-1040 for Missouri non-residents, who are required to file a Federal return, and have more than $600 in income from Missouri sources also apply to non-residents with more than $600 income earned on deposits with LFCU?

  10. Kenneth Fanger January 18, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

    I wonder how many church members that now work for other banks will have their job eliminated.
    What’s next, our own supermarket chain?

  11. Pat Pettey January 19, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

    This is wonderful news as credit unions are very beneficial to its members. Besides accounts, personal & business loans, & other such financial institution products and services; credit unions take it one step further by educating and counseling its members[& non-members too]. Members have a say by voting on how the credit unions are run, unlike banks. Board members are volunteers. They are by far very community service oriented. Take it from me as a former banker, who has crossed over to the other side, working for a St Louis area credit union since 2010! [LCMS member & Pastor’s wife!]

  12. helen February 4, 2015 at 10:59 am #

    Wasn’t LCEF’s reason for being to loan money for the building of new LCMS churches?

    Is this new credit union for LCMS members only, or a mirror image of Thrivent, the “Christian fraternal”?

    [See also, Lutheran Church Canada, ABC district’s investment group, currently in default….
    The CEF up there provided startup money, too.]

    • LFCU Response February 4, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

      The new credit union sponsored by LCEF is solely limited to serving LCMS congregation members, LCMS church workers, LCMS schools and their students, and entities/agencies of the LCMS.

  13. Al Braun February 5, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    Very excited about this venture. Thank you LCEF!
    Will there be employment opportunities posted in conjuction with the opening?

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