The path toward economic empowerment is a long one, full of many obstacles along the way. One of the latest disappointments is the recent failure of Covenant Bank, run on the west side of Chicago by Pastor Bill Winston.
The bank was closed last week by regulators, which impacted the investments of 3,000 people in the Forest Park Church.
Another black-owned bank, Liberty Bank & Trust Co. out of New Orleans, assumed $58 million of Covenant Bank’s assets and $54 million in liabilities. The bank was acquired for $3 million four years ago by a group led by Winston. Members of his congregation provided the financing necessary to make the transaction go through.
Winston’s goal was to use the bank to help rebuild the community around him, a noble purpose that fell short of it’s stated objective. The financial crisis of 2008 was too much to bear for the bank, which ended up folding just a few short years later. Covenant bank is the 42nd bank in Chicago to fail since 2009.