First Lowndes Bank:

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 3, 2007

Moving forward while resembling the past

By Regina Grayson

With approximately 4,200 square feet of beautiful cedar, a vaulted ceiling with skylights and suspended Thomas globes and antique light fixtures, the new First Lowndes Bank located in Highland Home is a sight to behold.

The bank officially opened its new doors Jan. 16, but Branch Manager and Senior Vice-President John Lide wants to welcome everyone to their Open House celebration, which will take place this Saturday, Jan. 27, from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m.

The bank, which is locally owned and operated, is located at 17823 Montgomery Highway in Highland Home.

Lide said that construction on the new facility began in Sept. of 2006 and was completed in December. The bank continued to operate at the old location on Highway 331 until Jan. 12.

&#8220I'm very pleased with our new building,” Lide said. &#8220The business and loyalty of our customers in the Highland Home and surrounding areas have allowed us to have this new facility and to be as successful as we have been.”

Sammy Hester Contractors out of Lowndes County handled the construction of the new bank.

The former bank building was approximately 1,400 to 2,000 square feet, making the new bank more than doubled in size.

The new First Lowndes Bank has four offices, four teller windows and a double drive-thru. Lide said that ATM services are anticipated in the near future.

Another added feature is ample parking in the front, the back, and on the sides of the bank.

The Highland Home Bank, as it was formerly known, opened Nov. 12, 1997, with four employees. They were Lide, Assistant Branch Manager, Vice-President and Operations Officer Joyce Garner, Administrative Assistant and Loan Processor Mary Jo Tucker, and Maggie Grant, who retired in 2003. Grant presently does courier work between the First Lowndes Bank in Highland Home office and the First Lowndes Bank in Fort Deposit office.

In addition to these four, other employees at the new facility include Shelby Welch, teller/ assistant loan processor; Edith Smith, head teller; Tammy Petty, teller/ new accounts processor; Ethel Robinson, teller/ vault teller; and Lacy Edwards, teller/ safety deposit box processor. Ned Ellis is the president and CEO of First Lowndes Bank, and Thomas Ellis is the chairman of the Board of Directors of First Lowndes Bank.

The new bank's regular hours will be 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday. Beginning Feb. 3, the drive-thru only will be open on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

The etched, frosted tellers' windows and antique wrought iron bars add to the ‘days of yesteryear' flair. Garner added that Diane Edwards of Diane's Gift Shop in Highland Home brings in a fresh floral arrangement for the front lobby every Monday morning free of charge.

&#8220That just adds to the beauty of the whole new facility,” Garner said.