Great Southern Bank: Our History
A Welcome Change in Banking
As the year 1902 became noteworthy as the founding year for the Bank of Quitman, the year 1973 created its place in the institution’s history when bank management chose to extend their services by opening a branch office in Enterprise, which prior to that time had no banks.
In 1974 Great Southern Bank established the first Central Financial Services, Inc. in Meridian. Since that time, Central Financial Services, Inc. has grown and is currently operating offices in Quitman, Waynesboro, Hattiesburg, Picayune, Columbia, Philadelphia, New Albany, Starkville, Tupelo, Columbus and Aberdeen, and Meridian Financial Services, Inc., also in Meridian.
Three years later, the Bank of Quitman opened its first office outside Clarke County. On May 3, 1976, the Bank of Meridian was established; followed in 1977 by a North Meridian office on 52nd Street, and in 1979 a College Park office. On July 11, 1980, the Bank of Meridian moved into its newly constructed main office. Just over 10 years later, Bank of Meridian opened in the Medical Center area, in 1995 it moved the 52nd Street branch to North Hills Street and in August 1998 opened a new location at Bonita Lakes Mall.
On October 3, 1980, the Quitman Banking System established the Bank of Wayne County in Waynesboro by acquiring the First National Bank of Waynesboro.
In 1981 Great Southern Bank entered a new era, proud of its past and eagerly looking forward to its future. The bank changed its name from the Bank of Quitman to Great Southern National Bank
The most spectacular growth came on October 1, 1981. With the approval of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, D.C., merger of the Bank of Hattiesburg and the Bank of Jackson, N.A. into the Great Southern National Bank was completed giving the new system total resources in excess of $150 million and total capital in excess of $11 million at the time of the merger. Great Southern National Bank-Hattiesburg also added another location in October 1997 by opening its new West Branch.
The merger was consummated with two objectives in mind: To provide better service through geographical diversity with a strongly capitalized area bank with greater resources and lending limits; and to improve internal efficiency through combining certain operations to all individual banks in the system.
In 1986 Great Southern National Bank opened the Bank of Decatur, emphasizing its commitment to East and South Mississippi. In November of 2001, the bank built a new facility to accommodate its growth and better serve the area.
In 1987 the Bank decided to fully focus its efforts and resources on East and South Mississippi and sold its Jackson offices.
In April of 1996, Great Southern National Bank decided to incorporate all of their banks under one name and began operating under Great Southern National Bank, rather than each individual town name.
In April of 2015, Great Southern National Bank converted from a national charter to a state charter, thus changing its name to Great Southern Bank.
We honor our past, and we are continually motivated by the achievement of the present. But, it is the future where the most exciting, the most far reaching history of Great Southern Bank remains to be written.
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