During the 40’s and 50’s it was hard for Blacks to get loans at White financial institutions. Often, members of Metropolitan Baptist Church would reach out to the church to address their financial needs. To alleviate this situation, in December of 1948, the idea of forming a credit union was born. Fifteen founders who belonged to this church pooled their resources in the amount of $226.24. One of those founders was Rufus T. Hart, Sr. who served as longtime CEO off Metropolitan Church Federal Credit Union until his death in 2007.
Over the course of those years, his son, Ronald O. Hart joined his father and worked at the credit union while in high school. He received a full athletic scholarship to play football at N.C. A&T State University. “Sugar Hart” as he was named by his peers excelled both on and off the field. Each summer and during spring breaks, he returned home and worked with his father at the credit union. In 1962 he became a member of Mu Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity (Line Name Route 66) and has remained an active member of the fraternity for the past 55 years. Upon graduating from A&T with a degree in biology, he returned to his hometown, taught high school students, coached football and helped his father run the credit union.
Along the way, this Omega Man obtained a M.S. degree, taught school, spent 16 years as a member of Suffolk City Council (serving two terms as Vice Mayor) and continued to help his dad at the credit union. At the age of 55, his father asked him to retire to continue the legacy that was started in 1948. As his father aged, his desire to build a credit union grew stronger. “If the credit union is to survive, we must be in a place where we can control our own destiny” he would say over and over again. His son, kept that thought in mind.
In 2014, the long-term lease with the church expired and the wheels of progress began to turn. A site for a new facility was secured. Plans were drawn and a ground breaking was held. On October 14, 2017, the Hopes and Dreams of the Founders were realized as the new Metropolitan Church Federal Credit Union opened. Citizens from all walks of life joined in the celebration which featured members of Suffolk City Council; Constitution Officers, members and well-wishers from various states. With more than 2,000 members serving eight churches in the Suffolk community, the credit union has assets of nine million dollars. This state of the art facility was dedicated to the legacy and dedication of the late Rufus T. Hart, Sr. and other founders. His son, Ronald noted at the opening “It was dad’s last wish that we have a building of our own. I know today, he is looking down and is so proud of what the Board of Directors and staff have been able to accomplish”. Members of Alpha Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi – Suffolk, VA and members of Tau Lambda Lambda Chapter of Omega Psi Phi – Southern MD joined in the celebration of this achievement. “Thru the Eyes of His Father” the mission of People Helping People will live on.