To Wield a Mighty Influence
On a hot Sept. 14 in 1892, representatives from 59 banks met at the Hotel Lanier in Macon and formed what would become the Georgia Bankers Association.
The meeting and the association came about because Georgia’s bankers saw the need for the state’s banks to come together to create a trade association that would represent their interests.
The bankers meeting that day read and adopted the constitution for the GBA and elected Mills B. Lane, Sr., as the first chairman of the GBA. At the time, Lane was a vice president at Citizens’ Bank of Savannah.
After the meeting, L.P. Hilyer, GBA’s secretary for its first 20 years, wrote to all the bankers in the state inviting them to join the new association.
“The harmony and enthusiasm displayed by the large number present was very gratifying and encouraging to those who had interested themselves in the organization, and I think all members left most favorably impressed, and with the determination to stand by the Association. Great good can and will be accomplished by its agency, and all banks and bankers in the state should become members. ‘In union there is strength,’” he wrote. “The united bank officials of this State, assisted by all the bank directors in the State, can wield a mighty influence.”
There were 92 charter members that joined during the association’s first year. As banking and the state’s economy grew, so did the GBA.
As stated in its original constitution, the purpose of the Georgia Bankers Association is, “The promotion of the general welfare and usefulness of banking and the preservation of a sound banking system.”
This philosophy is as evident today in the works of the GBA as when it was adopted that first day in 1892 in Macon.
GBA is the resource that empowers Georgia’s banks.