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Embers CU History
Home > About Us > History at Embers CU

 Father Nolan McKevittA Single Catholic Parish

In 1953 the young Rector of St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette, Michigan, Father Nolan McKevitt, introduced the virtues of credit unions to his parish. At that time, loan sharks and pawn shops were charging outrageous rates for people to borrow money, with some charging as much as 33%. People that could afford to save made very little return on their money. He wanted his congregation to encourage thrift and create a source of credit at legitimate rates of interest. He knew a credit union would give them the opportunity to improve their economic and social condition. Fortunately, some parishioners shared his vision and on September 2, 1953 the St. Peter Cathedral Credit Union was organized under the Michigan Credit Union Act, serving the parishioners of St. Peter Cathedral.

Within four months, there were 67 members, assets totaled $3,208 and 9 loans had been disbursed for a combined total of $1,300. Most business was conducted by loyal volunteers in the basement of the church, then the custodians house when it was empty, and then in a small office behind the Holy Family Home Orphanage.

Catholic Parishes in Marquette

By 1960, St. Peter Cathedral Credit Union was doing so well that members of three other parishes in Marquette wanted to join. The field of membership was expanded and the name was changed to Marquette Catholic Credit Union, serving Catholic parishioners in the City of Marquette. In 1965 the office was relocated to 500 South Third Street and was operated by three paid staff serving 2,169 members and assets slightly over $1,100,000, and in 1976 the office was remodeled to accommodate the staff of 6 who served 3,749 members with assets of more than $4,700,000. In 1991 the office moved to its present location at 1001 W. Baraga Avenue with 17 staff serving 7,105 members with assets of over $38,000,000.

March 2002 saw the opening of a branch office at 1600 S. Front Street in South Marquette.

Catholic Parishes in the Upper Peninsula

In 2006, the field of membership was expanded and the name was changed to U.P. Catholic Credit union, serving members of Catholic Parishes across the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 

EVERYBODY in the Upper Peninsula

In 2010, the field of membership was expanded to include anybody who lived, worked, or worshipped in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Catholic and non-Catholic. In January of 2012, a branch was opened in Negaunee to help service the needs of the Credit Union's expanding membership. It wasn't until late 2018, though, that the name was changed to Embers Credit Union to better reflect our broader field of membership and to make way for a merger with Upper Michigan Community Credit Union in 2019 which added a branch in Munising and one in Trenary along with 13 employees. Later that year we opened an additional location in Gwinn.

In May of 2020 we completed our legal merger with Delta County Credit Union (DCCU), with  the operational merger following in September. This added an Embers branch in Escanaba and in Wells Township, along with 45 employees. Embers and DCCU had a very similar culture, approach to service and product offerings and commitment to community, so this partnership made a lot of sense. During that same time frame, we moved administrative employees in Escanaba to an office in the Penstar Office Center to free up space in our branch to accommodate our growth.

Also in September, we moved into our new corporate office building on McClellan Avenue in Marquette. Corporate and administrative employees and our Commercial Lending Department are located there. This building was designed to support us as we continue to grow to better support the entire UP.

As of December 31, 2020 we have assets of $456,299,976 with 8 branches and 2 administrative locations across three counties, with 29,481 members and 130 employees. Of course, our capabilities to support our members’ financial needs expands beyond our physical locations as we continue to serve members throughout the entire Upper Peninsula through digital banking services and our Contact Center.

Through all of this, the Board of Directors, management, and staff of Embers Credit Union remain thankful that their founder, Monsignor McKevitt, had a vision. They hold it as an enormous responsibility and privilege to carry that vision forward as Embers Credit Union continues to deliver the best service and value to our membership.

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