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Rachael Potter

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Farmers Bank & Trust of Magnolia, Arkansas, and Community First Trust Company of Hot Springs, Arkansas announced they have entered into an agreement for Farmers Bank & Trust to purchase the stock of Community First Trust Company. Community First Trust will continue to be operated as an Independent Trust Company.

“Farmers Bank & Trust is excited about the opportunity to expand our Trust and Wealth Management services through Community First Trust Company,” stated Farmers Bank & Trust Chief Executive Officer Chris Gosnell. “Trust customers of Farmers Bank and Community First Trust will all benefit from the combined resources of both companies.”

Bill Kerst, Community First Trust President & Chief Executive Officer, said, “The culture of Farmers Bank & Trust is what really attracted us to the idea of joining the Bank. The Bank’s commitment to its customers, technology, and staff support the long-term relationships we have enjoyed at CFT. We look forward to working as part of the team to provide personal Trust Services and Wealth Management.”

Farmers Bank & Trust is owned by a privately-held holding company, Magnolia Banking Corporation, headquartered in Magnolia, Arkansas. Community First Trust Company is headquartered in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is the only independent trust company chartered in Arkansas. Community First Trust has approximately $340 million in trust assets under management.

The holding company boards of Magnolia Banking Corporation and Community First Trust Company unanimously approved the agreement, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. The transaction is anticipated to close during the second quarter of 2021, and Community First Trust Company will remain a separate independent trust company.


About Farmers Bank & Trust: Founded in 1906, Farmers Bank & Trust is a community bank owned by the privately held holding company, Magnolia Banking Corporation, headquartered in Magnolia, Arkansas. Farmers Bank & Trust now has over 20 locations in Arkansas and Texas and approximately $1.8 billion in assets. Farmers offers a full range of deposit services, trust, and investment management services, as well as business, commercial real estate, construction, mortgage, residential, and consumer loans. To learn more, visit their website at MyFarmers.Bank.

About Community First Trust Company: Community First Trust Company was chartered in 1998 as the first and only independent trust company in Arkansas. With over $340 million in trust assets, the company maintains offices in Hot Springs, Hot Springs Village, Little Rock, Russellville, and El Dorado. To learn more, visit their website at CommunityFirstTrust.com.

New Magnolia Main Teller Pods
New Magnolia Main Teller Pods

The Farmers Bank & Trust branch located at 200 East Main Street, also known as Magnolia Main, has completed a major renovation. The new design has enhanced and modernized the banking experience for customers in Magnolia, AR.

The biggest change that took place is new teller pods that will function just like the traditional teller line but will allow employees to easily build relationships with customers without a wall in between them.

“We want this new lobby to be light, bright, and welcoming for our customers,” Joe Pieratt, Farmers Bank & Trust Chief Operations Officer said. “We want them to feel comfortable when they walk into the Bank.”

New Magnolia Main Café
New Magnolia Main Café

A new café is also an exciting new addition, featuring a Starbucks brewer, free WiFi, charging stations, and a seating area where customers can relax and utilize mobile banking tools.

“We are excited about this remodel,” Monty Harrington, Farmers Bank & Trust Magnolia Market President said. “The lobby will still be very open, but it won’t feel as large and intimidating. The new café will help with that as well. We want it to be a place where customers can relax.”

New Magnolia Main New Accounts
New Magnolia Main New Accounts

Pieratt said while the experience will be modernized, the Bank also wants to honor and tie in the roots of how Farmers Bank & Trust began. The café features a wall of historical photos dating back to 1906 when the Bank was chartered in Magnolia, Arkansas.

Stop by the Magnolia Main location today to check it out, don’t forget to wear your mask!

Pictures by: Angela Pieratt Pictures


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Farmers Bank & Trust Bryant, AR Branch
Farmers Bank & Trust Bryant, AR Branch

Farmers Bank & Trust has opened its second full-service branch in Saline County. Located at 3345 Highway 5 North in Bryant/Benton, AR, the Bank completely remodeled the former Crush Wine & Spirits building.

“This location is perfect for us because it’s close to both Benton and Bryant, and we will be able to serve both markets,” Kent McClure, Bryant Market President, said. “This area is booming, and we want to be a part of it.”

Kent McClure, Bryant Market President
Kent McClure, Bryant Market President

The new building will provide full teller, account and loan services, a drive-thru, and a notary. In addition, there will also be a MyFarmers iTeller Interactive Teller Machine with live teller services available from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday, and 8 am to 3 pm on Saturday, with 24/7 ATM services.

“We’ve adopted a more modern approach to banking,” Joe Pieratt, Chief Operating Officer, said. “I think you will notice that when you walk into our new branch. The teller pods offer an opportunity to really connect with our customers.”

The Bryant/Benton branch team will include Kent McClure, Market President; Elizabeth Anderson, Business Development Officer; Jordan Irby, Commercial Loan Officer; Eric Shelnut, Mortgage Loan Originator; Allie Stokes, Branch Supervisor; Vanessa Perez, Retail Banker; Hannah Wolf, Retail Banker; Kayla Ray, Retail Banker; Emilee Neal, Loan Assistant; and Cara Knight, Marketing Specialist.

The public is invited to visit the new branch to open accounts, speak to a loan officer, or receive assistance with any banking needs Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. A grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration for the location will be postponed until the spring to follow COVID-19 safety measures.

Farmers Bank Trust in Paris, TX
Farmers Bank Trust in Paris, TX

Farmers Bank & Trust has opened its first full-service branch in Paris, TX. Located at 1375 NE Loop 286 in Paris, TX, the Bank purchased and remodeled the former TEXAR Federal Credit Union building.

Farmers Bank & Trust Paris Market President, Jeff Nutt
Farmers Bank & Trust Paris Market President, Jeff Nutt

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Farmers family and introduce Farmers Bank & Trust to our community. As all of our staff are lifelong residents of Paris, this community and the relationships we have mean everything to us. The combination of Farmers Bank & Trust’s 115 years of relationship banking, a community of amazing people and businesses will create a great fit. You will see a huge commitment from Farmers to giving back and being a true part of the local community; it is the heart of who we are.” said Jeff Nutt, Farmers Bank & Trust Paris Market President.

The new Farmers Bank & Trust branch will provide full teller, accounts and loan services, a drive-thru, and a notary. In addition, there will be a MyFarmers iTeller Interactive Teller Machine with live teller services available from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday, and 8 am to 3 pm on Saturday, with 24/7 ATM services.

Farmers Bank & Trust Chief Executive Officer Chris Gosnell said, “After visiting Paris, TX, we found that the characteristics of the community perfectly matched our core values. We are excited about our Paris team and hope to become a valuable partner of the Paris Business Community.”

“We’ve adopted a more modern approach to banking,” Joe Pieratt, Farmers Bank & Trust Chief Operating Officer, said. “I think you will notice that when you walk into our new branch. The teller pods offer an opportunity to really connect with our customers.”

The Paris branch team will include Jeff Nutt, Paris Market President; Erik Roddy, Senior Commercial Loan Officer; Mike Kennedy, Business Development Manager; Tina Skidmore, Branch Manager; Jeffie Poole, Loan Assistant; Megan Stephens, Retail Banker; and Tristan Wheeler, Retail Banker.

The public is invited to visit the new branch to open accounts, speak to a loan officer, or receive assistance with any banking needs Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. A grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration for the location will be postponed until the spring to follow COVID-19 safety measures.