The bank presented a check for $25,000 to the Center for Community Transformation, part of the Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, during a luncheon in the BC Lounge on the main campus. Among those present were FPU leaders, Wells Fargo executives and members of the CCT advisory panel.
The relationship between the CCT and Wells Fargo goes back two years, to the center's founding. "They helped launch the CCT," said Randy White, D.Min., and executive director of the center, who acted as master of ceremonies.
Since then, CCT has begun GED study clubs, brought financial literacy training to residents of poor neighborhoods, supported a city ordinance against human trafficking, helped the Fresno Police Department update its information on massage parlors (some of which are fronts for trafficking), supported faith-based initiatives through a summit and business plan contest and established a certificate program in leadership and pastoral ministry for Hispanic people.
"It all adds up to our mission," White said.
This new grant will aid CCT's work in social enterprise, where churches and other ministry organizations start businesses and other opportunities for people who have had employment challenges, and continue and expand financial literacy training in neighborhoods where at least 40 percent of the residents live in poverty.
There is a very good reason CCT is based at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, according to FPU President Richard Kriegbaum, Ph.D. "The prayers multiply the effect of the dollars and people," he said.
The university and seminary do not operate in a vacuum, said Terry Brensinger, Ph.D., vice president and dean of the seminary, but have a role to play in improving the Valley. "The center is putting our ideas and your support into action," he said.
Wells Fargo also invests in the community, and does so long term to change lives, said Scott Rhodes, commercial banking regional vice president. "We are deeply grateful to be partners," he said.
The Center for Community Transformation connects the strengths of FPU with the resources of the region toward the goal of community transformation. Part of the Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, CCT supports entrepreneurial creativity, spiritual freedom, economic vitality and justice, environmental integrity, cross-cultural/social collaboration and political health in the Central Valley (transformcentralvalley.org).
Wells Fargo & Company is a nationwide, diversified financial services company with $1.6 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852, the San Francisco-based corporation provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer and commercial finance. At the end of second quarter of 2014, Wells Fargo ranked fourth in assets among U.S. banks and was the world's most valuable bank by market capitalization. In 2013, Euromoney named Wells Fargo "Best Bank" in its Global Awards for Excellence, the first time a U.S.-based bank has won the top award. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Wells Fargo's corporate giving in the top two among all U.S. companies each of the past two years. (wellsfargo.com).