By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Charles Ennis has been a common face around Millington for the past two decades.
The Patriot Bank CEO is not one of the most vocal leaders in Flag City, but he has made sure the things he is involved with make a positive difference.
The Henning native has taken his humble beginnings, nearly 50 years of banking experience and devotion to Christ to build Patriot Bank to a milestone of $400 million worth of assets by the end of 2019.
The man who prefers the background had the spotlight shined on his success and achievements by the readers of The Millington Star as 2020 Man of the Year.
“It’s quite an honor,” he said. “I’m humbled. I’m sure there are a lot of other people deserving but I’ll take it.
“I keep a low profile,” Ennis added. “I let the other people that work for us have the spotlight. People see me, you might only reach 5 percent of the population. But if I pass on and let them get the acclaim or recognition, now we’ve got 75 employees recognized. The more we put people out there, the better it is for the bank.”
Another entity Ennis dedicates time to is the Millington Rotary Club. After the civic organization dissolved, he was given the task of rebuilding it.
“I was asked to be the new president and try to reactive the Rotary Club,” he recalled. “ It’s been going on for about 16 years now and we’re up to about 30 members.”
Rotary Club and Patriot Bank are interlocked through Millington and Tipton County. The two names are commonly found associated with scholarships for high school students in the Tipton County area, the dictionary program for disadvantage children and the annual Taste of Millington. Hats that Ennis commonly wears are Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Patriot Bank and Chairman of Patriot of Tennessee Corp, the bank’s holding company.
His banking career began at a small community bank in Henning with Ennis doing everything like sweeping floors and taking out trash.
Ennis continued his career in community banking at several banks in West Tennessee, serving as President of Tennessee Community Bank in Tipton County and President of Peoples Bank in Shelby County, before founding Patriot Bank in Millington in 2001.
Ennis always made time for his faith and currently serves on the board of Love Worth Finding, a ministry organization found by the late Adrian Rogers.
“We built the bank on Christian values,” Ennis said. “We don’t shy away from it. I think that’s why our bank has been so successful. We’re not ashamed of the Gospel. My wife Pat paints our Christmas cards every year. And it has something to do with nativity. So many businesses have gotten away from Merry Christmas. They’ve gone to Season’s Greetings or Happy Holidays.
“Every year since we’ve been open, we proudly say Merry Christmas and remember the reason we celebrate the season,” he continued. “In 18 years, to my surprise we haven’t gotten one complaint. He has been so faithful to us that we try to be faith to Him.
Ennis is very involved in the communities that Patriot Bank serves. He serves on the University of Memphis Advisory Board and is Chairman of the Tipton County CASA. He has served on the Board of Trustees for Union University in Jackson. Also in Jackson, Ennis’ Grace Broadcasting Services are on the radio airwaves. The stations provide contemporary Christian and gospel music radio along talk radio format shows.
Ennis graduated from the University of Memphis and has been married to his wife for several years producing two sons Seaton and Adam. Ennis and Pat live in Covington and are members of First Baptist Church in Covington.
“Personally I would like to continue to be known as a man who loves the Lord,” he concluded. “As I wine down my career, I want to leave a lasting mark and a good reputation as person and in business. No matter what business you’re in, your reputation will last, what type of person you are. When I die they will forget that I even worked in a bank. But hopefully those who knew me will say I was an honorable person.”