Who We Are

First State Bank & Trust Company began serving Panola County residents in 1902. Since its inception, First State Bank & Trust Company has seen more than a century’s worth of growth, economic change and technological advancement, yet our dedication to providing high-quality financial services remains steadfast. 

One of the few independently-owned banks in the nation, First State Bank & Trust Company is also one of the strongest banks according to BauerFinancial. First State Bank & Trust Company has been awarded a 5-Star Superior rating for excelling in areas such as capital and loan quality. First State Bank & Trust Company has also earned the elite distinction of being named a “Best of Bauer Bank” for maintaining this 5-Star Superior rating for more than 25 years. 

First State Bank & Trust Company exists to serve you, our customers, during every aspect of life. Whether you are opening your first checking account, buying your first car, purchasing a new home, or planning for retirement, First State Bank & Trust Company is here to guide you through the journey. Our staff is comprised of knowledgable and helpful employees who have a keen understanding of customer needs and banking services. In fact, our employees have an astounding 1,060 combined years of experience working at the bank. 

First State Bank & Trust Company has a strong commitment to the people and businesses of Panola County. This commitment is demonstrated by the bank’s philanthropic donations and employee volunteerism. The bank contributes an average of more than $40,000 annually to community organizations, and bank employees volunteer more than 200 hours throughout the community each month. We at First State Bank & Trust Company offer a variety of banking solutions designed to help our customers achieve their financial goals, and we truly care about making Panola County a great place to live and work.

Directors and Officers                                       


Dwain Brady                    John W. Cooke         J.R. Duke

Tom Escoe                       Gene Giles                David B. Murphy

Foster E. Murphy             Jim D. Payne             Kevin Smith

Charles Thomas               Lynn C. Vincent       Travis Wall


Jim D. Payne - Chairman of Board, CEO           Gene Giles - President

David B. Murphy - Executive Vice President     Kevin Smith - Chief Financial Officer

Lynn C. Vincent - Public Relations                     Carolyn P. Murphy-General Counsel & HR

Cody Cockerham - Vice President                    Ronnette Cooke - Auditor & Compliance

Chris Smith - Asst. Vice President                     Mike Whiddon - Asst. Vice President

Jameson Ritter - Controller                                Becky Eubank - Branch Manager

Christy Whatley - Operations Officer                Ginny Collins - BSA Officer

Sue Bishop - Asst. Cashier                                Judy Davis - Asst. Cashier

Pam Windham - Asst. Cashier                           Missy Atkerson - Asst. Cashier

Debbie Bellows - Banking Officer                     Tracy Hildebrand - Banking Officer

Janet Endsley - Banking Officer & HR              Melissa Edge - Trust Officer

Kathy Porter - IT Officer