A group of clergy members will meet Monday with Fulton Financial CEO Phil Wenger to discuss issues of violence in the community after making an unannounced visit Thursday afternoon to the bank’s downtown Lancaster branch.
Just before 3 p.m. about two dozen people representing POWER Interfaith Lancaster County entered the lobby of the bank on Penn Square and asked to speak with Wenger, saying they wouldn’t leave until they did. After about half an hour during which the group sang songs and prayed in a circled in the lobby while normal bank activity continued around them, Wenger called in on a cell phone.
As everyone listened in, Wenger talked via speakerphone with Rev. Edward Bailey of Bethel AME Church, who was the spokesman for the group. Once Bailey got Wenger to agree to a 9 a.m. Monday meeting, everyone left.
Afterward, Bailey said he was pleased that a meeting was arranged, but said he will continue to pressure business leaders to take the lead on issues of violence and racial justice. Bailey said he reached out to Wenger because he says business leaders, not politicians, are the ones who can really bring about change.
“We want Phil Wenger to call the business community together,” he said. “We want to see people who are committed to peace in the city, people who believe justice should happen in the city -- and no more shootings.”
In a statement issued late Thursday afternoon, bank spokeswoman Laura Wakeley described it as “a bit of a surprise” when the faith leaders staged a peaceful demonstration in the bank’s lobby.
“Fulton Bank has been a longstanding advocate for diversity and inclusion and for treating all people with fairness, dignity and respect, so the bank certainly supports the intent of this group,” Wakeley said.