Debit Card Shutdown Notice

Debit Card Shutdown Notice – June 2017

Freedom Bank received notification, that a merchant in the Flathead Valley was compromised sometime between October 2016 and April 2017. As a result, persons that used their debit cards at this business may be exposed to fraudulent activity. In cooperation with law enforcement and other financial institutions in the Flathead Valley, Freedom Bank immediately shut down the credit ability, for those cards that may have been exposed to the security breach. For those cards involved; customers should still be able to make a debit transaction, that requires a PIN.   If you do not have a PIN for your card, customers may phone the 800 number listed on the back of the card to set a PIN.  This had to be done immediately in order to protect everyone that was exposed.

Please understand that this breach had nothing to do with the bank’s security systems and has impacted other banks in the Flathead Valley. Our staff has been working diligently trying to notify our customers, but due to the high volume of cards compromised, we did not have enough staff, or time, to call everyone before the cards, before initiating action. Shutting the cards down protect both our customers and Freedom Bank. We apologize for any inconvenience. New cards have been ordered and customers should be receiving them within 7-10 business days. Thank you for your understanding.

Please call us at (406) 892-1776 if you have any questions.

New Website Coming Soon!

Hi Everyone!  We just wanted to let you know that we are working on a new and improved website.  We hope to release it very soon, so don’t be alarmed if things look a little differently around here.  The new site will be cleaner, fresher and more mobile friendly.  Please contact us at or (406) 892-1776 for more information.


Montana’s Notary of the Year

Jerry Burley, assistant vice president and loan officer at Freedom Bank on Friday was awarded Notary of the Year by Montana Sec. of State Linda McCulloch.

Burley has been a notary since the early ‘90s, getting his start in banking fresh out of high school.

He grew up in Broadus and, following his love of accounting, took a job bookkeeping at a bank in Ashlan.

The job required him to be a notary, so he became one.

The process as he recalled it was not difficult.

“Back in the day, it was just fill out a form, and the bank paid for the bonding, and I took a training and they sent the certificate,” he said.

Being a notary is fairly simple, he said. Any time a legal document needs notarized, he confirms the ID of the person signing, keeps a log, and adds a stamp to the document confirming he notarized it.

“Jerry Burley epitomizes what it means to be Montana Notary of the Year,” said McCulloch. “He was chosen from a strong field of nominees for demonstrating exceptional services and high standards of practice.”

Montana Notary of the year nominees were evaluated on their longevity, variety of documents notarized, use of notary journal, community service, and exceptional notary service.

McCulloch started the Montana Notary of the Year award in 2009 in an effort recognize the invaluable work done by notaries in Montana.

“Notaries are the first line of defense against many types of fraud as they are responsible for determining the identity of the person who signs a document, swears an oath, or performs any of the other acts that require a notary public. I’m eager to present this award to such a deserving notary public,” McCulloch said.

Burley is involved in the community, which factored in to being named Notary of the Year.

He was a member of the Columbia Falls Chamber of Commerce for 10 years, and has served as treasurer of the Gateway to Glacier trail for the past three.

Because he was named Montana Notary of the year, Burley is automatically nominated for the National Notary of the Year award given annually by the National Notary Association.

Burley’s wife, Joanne, their daughter Kristen and granddaughter Avery were all present at the award ceremony at Freedom Bank on Friday.

Although he now works as a lender at Freedom Bank rather than the accounting and bookkeeping that first got him interested, he says that his favorite aspect of being a notary has remained the same.

“I think mainly it’s the people that come through, the conversations I have with them while they sign. It’s just getting to know people,” he saidJERRY SEC DON

Night of Lights 2016


Freedom Bank’s President Don and his wife Barbara inside the Freedom Bank Gingerbread House cart.

The Freedom Bank crew has a lively time walking in community parades every year. We count it as a privilege to have a part in this 31-year tradition that thrives on community pride and fun with friends. Surely all that attended the parade can agree that the community pride that is so infectious in Columbia Falls was on display at the Night of Lights. The tight knit community huddled around nucleus to watch festively decorated floats mosey by and treat the spectators with handfuls of candy.

Freedom Bank had an entertaining time decorating their Gingerbread House cart before the parade. It was truly a team effort that required every member of Freedom Bank to contribute their skills in some way, shape or form. You may have seen us huddled around our cart assembling our scrumptious gingerbread house. It was genuinely a fun team-building time.

We look forward to the next parade where we can put our hands back to work to come up with another creative and goofy cart.




Night of Lights

Join Freedom Bank at the Night of Lights this Friday!

Night of Lights is a 31+ year tradition centered around a fun, community filled parade.  This event is also features craft fairs, caroling, a live nativity, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, food vendors and fun with your neighbors!

The Night of Lights Craft Show starts at 4pm at the North Valley Community Room.

The Parade Starts at 6:30pm and runs down Nucleus Ave.  The parade is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Columbia Falls.

Follow Santa down to the Coop for a warm & cozy holiday concert by Cocinando Latin Jazz Orchestra & The CFHS Sonifers, food vendors, hot cocoa & cider and caroling with the crowd.

Visit for more information.

Affordable Housing for Columbia Falls

Stable, affordable housing is critical to education, health, and economic success across our area. Habitat for Humanity’s unique home ownership program allows hardworking, low-income families to build and buy a home.

Currently, Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley is in the middle of an affordable housing project in Columbia Falls. This 16-unit townhouse development will be completed by 2015 and to date they have placed 8 families into new homes. These homes are constructed by volunteers and materials are paid for by donations and earnings from two second-hand furniture stores.

Habitat for Humanity is always looking for more volunteers to help. If you are unable to help, consider a donation. Freedom Bank recently made a sizable donation to Habitat for Humanity to help them improve our community. Please consider helping this great organization achieve their goal of providing affordable housing to our neighbors in need.

Local Art Sale Benefits Gateway to Glacier Trail

Freedom Bank’s Don Bennett commissioned local up-and-coming artist Colt Idol for an awe inspiring 6′ by 4′ oil painting depicting the majestic mountains and valleys of Glacier National Park and the symbol of freedom, the bald eagle.

A limited number of 3′ by 2′ giclee prints were available for pre-sale and also for sale the day of the event.  Those prints that were pre-sold were given additional unique brush strokes by the artist at the event at Freedom Bank, and all prints sold that day were embellished with the original signature of the artist.

Giclee prints of “Discover Freedom” are still available for purchase.  $100 of each sale of the premium quality, museum wrap format print benefits the Gateway to Glacier Trail non-profit organization.  Now you have the opportunity to own an incredible piece of art and support a great cause – a separated pedestrian and bike path which will ultimately connect Glacier National Park with the Flathead Valley.

To place an order, please stop by Freedom Bank, or contact us!

"Discover Freedom" by Colt Idol

“Discover Freedom” by Colt Idol