LCBA was founded as the Ladies Catholic Benevolent Association by a group of courageous Catholic women in Titusville, Pennsylvania. These women not only saw the need to provide financial protection for women, they were among the very first to act on that need. The original founders of LCBA were: Kate Woods, Union City, Pa.; Frances M. Mayer, Duke Center, Pa.; Margaret Seep, Titusville, Pa.; Hannah Shields, Corry, Pa.; Mary A. Gainey, Erie, Pa.; Nellie Frances Murray, Erie, Pa. and Regina Graff, Erie, Pa. The Ladies Catholic Benevolent Association, is the first insurance society (and the 2nd formally incorporated) owned and operated by women and solely for the benefit of women, and in the case of LCBA, specifically for Practical Roman Catholic women.
Once incorporated, the women of LCBA took to churches throughout the land proclaiming the benefits of LCBA. LCBA was one of the initial women’s rights movements. LCBA women were speaking about LCBA from Roman Catholic pulpits in the late 1800’s. By 1910, in just 20 years, without the internet or even telephone in many areas, the membership had grown to over 117,000!
By the 1960's, the actuarial sciences were long established and LCBA was providing members with traditional insurance products. These women and their spouses were now also beneficiaries of government and employer-based health care and retirement programs. Additionally, more Catholics were marrying across denominational lines. It was at this time that LCBA changed its name from the Ladies Catholic Benevolent Association to Loyal Christian Benefit Association and opened membership to both genders of all Christian faiths.
Over the past one and a quarter centuries, the organization those women started and built has helped hundreds of thousands of member families carry on through perhaps the most difficult times families can have, surviving and recovering from the loss of a beloved family member. Not only did they create a successful platform for providing this help, they also expanded it to create a force for good in many communities. Today, LCBA remains rooted in Erie, Pennsylvania, just down the road from its original home, while serving over 33,000 Christians in 35 states and the District of Columbia.