About Us

Providing hope to all through healthier relationships.

First Things First is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing healthy relationship skills to all. Through face-to-face classes and events, experiential products and various digital media resources, we aim to equip people with the tools they need to grow healthy, thriving relationships in every season of life. 


Why We Exist

In 1997, Chattanooga, TN was in a desperate place. Crime was on the rise, drug use was growing and the city's economic status was less than favorable. A few of the city's civic leaders decided to do something to change the path the community was on. 

After some research, these leaders quickly recognized that some of the greatest issues plaguing the city were caused by a breakdown in the family unit and a lack of healthy relationships. 

That's when First Things First was born as a community-wide initiative to rebuild, renew and revitalize Chattanooga- beginning with relationships and the families they produced. 

Why Healthy Relationships Matter

Patterns of abusive relationships and poor decision making can be passed down from generation to generation. Research shows the stress from these cycles of broken, unhealthy family units are the greatest cause of poverty, addiction, mental illness and a myriad of other issues that plague the health of our communities. That's why First Things First is determined to end cycles of relational poverty by providing healthy relationship resources to teens, young adults, engaged and seriously dating couples, married couples, parents and co-workers in every season of life.

Our Goals

- To reduce the number of divorce filings. 

- To reduce out of wedlock pregnancies. 

- To increase father involvement.

The Solution

We aim to reverse the trends of destructive relationships and strengthen the families of our community by providing skills-based classes and events that meet people in every relational stage of life, such as: dating teens & young adults, engaged couples, married couples, parents, singles and any combination. 

How You Can Help


Take advantage of our classes and resources. By engaging with our content, you are helping our community as a whole.

Classes & Events


Volunteer your time and talents. We have plenty of opportunities for you to serve and be engaged with the families of our community.


Become a Corporate Partner

Monetary handouts aren’t our thing. We want to form a mutually beneficial relationship with you by providing marketing opportunities, specialized workshops and more.

Contact Us


100% of your charitable donation goes to supporting First Things First’s efforts to provide healthy relationship skills to the families in our community.



2019 First Things First Board Members

Julie Baumgardner
President and CEO

Marie Webb
Board Chair

Rhey Houston
Board Vice-Chair

Mike Webb
Board Treasurer

Kate Thompson
Board Secretary

Brad Wier
Past Board Chair

David Allen

Jimmy and Jacyln Barnett

Carmen Carson

Brittany Fulmer Ennen

Tina and Mike Frizzell

Wilson Meads

Kathy Patton

Buddy Presley

Damon and Jody Riggs

Pat Gray

Ron Harris

Anna and Brent Faulk

Todd and Beth Henon

Rodger and Peggy Jenkins

El and Jennifer LaGutin

How We're Doing