The root of many of the problems in Memphis and Shelby County is well-documented – systemic failures in the biblically based family unit. These failures are a major cause of infant mortality, spousal and child abuse, youth violence, absence of discipline, lack of respect for others, under-achieving students, crime, single-parent families and the cycle of people living in poverty. Families Matter was founded to combat those issues.
Founded in 2004 as an ministry program of Christ Community Health Services, Families Matter is based on a marriage enrichment program developed by Rocky Anthony, a pastor at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis. Interest in Families Matter grew rapidly among Memphis churches when the program was founded, and many mentors were trained in marriage-strengthening techniques. However, due to several changes in program leadership early on, Families Matter activities were reduced to focus only on marriage training.
In 2008, the Second Presbyterian Church Foundation, Hope Christian Community Foundation and the Irvin Lansky Foundation funded the development of a more comprehensive Families Matter program that supports healthy marriages and families.
Today, Families Matter’s programs and ministry efforts continue to grow, and much expansion is expected in the coming months and years.