Bethany Garth, Executive Director
Bethany started at First Choice in 2014 as Advancement Director, and became the Executive Director in January 2017. She graduated from Auburn in 2007 with a degree in journalism and went on to work at the pregnancy center there doing marketing and development. Before moving to Montgomery, Bethany and her husband Dave took two years off from work to explore the world and travel by bicycle. Bethany is a mom to three young children, Kirby, Hannah and Davis. She says she loves the opportunity she has to know that the work she does every day is making a real, positive difference in the lives of others. She also loves getting to know the people who support this ministry and make our work possible.
Melinda Stewart, Operations Director
Melinda has worked at First Choice for 32 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in counselor education, both from Western Illinois University. As our operations director, Melinda keeps our day-to-day operations running smoothly and efficiently. She has been married to her husband, Don, for 20 years. Melinda says she loves knowing that her “behind-the-scenes” work at our center supports others in presenting God’s love and truth to women and men facing unplanned pregnancies as well as those suffering from the emotional, spiritual, and physical effects of past abortions.
Laura Williams, Client Services Director
Laura Williams joined our staff in 2017, shortly after completing her master’s in counseling from Faulkner University. As Client Services Director, she oversees all client care programs and trains all our volunteer client advocates and receptionists. She is originally from Montgomery, and married her husband, Cory, in October 2017. They both work with the youth at their church home, First Assembly Montgomery. Laura says she enjoys being able to minister to women and men in need of support and encouragement in their pregnancy. “Our goal is for our center to be a safe haven where people can come and receive what they need physically, emotionally and spiritually,” she says. “It is so rewarding to see our clients feel valued, understood, and loved.”
Kathy Kay, Client Care Coordinator
Kathy has a heart for ministering to women. Before coming to First Choice in 2005, Kathy worked for the Family Sunshine Center and for Lighthouse Counseling Center. She leads our post-abortion ministry and also assists with daily patient services and administrative work. Kathy is married to Ronnie and has three children and five grandchildren. She says the best thing about working at First Choice is counseling abortion-vulnerable, abortion-minded, and post-abortive women.
Jenna Bryant, Parenting Education Coordinator
Jenna started volunteering here in 2012 when she and her husband, Clint, moved to Montgomery. She came on staff in 2013 to manage our parenting education program, Earn While You Learn. Jenna recently completed a double bachelor’s degree from Liberty University in Christian counseling and crisis counseling. She and Clint have two elementary-aged sons, Jake and Tyler. Jenna says she loves the opportunity she has at First Choice to counsel and encourage the moms we serve.”I love seeing the girls who are broken and beat down leave here with joy and a smile on their face. I love seeing a mom who thinks she is incapable of being a good mother have her baby and be the best mother possible.”
Craig Shore, Fathers First CoordinatorCraig Shore started working at First Choice in June 2019 as our Fathers First Coordinator. In this role, he is spearheading our growing ministry to dads. We believe it is essential to educate and equip fathers to be engaged and effective in their role in their children's lives. Craig has a desire to minister to all the expectant fathers who come through our doors at First Choice. "As a father and foster parent of three children, I know the importance of being present and involved as a father with my family," he said. "I also know the suffering of children in the foster care system and the consistent issue in the system (and our nation) of fatherlessness. My passion for ministering to dads at First Choice is rooted in this desire on spreading an earthly example of fatherhood that emulates the consistent fatherly love of our Heavenly Father."
Valerie Waddell, M.D., Medical Director
Dr. Waddell is a graduate of medical school at Texas Tech University and completed her residency at The Ohio State University. Dr. Waddell began practicing with Montgomery Women's Health Associates in 2016. She became our medical director in 2019, and in this role she has oversight of all clinic operations at the Center. We are thankful for the professional expertise she brings, as well as a genuine desire to serve and empower women to make a decision for life.
Ashley Dean R.N., Part-Time Nurse ManagerAshley started as our nurse manager in early March 2018. Ashley is from Montgomery originally, and graduated from nursing school at AUM in 2009. She has been married to her husband Patrick for almost nine years. Ashley is still learning the ropes here at First Choice, but we’re excited to have her as a part of our team. As nurse manager, she will primarily provide oversight and administrative support for our medical services. She said she is most excited about the chance she has here to give new, expecting moms comfort and love during what might be the most frightening time of their lives. Ashley said, “I believe the Lord has offered me a new opportunity to grow in my nursing career with the challenge of becoming the nurse manager here at First Choice.”
Amy Luck, R.N., Part-Time Staff NurseAmy is one of the staff nurses at First Choice. Amy graduated from nursing school at AUM in 1996. After working as a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, she started volunteering here in 2007 and came on staff in 2008. She and her husband, Aaron, have two children, Lacy and Adam. Amy says she loves doing ultrasounds and having the opportunity to show moms their baby for the first time.
Betty Roebuck, R.N., Part-Time Staff Nurse
After staying at home with her children, Betty became a counselor at First Choice and volunteered for four years in that capacity. She then came on staff part-time in 2010 as a nurse and received the necessary limited ultrasound training. Betty is married to Mal and they have two grown children, Claire and David. She says about working at First Choice, “I love working with the staff and seeing their commitment to Christ and our clients. I also enjoy being able to be a part of women seeing their baby on the ultrasound for the first time.”
Julia Smith, R.N., Part-time Staff Nurse
Julia started working with us part-time in 2018. She graduated from nursing school at Auburn University in 2009. She and her husband, Grady, and their three children moved to Montgomery in 2016. Grady is the pastor at Gateway Baptist Church. Julia says she loves using her medical skills and training to meet physical needs of our clients while also getting to share the love of Christ. We are excited to welcome her to our team.