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CNN Hero Becca Stevens to Preach


The Rev. Dr. Becca Stevens, founder and president of Thistle Farms and Episcopal chaplain at St. Augustine’s Chapel, Nashville, Tenn., is the featured preacher Feb. 24 on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible online at and on podcast apps. 

Stevens founded Magdalene, a two-year residential community of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking, and addiction, and Thistle Farms, which employs residents and graduates of Magdalene. It houses a line of natural products, a paper and sewing studio, and the Thistle Stop Café. Thistle Farms National Network is comprised of organizations committed to connecting survivors of prostitution, trafficking, and addiction to healing and empowerment. Over 50 organizations throughout the country have programs based on the model. Stevens has been chaplain at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Chapel at Vanderbilt University for over 20 years. 

“Loving Our Enemy Is Our Saving Grace,” her sermon for Feb. 24, is based on Luke 6:27-38. “In my work at Thistle Farms, a community of women survivors of trafficking, addiction, and violence, I have seen the miraculous truth of this gospel. I have learned that forgiveness does not mean you don’t hold someone accountable and does not mean you escape the trauma,” she says. “It means there is a path forward that is deep and beautiful.” 

In 2016, Stevens was recognized as one of 10 CNN Heroes. She was named Tennessean of the Year and a Champion of Change by the White House. She was the Small Business Council of America 2014 Humanitarian of the Year. She is a prolific writer. Her nine books include “Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling,” “The Way of Tea & Justice: Rescuing the World’s Favorite Beverage from Its Violent History,” and a book of devotional meditations from entitled “Letters from the Farm.” Her latest book is “Love Heals.”

The program includes interviews with Stevens conducted by Wallace, who is also executive producer. 
“Day 1” has been broadcast every week for 74 years, formerly as “The Protestant Hour.” Featuring outstanding preachers from the mainline denominations, “Day 1” is currently distributed to more than 200 radio stations across America and overseas. The program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media, based in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, check the program’s website,