Becca Stevens (priest)

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Rev. Becca Stevens is an Episcopal priest and writer who is chaplain at Vanderbilt University's St. Augustine's Chapel in Nashville, Tennessee.[1] She is notable for her work helping former prostitutes leave the sex industry and start new lives.[2] She was the 2000 Nashvillian of the Year and in 2013 was inducted into the Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame.


Becca Stevens was born on April 1, 1963 in Connecticut to Anne and Rev. Gladston Hudson Stevens, Jr. When she was four years old, her family relocated to Nashville, Tennessee and a year later, her father was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. After completing her secondary education at John Overton High School, Stevens enrolled in her father's alma mater The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee studying math. When she graduated, she completed an internship at Bread for the World and led the Kanuga Conference Center's youth program near Hendersonville, North Carolina before returning to Nashville in 1987. Stevens enrolled in Vanderbilt Divinity School, where she met her future husband Marcus Hummon, whom she married in 1988. During her schooling, she volunteered in projects to help homeless women and those dealing with addiction.

Stevens was ordained in June 1991 and delivered her first child the following month.[3] After her ordination, Stevens began working at the Church of the Resurrection in Franklin, Tennessee, continuing her work with those in need. When in 1995, the Chaplain of St. Augustine’s Chapel at Vanderbilt retired, Stevens accepted the post.[3] She founded Magdalene in 1997,[4] a two-year residential program for former prostitutes overcoming addiction(s) and wanting to restart their lives.[5] She also started Thistle Farms, which employs the same group of women to make products sold in stores like Whole Foods and on the Internet.[2] In 2000, Stevens was selected as the Nashvillian of the year[3] and in 2013, she was inducted into the Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame.[6] In 2013, Thistle Farms opened a café, employing ex-prostitutes as baristas.[2]

She has written several books, including nine published by Abingdon Press.[7] Her 2013 memoir, Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling, "details her own sexual abuse and healing and how her ministry has led to the founding of Thistle Farms",[8] and was reported by The Tennessean as an area bestseller.[9] She has received many local awards as well as being designated a White House Champion of Change in 2011.


  • Finding Balance: Loving God with Heart and Soul, Mind and Strength. Abingdon Press. 2004. ISBN 978-0-687-34510-6. 
  • Sanctuary: Unexpected Places Where God Found Me. Abingdon Press. 2005. ISBN 978-0-687-49420-0. 
  • Hither and Yon: A Travel Guide for the Spiritual Journey. Abingdon Press. 2007. ISBN 978-0-687-49076-9. 
  • Walking Bible Study: The Path of Peace. Abingdon Press. 2010. ISBN 978-1-4267-3329-1. 
  • Walking Bible Study: The Path of Love. Abingdon Press. 2010. ISBN 978-1-4267-1174-9. 
  • Walking Bible Study: The Path of Justice. Abingdon Press. 2010. ISBN 978-1-4267-4608-6. 
  • Funeral for a Stranger: Thoughts on Life and Love. Abingdon Press. 2010. ISBN 978-1-4267-2234-9. 
  • Find Your Way Home: Words from the Street, Wisdom from the Heart. Abingdon Press. 2010. ISBN 978-1-4267-2253-0.  Co-written with the Women of Magdalene.
  • The Gift of Compassion: A Guide to Helping Those Who Grieve. Abingdon Press. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4267-4234-7. 
  • Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling. FaithWords. 2013. ISBN 978-1-4555-1907-1. 
  • The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World's Favorite Beverage from Its Violent History. FaithWords. 2014. ISBN 978-1-4555-1903-3. 


  • The Frist Foundation and the Academy of Women in Achievement
  • Nashvillian of the Year by the Nashville Scene, 2000[10]
  • A Tennessean of the Year by The Tennessean, 2005[11][12]
  • "NEXT Award" as an Entrepreneur of the Year by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, 2011[13][14]
  • A White House "Champion of Change", 2011[15][16]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Grammy-winning country music artist Marcus Hummon, and has three children.[17]


  1. ^ "Becca Stevens". St. Augustine's Chapel at Vanderbilt. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  2. ^ a b c Kristof, Nicholas (2013-10-13). "From the Streets to the ‘World’s Best Mom’". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ a b c West, Kay (December 21, 2000). "2000 Nashvillian of the Year Becca Stevens, executive director of the Magdalene project". Nashville, Tennessee: Nashville Scene. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Kerr, Gail (2011-11-24). "Self-worth rises for women of Magdalene House". The Tennessean. 
  5. ^ Hall, Heidi (April 22, 2014). "Former drug addict, prostitute finds rebirth of her own". The Tennessean. 
  6. ^ "2013 Inductee: Becca Stevens". Nashville, Tennessee: Women's Economic Council Foundation. 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "Authors: Becca Stevens". Abingdon Press. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  8. ^ Garrigan, Liz (2013-03-11). "Books: For Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest, age-old remedies hold secret to healing". Nashville City Paper. 
  9. ^ "BookManBookWoman best-sellers". The Tennessean. 2014-03-23. 
  10. ^ West, Kay (2000-12-21). "2000 Nashvillian of the Year: Becca Stevens, executive director of the Magdalene project". Nashville Scene. 
  11. ^ "Tennesseans of the Year". The Tennessean. 2005-12-25. p. A23. 
  12. ^ "The Vanderbilt University 2006 Financial Report" (PDF). Vanderbilt University. 2006: 12. The Tennessean names Chancellor Gordon Gee and Reverend. Becca Stevens as 'Tennesseans of the Year.' 
  13. ^ McClain, Randy (2011-10-19). "Nashville chamber honors NEXT winners". The Tennessean. 
  14. ^ Chambers, Lindsay (2011-10-19). "Nashville Area Chamber, Entrepreneur Center announce NEXT Award winners" (Press release). Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. 
  15. ^ Haruch, Steve (2011-10-17). "Rev. Becca Stevens of Magdalene and Thistle Farms Named a 'Champion of Change' by the White House". 
  16. ^ "Becca Stevens". Champions of Change. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  17. ^ Ghianni, Tim (2007-01-13). "Mom's compassion lives on". Tennessean. 

External links[edit]