rush to press news and updates

The Jesus Calling Podcast Celebrates 5 Million Downloads with Special Guest, Philanthropist and Author, Lauren Akins

(Nashville, Tenn.) Aug. 25, 2020—The Jesus Calling Podcast has officially surpassed five million downloads, Thomas Nelson announced today. Lauren Akins, philanthropist, author, mother and wife of multi-platinum entertainer Thomas Rhett, will appear as the special guest to commemorate the milestone. Her episode will air Sept. 17.

Akins is the author of the recently released book, Live in Love: Growing Together Through Life’s Changes. In it, she shows readers what it takes to live in love, stay in love, and grow together. Akins has been reading Jesus Calling for many years and has used it to navigate the busy moments of her life to strengthen her faith and prayer life.

 I love Jesus Calling,” Akins said. “It has been something that I have been reading for at least 10 years. I got my first Jesus Calling, just like a little pocket book, and I carried it with me everywhere I went. And if I was having a busy day or just needed to have a quick moment with the Lord…having that nearby would always jump start whatever conversation I was wanting to have, or just to have a little God wink in my day and just a conversation starter with Him.”

The Jesus Calling Podcast, which originally debuted in 2016, has seen continuous growth in downloads since it launched. Originally launched as an audio-only podcast, it has since expanded to include video podcasts and special series on social media, including Jesus CallingPeace for Everyday Life, featuring high-caliber guests from various backgrounds. From WWE wrestlers and Olympic gymnasts, to pastors, musicians, and everyday readers, recent guests have included Rev Run, ABC News’ Linsey Davis, Evander Holyfield, Cyntoia Brown-Long, Colton Underwood, Kristin Chenoweth, and many others.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone,” said Michael Aulisio, Vice President of Marketing for the Children’s & Gift Books Group at HarperCollins Christian Publishing. “As the Jesus Calling team finds new ways to communicate with our audience, especially during our unpredictable times, we strive to deliver inspirational content to new and established readers. People need faith and hope more than ever, and we are glad that the podcast can help bring some peace and encouragement to listeners.”

The Jesus Calling podcast was created as a result of the success of the bestselling daily devotional, Jesus Calling, which has sold more than 30 million units since it was published in 2004. The podcast, available on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms, features stories from readers of Jesus Calling and illustrates how spending time with the devotional has made a difference in their lives.

Nik Wallenda, acrobat, aerialist, skydiver, and the man who crossed Times Square and the Grand Canyon on a tightrope without a safety net, is also featured on the episode. In the interview, he talks about his new book, Facing Fear: Step Out in Faith and Rise Above What’s Holding You Back (Thomas Nelson, Sept. 15, 2020). Facing Fear centers on Wallenda’s experiences as a member of his family’s circus act, The Flying Wallendas, and touches on how everyone can face and overcome the fears and anxieties that hold us back.

Thomas Nelson is a world leading publisher and provider of Christian content and has been providing readers with quality inspirational product for more than 200 years. As part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the publishing group provides multiples formats of award-winning Bibles, books, gift books, curriculum and digital content, with distribution of its products in more than 100 countries. Thomas Nelson is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. For additional information visit www.thomasnelson.com.

Contact: Stefanie Schroeder, Publicity Director, Gift Books, 615.902.1722  Stefanie.schroeder@harpercollins.com