Meet Etta Graham and Lessie Blanchard
From Founder and President Callie Grant
Like all mothers, I found that having a child changed everything in my life, from the smallest detail to the largest. It was only then that I could appreciate the many challenges parents face.
Moms and dads are bombarded with information, demands, expectations, and their own conflicting desires. But perhaps nothing is more formidable than trying to shepherd a child’s spiritual life, surrounded by a culture awash in alienation from God.
When our daughter was born, I realized that my worry for her well-being had only just begun. My best and only hope would be to turn her over to God in prayer at the beginning of each day. And each new day still brings a fresh trial of trust. The family is God’s schoolhouse of faith. The reward is growing intimacy with Him.
Our company name honors women of faith Etta Graham, my grandmother from rural Tennessee, and Lessie Blanchard, Michael’s grandmother from San Antonio. Both women died when our dads were very young. We are encouraged when we see how God took care of their sons. Our dads have served their country and their families with honor and courage. It wasn’t always easy. Our company name daily reminds us that we can trust God in everything we do.
Whether you are a believer or don’t yet know Jesus or the God who sent him, we hope you find encouragement here for your family. The words of the Bible plead with love: Keep pressing in your journey. Persevere in your faith. We are with you.
The Graham Blanchard Team
Phillip is a graduate of Clemson and Dallas Theological Seminary. After 14 years in ministry he went back to school to complete a professional counseling degree at Liberty University, solidifying his life’s call to care ministry. He serves as the Care Ministry Pastor for Austin Ridge Bible Church. A father of three with wife Jill, Phillip was integral to the development of the Newborn Promise Project and uses it today in his ministry.x
As a project editor for Scholastic’s award-winning reading and language arts curriculum Literacy Place, Callie worked with a team to develop creative reading and learning products for children. But it wasn’t until she had a child of her own that she appreciated how important reading from birth is for cognitive, emotional—and spiritual—development. She launched Graham Blanchard Inc. in 2011 to help meet the spiritual needs of very young children and their parents. She and husband Michael live with their daughter Anna in Austin, TX, along with Westie “Vay,” who helps the family corral two newly adopted kittens.x
Brian supplies a highly valued level of wisdom and theological review to Graham Blanchard’s work, as well as an extensive knowledge of the Christian publishing industry. Brain served as the spiritual development pastor at Austin Ridge Bible Church and became executive director of Fuller Formation Groups in 2016. Brian also mentors recent graduates from Fuller Theological Seminary in their new roles as pastors. Brian lives in Austin with his wife Lisa and is dad to three college-age sons.x
Charissa is the co-author of the Newborn Promise Project Primer and Group Study, as well as the co-producer of the Newborn Promise Podcast. She has a professional background in marketing communications and provides strategic input for all Graham Blanchard projects. Charissa deeply cares about the spiritual development of Christian followers and the mission of Graham Blanchard to help other families grow and know God. She lives in the San Francisco East Bay with her husband Rob and two sons Jackson and Zachary. On the weekends she has taken up golf along with the rest of the family.x
Larry provides a storehouse of publishing knowledge and wisdom for Graham Blanchard. He has worked in leadership roles with the largest companies in all phases of the industry, from sales and marketing to wholesale and full-service distribution. In 2010, Larry stepped down as president and publisher of Standard Publishing to advise and shepherd start-up publishers and authors. We are very grateful for his contribution to Graham Blanchard.x
Aside from being an incredibly fun and sincere person, Missi’s design and marketing talents have given Graham Blanchard a well-respected presence in the Christian market. In addition to illustrating 11 children’s books, Missi designed the official Texas license plate benefitting the child advocate nonprofit Texas CASA. She earned the Big Wig Award for best illustrator by the Austin Advertising Federation, and her work has been nationally recognized by Print Magazine and the Addy Awards. The creative inspiration in Missi’s life? Her young daughter Ruby: “She is a creative dynamo, and I get to see a beautiful world through her eyes.”x
Rusty Shelton first spoke at Harvard on the changing world of PR and marketing at the age of 23. He is the co-author of Mastering the New Media Landscape: Embrace the Micromedia Mindset, which has been featured in Forbes and Inc. magazines. Following a successful growth period for Shelton Interactive, the agency he founded in 2010, his company was acquired by Advantage Media Group in early 2016. He is now President of Advantage Marketing. Rusty’s involvement with Graham Blanchard from the beginning has given great support and wisdom in publicizing the company’s mission and products.x
Kristen loves to help launch new products and brands online and off. She has more than a decade of digital and content marketing experience for awarding-winning SaaS products and software start-ups. More than that though, she has a heart to help parents connect with their children over the Gospel in meaningful, relevant ways. Kristen and her husband, Joshua, are ministry leaders at the church they helped plant in 2010. They have seen firsthand that one hour of church is not enough to build strong spiritual legacies. Kristen fell in love with Graham Blanchard books when she first encountered them in 2016. She and Joshua have four crazy, awesome boys who have adored every one of those books as much as their parents.x
Audra was an early part of the Newborn Promise Project development team and is co-author of the Primer and Group Study. With more than a decade of writing and producing for Christian broadcasters, she became a co-producer for the Newborn Promise Podcast. Today, Audra and her husband Corey live in Knoxville with their young daughters Norah and Lydia.x
Lynda’s work in education has spanned from the elementary classroom to CEO offices, where she counseled and led impactful corporate philanthropy and education initiatives for Stanford University, Intel, The Packard Foundation, Adobe Systems, Santa Clara University, and more. Lynda was Callie Grant’s mentor at Scholastic, and now a dear friend and guiding force for Graham Blanchard. Lynda and her husband Richard, a retired pediatrician, live in Larkspur, CA, where they enjoy grand-parenting to its fullest.x
Ansley Kynes was drawn to Graham Blanchard’s intentional parenting approach for guiding the spiritual formation of children. Before joining Graham Blanchard as a project developer, Ansley worked as a producer for a start-up production company that was acquired by media giant AOL. Her experience includes video, and radio and television production. Ansley loves traveling, reading, and a good laugh. She and her husband Matt live in Nashville with their two children who give them plenty to laugh aboutx
Our Mission & Values
Graham Blanchard supports families growing up together in God:
- Every child is born with a spiritual life and has an intimate relationship with God.
- The ability to learn and read are God’s gifts that awake the mind, open the heart, and nourish the soul.
- Resources that are excellent in language, illustration, and production invite a love of learning about God and a greater understanding about life with him.
We’re sharing the gift of literacy with families in need by partnering with YoungLife’s YoungLives. Learn more about their love and support for teen moms.
We hold core Christian beliefs, which guide all we create:
- There is one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- The Bible is the inspired Word of God, entirely trustworthy, and the final authority for all of faith and life.
- People were created in God’s image, but fell out of relationship with him through sin and so were condemned to death, separated from him.
- Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who became man, and while on earth, he was both fully man and fully God.
- Jesus died on a cross to pay the price for our sin and defeated death when risen to life.
- Jesus, now seated at the Father’s right hand, will come again and establish his Kingdom in the world, making all things new.
- By faith in Jesus we are both saved from the penalty of our sin and given eternal life.
- The Holy Spirit is God’s indwelling presence in those who have faith and in the Church, the Body of Christ.
- The Holy Spirit brings new life and transforms us into the image of Christ in character and service.