By: Dr. Kelli Criss
In our series, Faith in Florida, we’d like to familiarize the faith community with leaders who serve Florida in ministry and public service. We posed four questions to leaders. Each blog shares a particular leader’s responses with you. We thank God for the service of these leaders and pray for them daily. Today, we profile Pastor Pam Olsen.
Pastor Pam Olsen
Pastor Pam Olsen is the Founder and President of the Florida Prayer Network, a statewide ministry that seeks to unite individuals, churches, and ministries in prayer and action for the state of Florida, the United States, and the world. Pam and her husband, Tenney, are Founders and Executive Directors of the Hilltop House of Prayer Tallahassee and pastors of Hilltop Church Tallahassee.
Pam is also the State Director of the Florida Prayer Caucus Network under the direction of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation. She has led prayer for 25 years at the Florida State Capitol weekly and during the legislative session she leads weekly prayer with legislators.
Your Faith’s Influence
How has your faith influenced your decision to enter ministry in order to engage public servants and to serve Florida’s faith community?
My husband and I were pastors and I was a mother of four young children. Our country was in trouble and I knew that I had to be a voice for truth and righteousness in the public arena. Twenty-nine years ago, I started speaking at city hall and county commissioner meetings to get them to enact proper laws in our community. We started a citizens group at our church to get out the vote. I heard Dr. James Dobson, Founder of Focus on the Family, ask “Is There Not a Cause” to stand up and be a voice, and I knew God was challenging me to do more. I was asked to lead the National Day of Prayer (NDP) for the state and to host the Florida State Capitol National Day of Prayer Observance.
I lived 300 miles away from Tallahassee then, but I said yes. I started reaching out to pray with our government leaders. Now, twenty-six years later, I still host the NDP Observance, pray with leaders on an on-going basis and speak to them regarding biblical issues that matter to our state and nation. I moved to Tallahassee 20 years ago. I have raised my family in Tallahassee and pastored in the city. I currently serve on the Florida Faith-based and Community-based Advisory Council as the Legislative Lead and State Director for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation. It matters that Christians get involved in the area of government. I speak in committee hearings at the Capitol and meet and pray with legislators in Tallahassee, as well as in D.C.
Top 2021 Public Policy Priorities
Considering your faith, what are your top public policy priorities in 2021?
Fighting for the issue of the unborn, for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, for our government not to bow to “political correctness,” for parental consent laws, for biblical values in every area, and for religious freedom.
Who has greatly influenced your relationship with God, whether family, mentor, friend, faith leader, or public figure?
I was greatly influenced and discipled in the Word of God as a teenager by Dr. Buddy Hicks. He was asked by David Wilkerson to come disciple all the young people getting saved in Houston in 1970 during the Jesus Movement. He has greatly influenced my husband, Tenney and I. Also, Dr. James Dobson and his wife, Shirley have been a great influence on me, as a woman of God, wife and mother and to be involved in the governmental arena. I am blessed to count them as mentors and friends. There are many others throughout the years that have boldly preached the Word and taught me to pray and stand up for righteousness. My husband and I pray together, study the Word together and pastor together, so he has been my constant and best influence in the Ways of Jesus since we met 50 years ago and married 41 years ago!
What books are you reading currently?
Prayers that Avail Much for America by Germaine Copeland, Unlocking the Bible by David Pawson, and Healing Americas Wounds by John Dawson
Getting to Know Pastor Pam Olsen
For more information about Pastor Pam Olsen, check out the Hilltop House of Prayer website.
We’re excited to be profiling additional leaders who serve Florida’s faith community throughout the remainder of 2020. Be on the lookout for our Faith in Florida series. Visit the Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition website and read previous blogs to learn more about us.