Olive Tree Congregation Names Amer Olson as Congregational Leader Olson follows Dan Strull as he steps down after 35 years of service
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Olive Tree Congregation Names Amer Olson as Congregational Leader
Olson follows Dan Strull as he steps down after 35 years of service
August 1, 2022 - PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Ill. - Olive Tree Congregation has named Amer Olson as its congregational leader, the fifth in this assembly of Jesus-believing Jews and Gentiles that was founded in Chicago in 1978. Olson will step into the role upon the retirement of Dan Strull who has served as Olive Tree's congregational leader since October 1987.
"It has been a joy and honor to serve the Olive Tree Congregation for these many years," said Strull. "We have witnessed God's long faithfulness to Olive Tree's unique ministry focusing on the Jewishness of Jesus and faith in Him, that He is the promised Messiah of Israel who will return to Jerusalem to establish and reign over God's kingdom."
Strull added that experience of God's faithfulness included the search that resulted in Olson's calling to Olive Tree. The thoughtful, thorough work of the transition team, begun in 2020, concluded with the elders' and transition team's unreserved recommendation of Olson and the congregation's unanimous vote to extend a call to ministry invitation to Olson in July of this year.
Olson, his wife Paige, and their children were actively involved in Olive Tree from 2005 to 2011 while Olson served in the Jews for Jesus (JFJ) branch in Skokie, Ill. When the Olson's moved to serve in JFJ's New York City work, Olive Tree partnered with them in support.
Raised in Minneapolis, Olson attended art school at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His career path includes two years of service with the Liberated Wailing Wall, an evangelistic music team; developing outreach with the Seed of Abraham, a Messianic congregation in Minneapolis; work with JFJ in New York, London and Chicago in leadership positions. Most recently, Olson developed an arts program as a way to engage the Jewish community in New York City.
Olive Tree was established in 1978 by Roy Schwarcz and John Bell who desired to establish a Jewish sensitive, theologically conservative congregation to disciple Jewish people who come to faith in Messiah Jesus. This year, Olive Tree Congregation celebrates 44 years of Jews and gentiles sharing new life in Messiah.