2023 Year in Review
As we approach another year’s end and head into our 20th year as an organization, we are both humbled and inspired by the remarkable journey we have embarked upon together, and we are grateful for the grace that has carried us through the past year.
Reflecting on 2023, we are reminded of the unwavering support and dedication that defines our community. Your commitment to our shared mission has been the cornerstone upon which we’ve built impactful change. Through education, advocacy, and empowerment, we have striven to create a state where God is honored, life is cherished, families thrive, and religious liberty flourishes.
The year’s successful legislative session is a testament to your faithful and generous support as we witness Florida’s leadership in medical freedom, the protection of children, the defense of parents’ rights, and the expansion of educational choices. The activities and accomplishments showcased within these pages attest to the collective power of faithful people serving a faithful God for his glory and our good.
Our vision remains steadfast as we gear up for the challenges of 2024, a pivotal election year. We are confident that the same spirit of resilience and commitment that has characterized our past endeavors will guide us toward even greater achievements. We stand united in our devotion to the values that define us. We are a family, bound by a shared purpose, and your continued investment in our work demonstrates the strength of this bond.
May God’s blessings be upon you and your loved ones, and may the coming year be filled with renewed hope, resilience, and shared victories.
In His Service,
FFPC President, Team, and Board of Directors
A Brief History
2004 – Officially associated with Focus on the Family in 2003 and incorporated as the Florida Family Policy Council in 2004.
2005 – Launched Florida Marriage Amendment Campaign with a press conference and statewide petition effort.
John Stemberger stepped down as Chairman of the Board and was hired as the next President and the General Counsel.
FFPC helped organize a national rally and wrote articles used around the country to argue for saving the life of Terri Schiavo. Stemberger appeared on MSNBC as an expert legal voice opposing euthanasia.
2006 – FFPC created the first statewide Judicial Voter Guide and filed a lawsuit against the Florida Bar and Judicial Ethics Commission to allow judges to answer a questionnaire without violation of gag order. Stemberger publicly debated Florida Bar President. In response to the FFPC lawsuit, the Florida Bar created a judicial questionnaire for judge candidates.
FFPC celebrated its first Annual Policy Awards Dinner with over 1,000 in attendance. Florida Governor Jeb Bush was the keynote speaker.
2007 – FFPC established a full-time legislative staff presence in the state capital of Tallahassee.
FFPC also sponsored an exclusive showing of the William Wilberforce movie Amazing Grace at the request of Speaker of the House Marco Rubio, who invited his fellow legislators.
2008 – FFPC prevented the State Board of Education from teaching evolution as a fact and brought Ben Stein to Tallahassee to lobby legislators on a bill requiring a critical analysis of evolution and to promote his new movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.
FFPC equipped African American pastors through “High Impact” conferences, with keynote speaker Bishop Harry Jackson, throughout the state of Florida.
Also, in 2008, Florida’s Constitution was amended to define marriage as between one man and one woman with a 62% vote margin, by nearly 5 million voters.
2009 – FFPC launched Strong Marriages Florida a statewide campaign to reduce the divorce rate and strengthen marriages through marriage mentoring and supporting community marriage initiatives. FFPC also organized with Chick-fil-A for successful “Live-Love-Lead” Rallies in Florida to help strengthen marriages. More than 6,000 attended.
FFPC President John Stemberger represented Rifqa Bary—the teenager who converted to Christianity from Islam—in the Orlando courts. Stemberger assembled and helped lead the legal team securing her freedom and citizenship.
2010 – FFPC promoted the Truth Project small group studies and training sessions for group leaders. Focus on the Family created this worldview training DVD/small-group series.
FFPC organized “Date Nights” for couples every Tuesday evening for a month at 12 Chick-Fil-A restaurants in Palm Beach County. Pastors and lay leaders adopted each store location, and dynamic ministry took place as marriages were strengthened, restored and healed.
2011 – Five historic pro-life bills passed. Governor Rick Scott held a bill signing ceremony in the Governor’s mansion publicly recognizing FFPC for their efforts.
FFPC organized and hosted the first GOP Primary U.S. Senate Candidate Debate in Central Florida. Co-sponsored with the Central Florida Tea Party, this debate focused on social and economic issues.
2012 – FFPC organized a major televised national prayer rally before the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
FFPC and staff hosted or spoke at more than 30 pastors’ conferences statewide, educating and equipping pastors to know their legal rights relating to elections and legislative issues and challenged them to know what the Bible says about politics.
FFPC increased voter turnout by 13 percent among religious conservatives through sister group, Florida Family Action, conducting major field operations with 9 offices and 25 staff members.
2013 – FFPC lead the “On My Honor” campaign nationwide to try to stop the Boy Scouts of America from changing its membership policy to allow openly gay members. FFPC President John Stemberger lead the creation and launch of Trail Life USA, a national Christian scouting movement for boys, focused on adventure, character, and leadership, now with nearly 30,000 members with troops in all 50 states.
2014 – Started the first annual Pro-Life, Pro-Family Days at the Capitol event. Each year, 200-300 supporters now come to this Tallahassee event for training, briefings, the Legislative Prayer Breakfast, and lobbying their local legislators on issues of importance to our mission.
FFPC published the first ever State of Florida Cultural Indicators Report, researching 17 areas that affect Florida’s families.
2015 – FFPC hosted the first comprehensive GOP Presidential Candidate Analysis and Straw Poll in Florida for the critical 2016 election.
Defunded Planned Parenthood. After urging Governor Rick Scott in a private meeting and then a public campaign to defund Planned Parenthood, FFPC worked behind the scenes with Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran to zero fund the organization, which is the largest abortion provider in the country. State funds do not go to Planned Parenthood anymore as a result of this significant victory.
2016 – FFPC hosted 600 guests to hear Dr. Ben Carson at our Annual Policy Awards Dinner, and national media covered the event.
Organized a nationally televised discussion forum “An Honest Discussion about a Difficult Election.” Thousands watched, and many reported the event being very helpful in thinking through the choice for president in 2016.
2017 – Our President John Stemberger was appointed to the historic 2017-2018 Florida Constitution Revision Commission by Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran. The 37-member commission only meets once every twenty years to review and propose changes to Florida’s Constitution.
Mobilized 300 women in Jacksonville to demonstrate outside City Hall and urge Mayor Lenny Curry to veto the so-called Human Rights Ordinance, which compromises women’s privacy and dignity in dressing rooms by allowing men in these private spaces. After promising to veto the bill, he refused to do so.
2018 – Hosted the very first statewide forum in Florida with both major Republican candidates for Governor moderated by Fox News Political Analyst Dr. Frank Luntz.
Mobilized 75 volunteers to hurricane-ravaged Panama City who lived there for 7 days walking doors and offering voters a ride to the polls. Those who worked “Operation Panhandle Vote” also prayed with people in despair, offered voter guides, water, and information on emergency polling places.
2019 – Honored Florida’s Pregnancy Center Directors at the Pro-Life Days at the Capitol event. Pam Tebow told her story of almost aborting her baby son Tim Tebow and then she honored all the directors present with a rose. Later the attendees had a private audience with Florida Supreme Court Justice Robert Luck.
FFPC also hosted a private showing of the major motion picture Unplanned, in Orlando and Tallahassee movie theaters for legislators and supporters with special guest actresses Ashley Bratcher and Robia Scott. Unplanned is the real-life story of Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood director who has become a pro-life hero.
2020 – 30 years in the making, FFPC provided leadership to see the Parental Consent Before an Abortion bill passed the Florida Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis.
FFPC organized a national webinar for pastors and Christian leaders featuring Dr. Albert Mohler and Dr. Wayne Grudem and others on the topic of a Culture Wise Church and wise leadership approaching the 2020 elections. More than 3,000 pastors viewed the webinar around the country.