Stephen Olford, GMF’s Legacy Project, and Our Team
GMF’s Stephen Olford Ministry Legacy project is an exciting project initiated by the Olford family in 2009 to preserve and extend the powerful preaching and teaching ministry of Dr. Stephen F. Olford. The project equips, empowers, and entrusts faithful pastors and church leaders to conduct schools of expository preaching utilizing Dr. Olford’s teaching materials. We have prepared courses with select videos of Dr. Stephen Olford and his son, Dr. David Olford, that contain the key messages capturing the essence and heart of the training they have been doing for many years. The project scope is international focusing, especially on areas where pastoral training is limited and the Word is so desperately needed.
Why we do it
The Great Commission
Jesus commanded us to make disciples. Equipping, empowering, and entrusting faithful pastors and church leaders to train others is our role in fulfilling the Great Commission.
Declining Discipleship in the Church
We are convinced powerful, biblical, and anointed preaching from the pulpit will produce stronger disciples in the pews.
Lack of Resources Around the World
It gives us great joy at GMF’s Stephen Olford Center to host pastors and church leaders from around the world who want to faithfully and rightly divide the Word of truth but lack the training and resources to do so. The project provides both.
SOML TEAM, USA
- Provides training for all SOML coordinators
- Researches and develops all training materials
- Fosters fellowship and sharing of ideas and resources among all international teams
- Alumni of GMF’s Stephen Olford Center
- Carefully select and provide leadership to international leadership team members on site
- Provide regular praise and prayer reports from the field
INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM
- Trained by and assists the coordinators in multiplying legacy project training in their own countries
- Translates and contexualizes all legacy materials
- Creates infrastructure and strategies that are transferrable and sustainable
How we do it
Stephen Olford was born in Zambia in 1918 to missionary parents, Fredrick and Bessie Olford. He was raised in Angola, where he committed his life to Christ and witnessed first-hand the transforming power of God and His Word.
Following a life-threatening motorcycle accident in the UK, Stephen surrendered to the Lord’s calling him into ministry. He was ordained as a Baptist minister and earned his doctorate in theology from Luther Rice Seminary. After marrying Heather Brown in Northern Ireland, in 1948, Stephen went on to pastor Duke Street Baptist Church in London and Calvary Baptist Church in New York City.
In 1970 Olford launched Encounter Ministries. His focus was international outreach through his weekly radio show, TV, pastor’s institutes, and Bible conferences. He also wrote numerous books.
Under Encounter Ministries Olford founded the Stephen Olford Institute for Biblical Preaching in 1980 to promote biblical preaching and practical training for pastors, evangelists and lay leaders. In 1988 the Stephen Olford Center in Memphis was opened as a retreat center for pastors to come learn expository preaching under Stephen and his son, Dr. David Olford. Stephen defined his mission as “Equipping and challenging pastors and lay leaders to pass on the passion of the gospel to the world.” To that end, institutes, workshops, internships, and continuing education credits were all offered on campus.
After his passing in 2004, Heather Olford felt burdened to preserve her husband’s voluminous instructional preaching materials for the next generation of preachers. Global Ministries Foundation’s president and CEO, Richard Hamlet, an Olford Center alumnus, was pleased to partner with the Olford family by overseeing the Stephen Olford Ministry Legacy (SOML) project.
We can’t do it without You
Specifically, we hope you will help by contributing to support the cost of training pastors around the world. We also need pastors and alumni who will train to be certified and go once a year to train pastors in a foreign country. And, of course, we need your prayers. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for the latest updates and prayer points.
Dr. David Olford
President of GMF’s SOML Project
David, along with his mother, Heather, founded GMF’s SOML project in 2009 after Stephen’s death in 2004. David continues to serve as President of Olford Ministries International and is the primary instructor at GMF’s Stephen Olford Center in Memphis, TN.
Reverend Paul Harper
Director of GMF’s SOML Project
Paul has served as director of GMF’s SOML project since its inception in 2009. He relates directly with the legacy coordinators of the international leadership teams worldwide, providing oversight, continued training, and resources.
Reverend Richard Hamlet
Sponsor of GMF’s SOML Project
The SOML project is a sponsored ministry of Global Ministries Foundation (GMF), a non-profit that coordinates training events and funding for the project. Richard is the President and CEO of GMF and travels extensively internationally training pastors and church leaders with GMF’s SOML project materials.