Dr. Stephen Olford was a champion for expository preaching in the United States and around the world. He was often termed a preacher’s preacher and devoted his life to preaching the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit and teaching others to do likewise. He opened the Stephen Olford Center in 1989 to provide intensive training to pastors and lay leaders.

More than 25 years later, GMF is committed to providing the same intensive training in focused courses we call institutes. Pastors, church planters, lay leaders, and evangelists from all over the world come to our center for specialized training that enhances their ministries.

Dr. David Olford, who taught in conjunction with his father, leads these institutes every fall and every spring and is accompanied by Dr. Ted Rendall. Each institute includes lectures, messages, training from Dr. Stephen Olford via DVD, interactive sessions, times of worship, fellowship, and meals. On site lodging is also available.

Institute FAQ’s

Institutes are 4-day intensive courses designed to equip the student to preach or teach God's Word in a responsible and compelling way.
Institutes are for all believers who teach God's Word at any level. Institutes are NOT just for preachers! Sunday School teachers, Bible study leaders, small group leaders, church staff members, missionaries, and anyone else who communicates the gospel and the scriptures will benefit from attending our institutes.
You will gain the knowledge of how to teach truth from the Bible in context, and you will receive personal instruction from and interaction with experienced preachers.

Watch the video below to hear from past attendees about their experiences at our institutes.

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Institutes Offered:

The Christian Life Convention is a gathering of God’s people to hear God’s Word expounded, have extended times of prayer and worship, and enjoy fellowship with one another. If you are like us, you need special times to be refreshed, renewed and spiritually revived, and that is the goal of our Christian Life Convention. Few would question that these are critical days for our families, our churches, for this country and the world. We desire that these days together be days of “advance” in our Christian lives as we hear from God and respond to Him. Join us and pray with us for a special work of God in our lives as we meet together. Speaker, author, and pastor Robert J. Morgan will be the keynote speaker and musician John Hall will lead worship in 2017.
This institute helps participants in their biblical understanding of incarnational leadership and its application to the church and ministry in general. Participants are given practical instruction that assesses and addresses problems within and outside the church. As well, participants will be challenged in the enhancement of their own God-given gifts in order to more effectively lead, mentor, and instruct the people of God, as well as to encourage their constituents in practical participation in the ministry of the church. This institute is applicable to church leaders, parachurch leaders, and denominational leaders alike.
The purpose of this institute is to ignite evangelistic zeal and to equip participants to proclaim the Gospel faithfully. Special attention is given to the content of the Gospel message, to the preparation of evangelistic messages and to the distinctives and dynamics of evangelist proclamation and invitation. Guidelines for follow-up work, discipleship training and biblical church growth round out the course.
Bringing together the spiritual, personal, and practical elements of expository preaching, join us for our startup course on expositional teaching. It addresses (1) the theological essentials of what expository preaching is and does, as well as its biblical authority; and (2) the practical essentials of the development and delivery of expository sermons. The spiritual formation of the preacher is emphasized as well as the fundamental elements of incarnational preaching and the place of the Holy Spirit in preaching.
This institute focuses on expository preaching with the goal of helping Christians grow in the Lord and into Christ-likeness. Sessions will center on defining spiritual maturity and immaturity, the spiritual growth of the preacher, and the spiritual growth of a local church.
These are critical days for the Church in the United States. We as individuals and local churches need to be “on fire” for God. We need “fire from above” to purify and empower us into a closer relationship with our Lord and greater effectiveness for the Lord. Through times of praise, preaching and prayer our “Fire From Above” Conference is dedicated to seeking the Lord for His clear Word and His fresh work in our lives. We also will be praying specifically for God’s reviving work in His Church in our day for His glory. As Christ’s people, we need to be open to the Lord’s message, and to His reviving work to make us more useful in His service.There will be instructional sessions dealing with different aspects of the subject of “Revival” as we consider how God has worked in Biblical times and in Church history. There will also be challenging messages calling us to a closer walk with the Lord. Special times of praise and prayer will be an important part of our fellowship together.
This retreat/workshop is designed to assist you as you prayerfully plan your preaching for a period of six to twelve months. Interactive/Instructional sessions will deal with different aspects of planning and preparation. Times for prayer and study are built into the program so that planning can take place. The “Ministry Research Library featuring the T. S. Rendall Collection” is on site, and Drs. Rendall and Olford will be available for consultation. Also, this is a great opportunity to discuss your preaching with other pastors/preachers who are also preparing for future ministry. The schedule for the event is similar to other Institute events. Ten meals are part of the program, which will enable the participant to maximize time. Early arrivals or late departures are options that may make this mini-sabbatical even more profitable.
This workshop offers a small-group atmosphere designed to improve the teaching and preaching skills of the participant. The participants will receive constructive feedback and critique of a message they present “live” at the workshop.*Participants must submit a sermon outline for peer review.
This course brings together the spiritual, personal, and practical elements of expository preaching in Spanish. It addresses (1) the theological essentials of what expository preaching is and does, as well as its biblical authority; and (2) the practical essentials of the development and delivery of expository sermons. The spiritual formation of the preacher is emphasized as well as the fundamental elements of incarnational preaching and the place of the Holy Spirit in preaching.
This course is designed to strengthen each student’s expository preaching skills in three primary areas: (1) some of the challenging elements of the sermon that every preacher faces; (2) some of the interpretive traps to avoid and guidelines to follow; and (3) how to study, interpret, and sermonize some of the different types of biblical literature.

2017 Fall Institutes:

  • October 3-6: Essentials of Expository Preaching and Teaching
  • October 9-12: Strengthening Expository Preaching
  • October 16-19: Practical Preaching Workshop
  • October 23-26: Essentials of Evangelistic Preaching
  • October 30-November 2: Essentials of Preaching and Spiritual Growth
  • November 6-9: Essentials of Biblical Leadership
  • November 13-16: Preaching School (Only available for those who attend all 6 fall institutes)

Registration will open in August, 2017. For more information, call Betty at 901.453.6422 or email her at

What Past Attendees are Saying:

"The two institutes I have attended are by far the best training experiences I have attended. I am so inspired and challenged by the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word. Thank you so much!"
"It has exceeded my expectations. The things I have learned and have taken away have been immediately practical."
"The big draw for me was the quality of the faculty, the legacy of a great preacher, and the targeted aspect of expository preaching."
"It has helped me to be more focused in my leadership and preaching style, making Christ the Center and object of worship for the people."

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