Two Good and Faithful Servants Called Home

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Stephen F. Olford, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Olford Ministries, 1918-2004

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Dr. Stephen Olford, founder and chairman of the board of Olford Ministries International, passed into the presence of the Lord late Sunday night, August 29, 2004, having suffered a massive stroke.  His wife of 56 years, Heather, and their sons Jonathan and David, and their wives Catherine and Ellen, and their five grandchildren, Jeremy, Justin, Joshua, Lindsay, and Stephanie, succeed him. 

Dr. Olford was born in Zambia, the oldest son of  missionary parents  Frederick and Bessie Olford. Stephen was raised in Angola, where he committed his life to Christ and witnessed first-hand the transforming power of God and His Word.

He spent his college years in the United Kingdom. There a crisis experience led to his full surrender to the Lord and his call into the ministry. After receiving ministry training, Dr. Olford was appointed an Army Scripture reader during World War II, and he launched a Young Peoples Christian Fellowship in Newport, South Wales.  After the war, Dr. Olford was involved in extensive evangelistic and preaching ministry throughout the UK and overseas.

In 1953, Dr. Olford's years of pastoral ministry began by serving the Duke Street Baptist Church in Richmond, Surrey, England (1953-1959) and then the Calvary Baptist Church in New York City (1959-1973).  He pioneered a Christian TV program, Encounter, in New York, and his Sunday morning services were broadcast around the world on radio.  His weekly half-hour radio program, also called Encounter, is still aired in the United States and some overseas countries.

Dr. and Mrs. Olford, and their son David, moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1985 to develop a training program and center to encourage and equip preachers and teachers of God's Word. Dr. Olford had already been involved in an extensive teaching, preaching, and writing ministry to help preachers, establishing the Institute for Biblical Preaching in 1980.  In 1988 the Stephen Olford Center for Biblical Preaching was dedicated, and it remains the headquarters of Olford Ministries International, 4000 Riverdale Rd.  Memphis, TN

He was recognized nationally and internationally for his powerful exposition of Scripture, and his Christ-centered ministry. In recent years he has been viewed as a mentor and model to thousands of preachers, teachers, and pastors in the United States and around the world.

Dr. Olford has received numerous awards, honorary degrees and distinctions. As an ordained Baptist minister and a conservative evangelical by conviction, Dr. Olford ministered across many denominational, cultural, and racial lines. Besides his extensive preaching ministry, he authored numerous books, booklets, and preaching resources.

Dr. Olford's influence upon thousands of pastors and preachers cannot be measured. He has had a significant role in the lives of many, including his longtime friend, Dr. Billy Graham. He has been called "The Preacher's Preacher."

He was a beloved evangelist, pastor, teacher, preacher, leader, mentor, and friend. He was also a loving father, husband, grandfather, and family man in every sense of the word. 

Prepared by the staff of Olford Ministries International

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Waldemar Murjahn, Head of AMG's Newspaper Evangelism in Russia, 1923-2004

Waldemar Murjahn, who headed AMG's newspaper evangelism ministry in Russia, passed on to his heavenly welcome on Sept, 5, 2004. He was 81. Brother Murjahn was a close personal friend as well as a co-worker of AMG's President Spiros Zodhiates.

A Christian businessman in Germany until his retirement, Murjahn's friendship with Dr. Zodhiates dated back many years. He had heard from a friend about an exciting new form of evangelism—newspaper evangelism, in which ads tell the Good News of Jesus Christ and invite responses—which Dr. Zodhiates had successfully introduced in Greece. He journeyed to Holland to meet Dr. Zodhiates, who was leading a tour group from America at the time, and they became fast friends from that point.

Murjahn took on responsibility for the ministry in Russia after his retirement from the business world. And millions of ad messages and tens of thousands of responses later, he continued his leadership of this vital ministry until shortly before his death.

The world will be poorer for his passing, but his work will be carried on by other hands.

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