The School of Prayer is a Bible-based academic training center offering classroom instruction, mentoring, and experiential guidance in intercessory prayer. With student success as our primary goal, The School offers low-cost training from a certified faculty of distinguished intercessors and leaders with local, national and international experience in the field of prayer-intercession.


Because we believe that prayerlessness has become all too common in our generation, our exemplary curriculum encompasses a wide range of topics aimed at strengthening a diverse population of students, regardless of their experience level in intercessory prayer.


Students may choose among classes offered at beginner, intermediate or advanced levels of study. Spiritually challenging courses are offered quarterly and over a two-day period at one of The School of Prayer’s regional locations.


Students also receive concentrated training during national prayer conferences offered by The School of Prayer.


For more information, read a sample course syllabus.


Organizational Structure

The School of Prayer is a non-profit organization governed by a board of directors. The School was founded by Rev. David D. Ireland, Ph.D., Senior Pastor of Christ Church, a multi-site, nondenominational church of 6,000 members in northern New Jersey, along with a team of regional pastors. These concerned ministers recognize that the Holy Spirit is placing an emphasis on prayer in the body of Christ. Thus, our founders share a deep burden to make biblical and experiential education accessible to all who desire to learn the art of prayer. Below is a list of our founders:



Dr. David Ireland

Founder & President




Dr. David Ireland is founder and senior pastor of Christ Church, a 6,000-member multi-site and multiracial congregation of over 40 nationalities in northern New Jersey. Diversity consultant to the National Basketball Association, Dr. Ireland leads chapel services for the New York Giants, New York Jets, and at the U.S. Pentagon. Author of a dozen books, Ireland has appeared on numerous television shows including The Dr. Phil Show, The CBS Evening News, and The 700 Club.  Through his community development corporation, he offers a home for victims of domestic violence, a youth leadership institute, and a statewide abstinence-based program offered in partnership with New Jersey schools.

Click here to learn more about Dr. David Ireland.




Pierre Du Plessis


Pierre Du PlessisPierre is known for his unique ability to bring the Bible to life in memorable ways using vivid illustrations mixed with humor and practical life application. He is passionate about mentoring & equipping leaders, engaging all generations and encouraging people to experience God and win in life. He is married to his friend and partner in ministry, Marlize and they have two beautiful children, Chloe and Caleb.


Born in Johannesburg South Africa in 1966, Pierre came from a home where ministry and God’s calling were pertinent to growing up. His father is a well respected church leader and Pierre (at the age of 13) distinctly “got it” and knew that he was to live his life passionately following God’s call. This calling led him to plant his first church in South Africa. A beautiful church called, Church on The Rock which quickly grew from 16 to 500 in attendance! By 1999, Pierre felt God calling him out of South Africa and into a new season of ministry. The family moved to the United States where Pierre became the Creative Arts and Worship pastor for New Creation Fellowship in Rochester, New York. Three years later he was honored to be appointed as the Senior Pastor of the church, which soon became The Father’s House, that city on a hill!

Click here to learn more about Pierre Du Plessis.



Joshua Finley


Joshua Finley

Joshua serves as the Lead Pastor of Elim Gospel Church in Lima, NY. Pastor Joshua is an Elim Bible Institute graduation and is pursuing a Bachelor's in Biblical Leadership from Southwestern Christian University with plans to complete a Master's in Strategic Leadership in 2015. Pastor Joshua is married to the woman of his dreams, Anna, and the proud father of two boys who are destined to be world-changers. In his free time, Pastor Joshua enjoys listening to music, playing baseball, traveling to explore new places with Anna and watching his two sons wrestle.

Click here to learn more about Joshua Finley.



Timothy Stokes


formal pic pastor timothy stokes

In 1980, during spring break from Oakland University, undergraduate student, Timothy R. Stokes gave his life to the Lord, receiving the miraculous gift of salvation.  When he returned to campus, he was a changed man.  He witnessed to his peers and strangers alike about Jesus, evangelizing the campus.  After graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communication and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, he returned to Oakland University as an administrator in the Upward Bound program where he worked with young adults, preparing them for the college experience.  At the same time he led a viable bible study in which many people were changed by the power of God.


In 1987, Timothy R. Stokes met Tanya Thomas, the lovely woman who would eventually become his wife, mother of his children, and his partner in ministry.  After three years of devoted ministry to the students of Oakland University and faithful membership at Pentecostal Outreach Church of God in Christ in Lansing, Michigan, Pastor Stokes and his wife Tanya moved to Grand Rapids where they served a ministry faithfully until they moved to Flint in 1991 to found Family Worship Center Church International.

Click here to learn more about Timothy Stokes.


Lawrence Powell


Pastor Larry Powell

Lawrence Raphael Powell is the Senior Pastor of Agape Family Worship Center in Rahway, New Jersey. With over twenty one years in ministry, Pastor Larry is transforming lives with his powerful, prolific and practical presentation of the Gospel.  Thousands of families from across the tri-state region flock to Agape every week to experience warm fellowship, dynamic worship and anointed teaching. Through outreach, evangelism and multimedia broadcasting, Pastor Larry is bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to people all over the world.


He along with ten others, were in attendance. From a small garage, to the now state-of –the-art facility, known as Agape Pointe, Pastor Larry’s vision still remains the same; “to proclaim and demonstrate the love of God to the world.” His humble spirit and genuine heart for people endear him to diverse audiences of every ethnicity.  With a strong commitment and genuine passion for outreach and evangelism, under the leadership of Pastor Larry, Agape provides assistance to the local community and those in prison, by supplying much needed resources, materials and support services. Countless testimonies of hope, healing and transformation pour in, from those being touched and liberated through Agape’s outreach efforts.

Click here to learn more about Lawrence Powell.



Rev. Aubrey Fenton


Aubrey Fenton

Pastor Aubrey's career began humbly, by working as a civil engineer for a small minority-owned engineering firm with three people. However, within the space of a few years, Aubrey quickly moved to areas of very high visibility and responsibility, exercising great leadership and earning management roles on some of the largest engineering projects in the history of Southern New Jersey.


In the spring of 1998, a phrase reverberated through Rev. Aubrey’s heart for months. The phrase was, “Are you ready to build for Me?” Aubrey Fenton responded to God's call by resigning from a highly regarded Vice President’s position and devoted his time to managing the construction of churches throughout the Northeast corridor. (One of these churches is our Abundant Life Fellowship Church facility.)


As a result of this building process, Pastor Aubrey's extensive experience with working with local governments sparked a genuine sense of compassion for people and an interest in serving the public’s needs within the political arena. Aubrey Fenton then added the role of public servant to his biography by becoming one of the youngest appointed trustees in the history of Burlington County College - which is heralded as one of the finest community colleges in the United States.


Pastor Aubrey Fenton also serves on; the Burlington County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies Committee, Rte. 130 Corridor Consensus Committee, American Association for Community College Trustees. Aubrey has received prior appointments by the Governor and also New Jersey State legislature to assist in community outreach initiatives. He currently serves on the Burlington County Board of Freeholders.

Click here to learn more about Rev. Aubrey Fenton.



The School of Prayer; What We Believe:

The fundamental beliefs of The School of Prayer are reflected in the following doctrinal statement:

  • We believe that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. We understand the whole Bible is inspired in the sense that holy men of God were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the very words of Scripture. We believe the complete inerrancy of the original manuscripts of the whole Bible and that they serve as the only rule of faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
  • We believe Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day, and personally appeared to His disciples (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 4:25).
  • We believe in the bodily Ascension of Jesus to heaven, His exaltation, and personal, literal, and bodily return the second time for the Church (John 14:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
  • We believe in the salvation of sinners by grace, through repentance and faith in the perfect and sufficient work of the cross of Calvary by which we obtain remission of sins (Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 9:12; Romans 5:11).
  • We believe in the necessity of water baptism by immersion in the name of the Eternal Godhead in order to fulfill the command of Christ (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:36-39; 19:1-6).
  • We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an experience subsequent to salvation, with the Scriptural evidence; namely, speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance (Acts 2:1-4; 8:14-17; 10:44-46; Ephesians 1:13-14).
  • We believe in the operation of the gifts of the Spirit as enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12-14, as was manifested in the Early Church.
  • We believe in the Spirit-filled life, a life of separation from the world, and perfecting of holiness in the fear of God as an expression of Christian faith (Ephesians 5:18; 2 Corinthians 6:14; 7:1).
  • We believe in the healing of the body by Divine power, or Divine healing in its varied aspects as practiced in the Early Church (Acts 4:30; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 12:9; James 5:14).
  • We believe in the Table of the Lord, commonly called Communion, or the Lord's Supper, for believers (1 Corinthians 11:23-32).
  • We believe in eternal life for believers (John 3:16; 5:24) and eternal punishment for unbelievers (Mark 9:43-50; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; Revelation 20:10-15).
  • We believe in the reality and personality of Satan and the eternal judgment of Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10-15).
  • We believe in the necessity and power of personal and corporate prayer. The gift of prayer has been given to the Church by God and it is the primary way He has chosen to transform people and society (Ezekiel 22:30-31; Matthew 18:18-19; Colossians 4:12-13).