Our Story

    In October of 2005, Joe Difato invited a group of young people to begin a prayer meeting, known today as the Jacksonville Prayer Meeting (JPM). We began meeting in the houses of our early members for a short time of teaching and praise and worship. After a couple of years a local church gave us access to one of their meeting rooms, and we continued to grow. Now we’ve been blessed to be able to use the Marian Chapel at St. Joseph’s Church in Mandarin to hold our prayer meetings which have kept building in size and energy. During our meetings we emphasize having personal encounters with the love of the Father and being filled with the Holy Spirit so that we may be transformed into the likeness of Jesus—the King of kings and Lord of lords! One of our leaders gives a message and then we join together in live praise and worship.

    As JPM evolved, many of the members felt called by the Holy Spirit to live out a more radical commitment to Christ. This commitment is expressed in a covenant that our members sign annually. Our covenant is a solemn agreement to love the Lord with all of our hearts and to love each other with mutual affection, encouragement, and support. It also reflects our call to be lovers of unity, especially among Christians, and our call to build a counter-culture that can shine the light of Jesus in a world with many dark places.  Today, JPM is an ecumenical lay community, open to Christians of all denominations. Our average member is in their twenties or thirties, but we have attracted families, students, and wonderful members of all ages. JPM is a melting pot of sorts, with members from North and South American, European, Asian, and African backgrounds. We are really lovers of unity!

    We are also connected with an international, ecumenical “community of communities” called The Sword of the Spirit. The “SOS” has member communities in North, Central and South America, Europe, and Asia—over 10,000 members in more than 20 nations! We share the SOS’s vision for creating authentic community, ecumenism, and building up the church. More information about the Sword of the Spirit can be found on their website:


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