The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

David Ireland

Senior Pastor of Christ Church in Montclair, NJ, a multiracial congregation of 5,000 members

Featured on a national daily radio and weekly television show, IMPACT

Ran and completed the New York City marathon

Undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Graduate degrees in Civil Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology: and Theology, Alliance Theological Seminary

Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Regent University

Married to wife Marlinda for 20 years, teenage daughters, Danielle and Jessica

Featured Book

Secrets Of A Satisfying Life
(Baker Books 2006)


Dr. David Ireland: A Happier You

By The 700 Club

After losing 65 pounds over an 18-month period, David knows firsthand that losing weight and coming into wellness is not a quick overnight thing. He says, "There is a long process involved, but you can do it if you really want it and you are passionate enough." What motivated him? He says he got a revelation one-day that he didn’t need to be like this anymore. He realized that he could make changes to his lifestyle through a modified diet and exercise program. David admits on the road to wellness he fell off the wagon at times simply because it was not a lifestyle he was use to. "I use to be an addict to Snickers and to M&M peanuts,” says David. When he began changing his lifestyle he realized that it had to be for life. It took about a year to establish healthier eating habits such as grilling vs. frying and not eating after 7:00 p.m.

"The Lord showed me that everything I do is not just spiritual," comments David. The Lord helped him realize that he had created an appetite that craved the wrong kinds of foods. David says that sometimes he has to grit his teeth and pass on foods that use to be tempting to him. He has learned to eat salads and fish and even like them. He found out these foods actually tasted good, but it required discipline to choose them over more fattening foods. Weight loss is not a prayer away, it is not an easy thing, but if you make the changes slowly and consistently then you’ll lose the weight.

When he first started exercising David couldn’t even go a block without calling a taxicab to come pick him up. The good news is he did not give up. Instead, he kept exercising and week after week month after month his body grew stronger and more efficient. He was able to run a mile and then 2 miles. At one point David reached a plateau with his weight loss efforts. He then hired a physical trainer to help him continue his physical transformation. As he began to work with the trainer he began to lose more weight and see his body become more efficient and trained. Instead of running 5 miles he could now run 10 miles and then 12 miles. Then one day he decided to run a marathon. So, he signed up to participate in the New York City marathon. He was 1 of 37,000 that participated in the race. To train for the marathon, he started jogging 40 miles a week running different kinds of runs to prepare for the length of the marathon which was 26.2 miles. Then in November 2005 he ran and completed the New York City Marathon. He did admit at mile 17 he wondered to himself, “Why am I doing this.” David says today he continues to work out. He runs about 20 miles a week because he enjoys it. "I exercise, lift weights, and box because I enjoy making sure I’m fit," comments David. As a pastor to thousands of people, David says exercise helps him manage stress. There is not a week that goes by that he doesn’t hear about the most intense pain someone has gone through.

On the road to wellness, David realized he was mistreating his body when he was not taking care of it properly. Even though he was praying and fasting and living a consistent Christian life morally he wasn’t taking care of his health.

"I could not be truly happy because I was not taking care of the things that God had given to me as a gift," remarks David.

He says he feels happy taking care of the temple that God gave him. He takes this same message to his congregation: “This is your body, this is the only one you are ever going to get from God in this lifetime. You’ll get a glorified body later on, but you don’t want to get it prematurely."

In fact, he challenged the church over a 12-week period to lose 10,000 pounds. They established a team of people that included a nutritionist, exercise trainers, and encouragers to spearhead this project. The team took the congregation through this 12-week course and he taught on the topic for 5 weeks straight. He even showed before and after photos of himself to inspire his congregation.

“You’re half the man you use to be,” is what members of his congregation joke him about today to which he gladly replies, “Thank you.” Total weight loss for the program was about 3,000 pounds over the 12-week period. David plans to challenge his congregation again with this program next year.

Want to know the secrets to a satisfying life? Read our fact sheet.

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