Florida Megachurch Church Calls on God as Facts Emerge in Tims Death
Zachery Tims' Ex-Wife Speaks
Out at Church Service
By Michael Ireland
ORLANDO, FL -- As new details begin to emerge about the death of megachurch pastor Zachery Tims, members of New Destiny Christian Center are finding comfort in God.
saythe 42-year-old pastor was found dead at a New
York hotel Friday.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting an envelope of white powder, believed to be narcotics, was discovered in Tims' pocket. The news has led many to suggest an overdose, although no official cause of death has been named.
CBNNews said Tims
started New Destiny Christian Center in 1996 after
overcoming a troubled past, including attempted
murder charges and drug addiction.
His sermons have reached millions of people around the world, and he regularly appeared on the Trinity Broadcasting Network program "Praise the Lord."
"While words are
difficult for me to find during this time of loss, I
honor the great work he has done for the kingdom of
God and pray for every family member, friend,
associate and the incredible congregation of New
Destiny," fellow megachurch pastor Paula White said
of her "spiritual son" and friend.
The Christian Post reports that at Monday's church meeting, members participated in a time of worship, asking God for "strength and healing."
"Zachery's death may have caught us by surprise, but it has not taken God by surprise," Riva Tims, the ex-wife of the Florida pastor, said as the congregation gathered.
Riva, a pastor herself, also used Facebook to thank people for their support during this time. "Please continue to keep my family especially my children lifted in prayer," she said.
supporters have flocked to New Destiny's Facebook
page to express their condolences over the loss of
Tims. Well-known pastors and other leaders also
responded with deep sorrow.
"My Heart is so heavy tonight," longtime friend and pastor Clint Brown said on his Facebook page. "It will take Orlando a long time to get over this. Dr. Zachary Tims you will never, ever be forgotten... I miss you so much. My heart is broken."
Tims' ex-wife announced on Facebook that funeral services will be held Saturday, Aug. 20.
Charismamag.com reports that Riva Tims addressed more than 2,000 people gathered at New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando, Florida, Monday night.
Riva Tims, who left the church in 2008 during a scandal and eventual divorce in which Zachery Tims admitted to an "indiscretion," told the congregation that she, her ex-husband and their four children traveled together to Puerto Rico the week prior to his death.
"God saw it fit that we would have an opportunity to spend a few days together with him," she said to the crowd who never took their seats while she spoke. "He was able to fellowship with his sons and his daughters. He was able to take pictures with them."
Riva Tims, who started Majestic Life Ministries in 2009, encouraged the members to remain one body in this time of turmoil.
"Just as Dr. Zach and myself got together, God is looking for us to be one body," she said. "I stand before you tonight in all humility with the power and grace of God and also with the spirit that Zach left behind to press on and not give up," she added.
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