Thousands mourn Fla. megachurch Pastor Zachery Tims

At least 5,000 people attended the funeral Saturday of the Rev. Dr. Zachary Tims, Jr., founding pastor of New Destiny … Continued

At least 5,000 people attended the funeral Saturday of the Rev. Dr. Zachary Tims, Jr., founding pastor of New Destiny Christian Center near Orlando, Fla.

“The church was packed,” said Herb McMillan who attended the funeral, according to Orlando TV station News13 .

“The entire lower sanctuary was filled. A couple thousand easily,” he said.

Tims was found unresponsive Aug. 12 in a New York City hotel room. An autopsy conducted on the pastor was inconclusive; the death remains under investigation.

According to the church Web site, in 1996, Tims “was sent out by his pastor in Baltimore, Md., to begin a work in Orlando. This move was one of great faith as Dr. Tims and his family left behind a lucrative job, a luxurious home, and a high-ranking position in the ministry that they attended.” The church started with a handful to grow into a 8,000-member church in central Florida and reached millions via television and radio shows.

Since his death, congregants, friends and fellow clergy have expressed their sentiments through videos and social media, sharing their thoughts about a man many described as compassionate and charismatic. Many mourners expressed their condolences on the church’s Facebook page .

On Friday, thousands attended a wake and public viewing at Tims’s church. The Rev. Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, senior pastor of Baltimore’s Empowerment Temple AME Church, tweeted Friday that there was a “4 mile back up” to get to the wake, indicating that “a lot of love” people had for the 42-year-old minister and father of four children.

Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of 30,000-member The Potter’s House in Dallas, preached the eulogy at the funeral at First Baptist Church of Orlando.

In his eulogy, Jakes “compared the preacher to the biblical Jacob, a man with many problems and defects who was renamed Israel,” wrote Jeff Kunerth of the Orlando Sentinel.

“The names represented two different sides of the same person, Jakes said, just as ‘Dr. Tims’ was different from ‘Zach.’”

“I don’t know what happened in that room in New York, but I can only hope that as Zach was dying, Dr. Tims stood up,” Jakes said.

“Dr Zach Tims had a heroic homegoing. We don’t understand the CAUSE of death but we celebrate the EFFECTS of Grace!,” Bryant tweeted Saturday afternoon.

“You have lost a spiritual leader, New Destiny, but we all gained an angel,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

  • YSD1

    We all said how great this Man Of God is did we not think before GOD called him home that he help one more person. He made had gotten someone off of drugs that he made have mat with in his room. So the last thing he did was save someone from drugs that why he may have had a powder white substance n his pocket. Do not give Satan no Glory at all give it ALL TO GOD. THX U

  • ejmurphy414

    Nauseating! These mega church pastors have somehow confused size, money, and numbers with truth and piety. They get rich off their flock, they exercise power and influence, and they tarnish the message of Jesus in the process.

  • YEAL9

    “But it’s Tims’ admitted year-long affair with a stripper in 2009, and the mysterious substance found on him after his death that has many talking.”

  • kathysettles

    As Tim McGraw sang so eloquently we all need to LIVE LIKE YOU ARE DYING!

  • member8

    Did you KNOW Dr. Tims? Do you know ANYTHING about Dr. Tims? What IS “nauseating” is someone whom knows absolutely NOTHING about Dr. Tims passing judgment upon him, his life, and his intentions! You dare call someone whom you obviously know N.O.T.H.I.N.G. about “pious?” Get a grip! Maybe you should (re)acquaint yourself with Matthew 7:5 before you continue to pass judgment upon others!

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