Saturday, at least 5,000 people packed Pastor Zachery Tims' funeral held at the First Baptist Church of Orlando.
During the 3.5 hours of funeral, well-known speakers gave tributes to Tims, senior pastor of Florida-based megachurch New Destiny Christian Center, who was found dead in the W hotel in Times Square, New York, on Aug. 12 during his visit to the city.
While the cause of Tims' death remains a mystery, his funeral was held privately without online live stream. The funeral venue was not Tims' home church, but one that was large enough to hold the crowd of at least 5,000 mourners that gathered.
Oh, the church was packed, Herb McMillan, who attended the funeral, told Orlando TV station News13.
Just the memories that I had with him, talking with him one on one or in service. I had to be here to say 'thank you', McMillan said.
One speaker at the funeral referred to the scripture and reasoned that God is about to take our pain and turn it into power, reports Examiner. The speaker called Zachery Tims' death an untimely death, and stated that life is short, so we should make the best of it.
Several video clips of Tims' funeral emerged on YouTube:
Zachery Tims' Death Remains a Mystery
The most shocking revelation from the police report regarding Tim's death was the presence of a glassine envelope containing white power on Tims' person. While there has been no official determination of what the substance was, many suspect that the white power to be illegal drugs.
The authorities are investigating the substance, while running a toxicology screening to determine if drugs played a part in Tims’ death.
Tims had a history with substance abuse, but said he kicked him habit when he found God.
I was 19 and terribly bound by cocaine, he explained in his book, titled It's Never Too Late, published by Charisma House Publications.
Tims ran to the home of a man in his neighborhood known as the Holy Roller and said, I'm ready to get saved.
After discovering Christianity, he earned degrees in accounting and theology and worked at a ministry in Baltimore. In 1996, he and his ex-wife Riva moved to Orlando, where they founded the New Destiny Christian Center.
The church has since grown to more than 8,000 members, and its broadcasts reach 100 million households. The church is well-known in the Apopka area for its charitable deeds for the poor.
In 2009, he divorced his wife of 15 years after admitting to having an affair with a stripper.
As the circumstances surrounding Tims' death remains a mystery, the 8,000 members of the New Destiny Christian Center, which was run by Tims, will have to start moving forward and begin rebuilding without knowing what resulted in the death of their leader.
New Destiny Christian Center is currently looking for a permanent pastor, and Riva Tims is among those who are being considered.
The search now begins for a new pastor and Riva Tims is among those being considered.
She is one of the people that you can see that there's a lot of love for her because she helped him build this ministry from where it is. It started with six people and it's up to over 7,000 people right now, and she was a very key part of that and that's why people love her still, said New Destiny Christian Center Executive Director Samuel Anderson.