About 5,000 people gathered to mourn Rev. Zachery Tims on Saturday, as the mega-church pastor was laid to rest in Orlando, Fla.
The pastor, who led a congregation of 8,000 at the New Destiny Christian Center, was buried at the First Baptist Church of Orlando. Tims died in a hotel room in New York City on Aug. 12. No cause of death has been determined.
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.'
Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of 30,000-member The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, delivered the eulogy.
Tims' body was discovered when an employee at the W Hotel in Times Square went to restock the minibar in the pastor's room.
The most shocking revelation from the police report was the presence of a glassine envelope containing white powder on Tims' person. While there has been no official determination of what the substance was, many suspect the white power to be illegal drugs.
Tims had a history with substance abuse, but he kicked the habit when he found God. Despite the potential controversy, Tims' follows have focused on the lasting spiritual legacy the preacher left behind.
In his eulogy, Jakes “compared the preacher to the biblical Jacob, a man with many problems and defects who was renamed Israel,” according to 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.
“I join many others in being saddened by the news of the death of Rev. Zachery Tims of Florida,” Rev. Al Sharpton tweeted last Monday.