Months after the death of Pastor Zachery Tims, his ex-wife, Riva Tims, is finally speaking up about the events that led up to her late husband's death and the difficulty she experienced that led to their divorce.
Meeting at a local church at age 22 and marrying, the couple had a love for each other and an even deeper love to serve God and win souls. Shortly after their marriage, they were eager to begin their ministry.
"So we labeled ourselves as an outreach ministry. So, our whole goal was to pull people in from the streets, not to pull them from other churches but really to get those that were unsaved," she said in an interview with CBN.
"I think the people felt our love, they felt our sincerity and we were young. We had a lot of zeal for the Lord, a lot of excitement."
They quickly grew their Florida church from five to 8,000. But along with an attendance boost came a heightened level of celebrity with the church community. This began to take a toll on the couple.
"There was somewhat of a distance that began to take place. I could still connect, but I knew that there was something different."
She realized something was wrong when her husband began to travel a lot and prevented her from traveling with him.
"[There] was always a reason why I couldn't go. That's when I knew."
Her suspicions were affirmed when his extramarital affair was uncovered. She was hurt by the affair but more so by his reaction to them. When asked about his level of remorse, she said, "In the beginning he was remorseful he got caught and that's the part that hurt. There was no running after me, coming after me. He was trying to keep everything together."