- (Photo: New Destiny Christian Center via The Christian Post)
Mourners have arrived for the funeral of megachurch pastor Zachery Tims, scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Orlando.
The funeral will see a host of invited speakers address mourners including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Commissioner Tiffany Moore Russell and Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown. In addition, Paula Michelle White, co-founder of Without Walls International Church in Tampa, has been scheduled to give the final tribute at Tims’s funeral service.
T.D. Jakes, chief pastor of The Potter's House, in Dallas, Texas has also made the long journey to Orlando to comfort the family of Pastor Tims and has been touted to read the Words of Wisdom during Saturday’s service.
On Friday more than a thousand of mourners lined the streets for the public viewing the megachurch pastor. Crowds gathered hours before the 3 p.m. advertised commencement of the public wake, and as they waited one mourner Dorothy Douglas, 58 testified about Tims: “He made a great impact on the lives of people. He didn't wait for them to come to him. He went into the neighborhood to bring the church to them,” according to The Orlando Sentinel.
She also told the Sentinel: “This is for closure and to be supportive of his family. For me, I respected and loved Pastor Zach, but I also loved him as the son I never had. You could approach him. You could talk to pastor Zach.”
The late pastor, born in Baltimore, Md., is being laid to rest at Woodlawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home in Orlando.
Tims, 42, founder, senior pastor and CEO of NDCC in Apopka, Fla., was found dead in his room at the W Hotel in New York City last Friday, August 12.
An autopsy conducted Saturday failed to reveal what may have killed Tims. Officials were now looking to toxicology tests to explain what may have led to Tims' tragic demise.
Tims and his ex-wife, Riva Tims, founded NDCC in 1996.