A long line of mourners formed around the New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Fla., for the viewing of late Pastor Zachery Tims on Friday.
Both the wake and funeral were closed to members of the media, at the family’s request. No cameras were allowed inside the church, but T.J. Bristol spoke to the Orlando Sentinel after viewing the late pastor and saying his goodbyes.
Bristol told the Sentinel that Tims touched many lives and the huge crowds of people lined up outside the church were proof of that.
He said Tims was “a man of God who reached out to people, especially those not used to attending church. I was out on the streets and [Tims] talked to me and it changed my life.”
Bristol also told the Sentinel that when he looked down on Zachery Tims’ face, he saw peace, serenity – and a little smile.
“They put a smile on his face and that made me hold back the tears. It made him look like he was at peace, like he had completed the work God wanted him to do. He looked like he was happy, very happy,” said Bristol.
Thousands of church members, friends and family gathered at the First Baptist Church of Orlando on Aug. 20 for the funeral services of megachurch pastor Zachery Tims.
A viewing was held at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, followed by the funeral services at 11 a.m. A procession traveling to Woodlawn Cemetery in Orlando, where the late pastor will be laid to rest took place after the funeral, reported WFTV news.
Support from followers since Tims’ death has poured in via New Destiny Christian Church’s (NDCC) Facebook page and Twitter.
@UntitledGospel tweeted, “To the kind hearted Pastor Zachery Tims, you have touched the heart of Orlando with your ministry, love and your friendship. We truly love you and you will be missed.”
Liz Castro wrote on NDCC’s Facebook page, “I thank God for Pastor Zachary [sic] and his wife who started their ministry in 1996. Their obedience to the Lord’s promise has helped the community come to Christ. The Lord will glorify himself through this situation!”
“PRAYING FOR PASTOR ZACHERY TIMS FAMILY AND CONGREGATION. THANK YOU HOLY SPIRIT FOR BEING THEIR COMFORT AND PEACE IN THE TIME OF SORROW,” ayojaha tweeted.
In 1996, Zachery Tims and his family founded the NDCC in Apopka, Fla., where he served as senior pastor. According to the church’s website, it has a congregation of about 8,000 members.
Tims, 42, was found dead in his W Hotel bedroom in New York City on Friday, Aug. 12.
Police officials have ruled out any foul play, but they are still investigating what may have caused Zachery Tims’ death.