An executive administrator at New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC) told The Christian Post Tuesday in an exclusive interview that the church Zachery Tims left behind is "looking forward to moving on with the ministry" now that the 30 days of mourning for the Florida minister has been completed.
Minister Samuel Anderson spoke with CP almost two months after Tims, the charismatic leader of the Apopka, Fla., church was found dead in a New York City hotel room. Investigators have yet to determine the cause of death.
According to Anderson, NDCC is taking the appropriate steps to ensure an effective transition. But he explained, "We have not completed the final requirements" needed to guide the church to the right candidate that would be presented before the board of bishops.
The executive administrator's statements about NDCC's desire to move forward comes amid calls from church members for Tims' ex-wife, Riva Tims, to return and lead the church.
The couple started NDCC in a hotel ballroom in Orlando in 1996, which eventually grew to a membership of more than 7,500. The Tims, who have four children, divorced in 2009.
Preaching a sermon to the NDCC congregation the day after Tims' funeral, evangelist Paula White, senior pastor of Without Walls International Church, told congregants, "New Destiny, it's not just about you any longer. It's about the nation watching you. It's about how you are going to respond, about what you are going to do," reported Jeff Kunerth of the Orlando Sentinel.
According to White, Tims, 42, left instructions that NDCC should only mourn for 30 days and be ready by the 31st day to continue its work.
Beyond the careful methodology of the church, supporters of Riva Tims, the founder and current CEO of Majestic Life Ministries in Orlando, have been calling on the former first lady of NDCC to pick up the mantle.
"Pastor Riva, just follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. If it's God's will for you to go back, then you and the church will be in agreement. It might be that the wounds resulting from the previous situation prior to Zach's passing have yet to be healed. Keep moving forward in Jesus' Name, amen!" wrote Camela McClain on Riva Tims' Facebook page.
Kimberly Johnson said, "I am praying for you and your family, I know that Jesus is going to work everything out, you need to be back at the church, to carry out the vision, even though you and your husband were not together, that was your husband and the father to your kids…"
The messages came in response to a statement Riva Tims published on her Facebook page on Sept 26.
"In response to so many of your inquiries...I have gotten an overwhelming response from my New Destiny Family to come home and/or at least minister to them. However, I have not been contacted by NDCC staff to return or to assist in the transition. I will continue to pray and cover NDCC, that the vision Zack and I birthed will continue! Thanks for all of your love and prayers," she wrote.
When asked for his thoughts on calls for Riva Tims to return and lead NDCC, Anderson declined to comment, noting that church administrators were still putting a structure in place to guide NDCC in its selection process before administrators begin considering applicants.