Supporters of Riva Tims, ex-wife of the late Pastor Zachery Tims rallied outside New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka Thursday to protest Paula White’s succession as senior pastor of the Florida megachurch.
Riva Tims co-founded the church with her former husband in 1996.
The protesters held signs that read “Come Support Pastor Riva! Use your voice!” – attempting to get the attention of those attending New Destiny’s Bible study group that normally met on Thursday evenings, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The Church is expected to announce who will take Tims’ place on Jan. 1. Leaders within New Destiny surveyed the congregation recently on whether they wanted Paula White to become their new leader. However, no other name was offered for approval. Paula White is the pastor of Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Fla.
Some of the protesters spoke to the Orlando Sentinel regarding the possibilty of Paula White succeeding Tims.
“I don’t feel like the congregation had any say,” said Samantha Moore of Altamonte Springs, who joined New Destiny three years ago. “I don’t agree with what is going on. I don’t feel like she [Paula White] is who we need.”
Jerelen Jackson, who has been a member of New Destiny since 2002, explained how current and former members of the megachurch are not happy with its board not considering Tims’ ex-wife Riva for the position. Riva Tims became the pastor of her own church, Majestic Life Church in Lockhart, in 2009 when she and Zachery divorced.
“Pastor Zach died and Pastor Riva is alive. Who knows that church better than she does?” said Jackson who followed Riva to Majestic life. “And she wasn’t even considered.”
Shortly after Zachery Tims' death, Riva announced that she would be involved in the selection of the new pastor for New Destiny. But when the church decided to discuss the matter, she was not included.