The New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC) has ended its month of mourning on Sunday for founding pastor, Zachery Tims Jr.
"It's time to go forward for us at the ministry," Samuel Anderson, executive administrator at the church, said on Sunday, adding that the church will begin looking for a new pastor on Monday. However, there is no set time frame. Paul White, senior pastor of Without Walls International Church in Tampa, is currently serving as interim pastor.
"We're not trying to rush into it," Anderson said.
Guest Evangelist Rita Womack told the NDCC congregation Sunday was a new day for the central Florida church.
"It's a season for celebration," she said. "It's a new day, a new season."
Womack also urged the 1,000-member congregation to stick with the church, despite the untimely and controversial death of its founder.
"Stay where you are planted," she said. "I want to see this ministry continue to grow until has outgrown this building and has to move into a bigger building."
Tims was found dead on Aug. 12 in a room of the upscale W Hotel in New York. An autopsy failed to reveal the cause of his death, but a toxicology report will be released by the New York City Medical Examiner's office later this week that should shed light on that mystery.
Tims started the NDCC in 1996. The popular pastor’s church grew rapidly, and by 2006, it had two locations and more than 8,000 members.
According to WFTV, Tims had been in and out of jail as a young man. In 2005, he opened a $3.4-million, 34,000-square-foot youth center he hoped would help young people stay away from drugs and crime.
“He was very energetic, full of life,” said church member Keesha Rivers. “Always kept it real.”