Thousands were expected to be in attendance Friday at New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC), while countless others were expected to visit the church's website, to pay final respects to Pastor Zachery Tims, who was found dead on Aug. 12.
A public viewing is scheduled to take place today at NDCC's main campus in Apopka, Fla., at 3 p.m. and run until 7 p.m. A tribute service is also scheduled to start directly after the viewing. Both services will be streamed online at www.ndcc.tv.
Tims' funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, at First Baptist Church of Orlando. A viewing is also scheduled for 10 a.m.
Although several ministers were expected to make remarks about the late pastor, it was still unknown Friday if anyone in particular had been requested by Tims' family to deliver the eulogy.
Despite initial reports that Bishop T.D. Jakes had been tapped to eulogize Tims, a source familiar with the Florida pastor's funeral arrangements told The Christian Post Thursday that family members had not yet made a decision as to who would be speaking at the homegoing ceremony.
Jakes, reportedly one of the guest speakers put in rotation at NDCC until church administrators decide on a new leader, told followers on his Twitter page Thursday afternoon that he was heading to Orlando to be with Tims' family.
"Pray for me as I head to Orlando to join countless others bringing comfort to the Tims family and New Destiny," The Potter's House pastor tweeted .
Tims, 42, was senior pastor and CEO of NDCC. The late pastor and his ex-wife, Riv Tims, founded the ministry in 1996.
Tims was found dead in his room at the W Hotel in New York City on August 12.
Officials, who have ruled out any foul play, were still investigating what may have caused Tims' tragic demise.
Well-wishes and condolences were still pouring in online Friday, just hours before Tims' wake was scheduled to begin.
On NDCC's Facebook page, a visitor named Patricia T. Smith wrote:
"Pastor Zachery Tims, Jr. will be missed. R. I. P. Pastor Zachery Tims, Jr., we all loved you but, God Loved You Best. God needed a flower to enhance his garden and that is why he took Pastor Zachery Tims, Jr., to be an enhancement to his beautiful garden of wonderful flowers to spread some sunshine and joy. We love you and miss you Pastor......"
Another visitor named Toni T-Class Lewis commented:
"I will never forget the love, friendship & support that you showed towards my boss. I am blessed to have met you & to have been able to spend time with you. You had a kind & caring spirit. May you now rest in the peace that you so desired!! See you on the other side."
Karen Roberts Oldacre, another visitor to NDCC's Facebook page, posted:
"My heartfelt condolences to the New Destiny Church Family, Pastor Riva Tims the children and the rest of the Tims family. We have lost a brother and a great leader who will be deeply missed. I pray that God strengthens you and that you continue in the VISION that is set before you. BLESSINGS!"