Riva Tims Loyalists Protest Potential Paula White Pastorate

Zach and Riva Tims
Zach and Riva Tims (Zachery Tims Ministries)

The uproar over who will serve as New Destiny Christian Center’s next pastor is getting a little louder this week as the formal announcement approaches.

A group of congregants loyal to Riva Tims protested outside the Apopka megachurch on Thursday night. The protests were over talk that Paula White will succeed the late Zachery Tims as the church's new pastor. Riva is Tims’ ex-wife and co-founder of the church.

Tims was found dead on the floor of a W Hotel room in New York City Aug. 12. News reports indicate he had a plastic bag filled with white powder in his pocket, however a law suit filed by Madeline Tims, Tims’ mother, has delayed the release of the megachurch pastor’s cause of death.

According to The Orlando Sentinel, protestors carried signs with slogans that read, “Come Support Pastor Riva! Use your voice!” while the church was holding its Thursday night Bible study inside.

New Destiny plans to name Tims’ successor on Jan. 1. The Sentinel reports that church leaders surveyed the congregation about having White, pastor of Without Walls International Church in Tampa, take the reigns of New Destiny Christian Center. Reportedly, no other name was offered for approval.

Riva Tims responded to the drama on her Facebook page: “To the members of NDCC, I know there is a lot going on for you all right now. My heart aches for you and I would have loved to be a part of the healing process for you. The children and I feel the same concerns many of you have expressed to me. Please know that even though the Board including Paula White refused to meet with me as the co-founder of NDCC on behalf of my children, I have a resolve that God is ALMIGHTY and HE is the righteous judge. Continue to pray for God's perfect will and that the Spirit of Truth will continually be manifested. I love you much.”

Riva Tims left the church in 2008 during a scandal over Tims' affair. Riva divorced him, but was on vacation with her ex-husband and their four children in Puerto Rico the week prior to his death.

Charisma magazine has an exclusive interview with Riva Tims in our February issue. Be sure to check it out.

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