More than 5,000 people attended the Saturday funeral of Zachery Tims, the Orlando megachurch pastor found dead in a New York City hotel room earlier this month.
Bishop TD Jakes, founder of The Potter’s House, a 30,000-member church in Dallas, offered a eulogy for Tims. Although the media was not allowed inside, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Jakes talked about how unhappy Tims was.
“I thought I was the only one who knew how unhappy Zach was, how broken he was, how afraid he was if anybody was to see any flaw in him,” Jakes said.
“He tried hard to heal himself, to fix himself … I don't know what happened in that room in New York, but I can only hope that as Zach was dying, Dr Tims stood up.”
Jakes was referring to the two sides of Tims: Zach, an imperfect man, and Dr Tims, a caring spiritual leader who helped imperfect people.
“Zach had a way of acting like he was your kid,” Jakes said. “He would come into your house and go straight for the refrigerator. You couldn't say anything, because he'd bust that big old grin on you.”
The three-hour service was held at First Baptist of Orlando. Tims’ ex-wife, Riva, also spoke at the funeral. Riva started New Destiny Christian Center with Tims in 1996 and over the years, the church grew to about 8,000 members.
“Forty-two years may seem young, but in those 42 years he circled the earth many times. In those 42 years he achieved goals few could imagine,” the Orlando Sentinel reported Riva saying. “Let us not forget what he has accomplished.”
Jakes issued a statement on his Facebook page after the funeral. The bishop said his hope is that believers everywhere will continue to lift the Tims family up in prayer.
He also suggested believers pray that the “the right decisions are made” in the aftermath of Tims’ death.
Tims’ death remains under police investigation. Toxicology reports are pending after police discovered a plastic bag containing a white substance, the Wall Street Journal reported.
TD Jakes pays tribute to friend and megachurch pastor, Zachery Tims
Published 24 August 2011