Some are pondering the split of one of the Orlando area’s largest churches as the dispute between Riva Tims and New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC), the church she co-founded with her late ex-husband Zachery Tims, continues.
On Sunday, NDCC welcomed its new senior pastor, Paula White. But not all of its members agree with the appointment of the Tampa, Fla.-based Without Walls senior pastor.
When White’s appointment was announced last Thursday, Tims stood with her attorneys at a press conference and announced she had filed a lawsuit against NDCC’s board of directors and White to challenge the process of selecting White as its new senior pastor.
“Obviously, we are saddened by the course of action Pastor Riva Tims as chosen to pursue. Her lawsuit is completely without merit and we are extremely confident in our legal standing,” NDCC’s board said in a press statement. “We will take all actions necessary to protect our church, its ministry and its reputation.”
NDCC said after Tims divorced her husband in 2009—Zachery had an ongoing affair that led to the break-up—she signed legal documents releasing all claims over NDCC. Tims responded via Facebook:
“For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. (Isaiah 62:1)
“I am prayerful that God’s will for the members of New Destiny Christian Center be done. My complaint against NDCC board is and always has been an issue of the alleged negligent and illegal process NDCC’s board used to select a new pastor. My concern, as the mother of the children of the late Dr. Zachery Tims Jr., Zoelle, Zachery III, Zahria and Zion Tims, is that they will never have an opportunity to receive the inheritance their father left for them.
“As the co-pastor to many that were birthed into the kingdom of God at NDCC my concern is that the legacy and vision of NDCC will be abandoned. A real mother desires for her baby to live! I believe that I have an obligation to let our voice be heard. That obligation is being fulfilled. The voice of the Tims' family and many New Destiny Christian Center members is being heard nationally.
“I signed a Marital Settlement Agreement in 2009. The document is over 30 pages including an addendum. There is one sentence that excludes me from filing a legal complaint against the Board of New Destiny Christian Center. Of course, this was signed while Dr. Zachery Tims Jr. was alive when there would never be a reason for me to file a complaint against NDCC. This can be challenged in a court of law but our desire is not to lose focus of our eminent goal to expose any possible deception of the NDCC board in their selection of the new pastor.
“Those who truly knew Dr. Zach know that he would not back down from any opposition but would run to the battle. I stand in righteous indignation on behalf of him and my children. Though I am unable to present the case in a court of law, 2 Timothy tells us that God is the righteous judge and I declare He is on our side. I will fully continue to support my New Destiny Christian Center family in every effort to manifest the spirit of truth.”
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