Man of God, But Still a Man

The tragic death of Pastor Zachery Tims reminds us that even our most gifted and passionate Christian leaders are imperfect human beings.

LARGER THAN LIFE: Pastor Zachery Tims' mysterious death sent shockwaves through the faith community.

On Friday night in Apopka, Florida, hundreds of people waited in line for more than an hour to pay their final respects to Rev. Zachery Tims. The 42-year-old megachurch pastor, who was found dead in a New York City hotel room on Aug. 12, will be laid to rest on Saturday morning.

Of all the things to be said about Tims — some great and perhaps not so great — one thing will almost certainly be true: he was a man.

Knowing nothing about this man, I heard “Pastor. Dead. Hotel. New York City,” and my imagination conjured the most depraved of possibilities that could validate the combination of those words. The scattered details following reports of his death, including that of a white powdery substance found on his person, only made my internal speculation worse.

Soon after media confirmed the news, Facebook and Twitter exploded with condolences, expressions of shock, and, in some cases, blame directed at Tims for his own death. He wasn’t new to controversy, after all. Long before his move to Florida, he’d battled drug abuse but said on the church website that he was “miraculously saved, instantly delivered … and called into ministry.” In 2008 he admitted to an affair, and he and his wife later divorced.

Drug abuse and marital problems unfortunately fall into the tragic categories of normal life for normal people. It’s only abnormal when it’s public and it involves the pastor.

How could someone bearing that title and the spiritual responsibility of thousands, commissioned by God with the Spirit upon him to preach the gospel, heal the brokenhearted and preach deliverance to the captives be in the bondage of sin himself? The answer is simple: even the man of God is still a man.

We frequently lose that fact in the face of pastors and other church leaders who appear to have arrived at the place people stake their lives on trying to go.

Many are the best dressed, driving the nicest of cars, and living in houses that look like they’re straight from MTV Cribs. And even for leaders with more modest incomes, preaching every Sunday, they appear smart, confident and even fearless. Their holiness is apparent; their anointing is strong, the words they speak prophetic. They stand over hundreds, thousands, and — thanks to online worship — maybe millions of people, continually holding attention and commanding respect. And if you miss that it’s the Spirit of God holding that man or that woman up, you’d think he or she holds power that no ordinary person does.

Throw in a sense of humor, a certain “swag” (like my pastor), and the good looks of Tims (who was often likened to Will Smith), and you’ve got a larger-than-life superstar who’s everything to everybody every hour of the day.

When this is all we choose to see, we inevitably make titans of our teachers and hold them to a supernatural standard. The pastor becomes our idol — no longer a man of God but, instead, a god of man.

And we know there is only one God, who is God all by Himself. All other manmade gods eventually fall — just as all humanity does, just like any man or woman would. Regardless of his or her position in the church, every believer has the challenge of walking through the struggles of this fallen world in pursuit of God’s truth and the life that comes with it.

Victory over the sin struggle sometimes isn’t so easy, particularly for church leaders who, though surrounded, are isolated physically and spiritually. They cover entire  flocks but live uncovered themselves. With little to no support, accountability and the weight of others’ burdens, perhaps anybody would do anything just to endure — even the pastor. Maybe your pastor. Maybe even the late Zachery Tims.

Following the announcement of his death, I read of Tims’ encouraging words, his amazing testimony, and the altruistic work he did as pastor of New Destiny Christian Center. Though I didn’t know him, I’m convinced he probably was a great man, even an anointed man of God — but a man nonetheless.

About the author, DeVona Alleyne

DeVona Alleyne is a senior copy editor at Urban Ministries Inc. Writing is the one tangible thing she can’t live without. Singing is a close second, and she does that in part as a member of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago. She studied practical theology at Regent University and received a B.A. in journalism and in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her 10 years as a newspaper journalist didn’t change the world much, but with help from her husband, she’ll keep working on it.
  1. I want you to know that the words you expressed in the above teaching is more true than anything I have heard or over heard when the topic arise. But I would like to add to your teaching, the reason I feel he was taken from his congregation is because they had truly made him a IDOL an as you say NO ONE before GOD so thats enough said there. The Lord could not continue to watch his sheep be guided thru the help of HIM (GOD) but recognized as the help of him (pastor Tim) , He shall not allow anyone to take credit for His glory He and He alone shall be praised, So I hope this be a lesson learned from the members of pastor Tim congregation and all these other big wig pastors that the Lord is using to transpire His word. I hope they heed this as a warning an pay close attention. To all pastors everywhere just know I am not at all ashamed for pastor Tim I am greatly appreciated at the message and legacy he leaves behind because he was human and if God would use someone and release a powerful message and save as many lives as He did thru him then He will use and communicate with anyone of us despite our flaws. Thank you Lord Jesus for pastor Tims and my condolences to all his members you all should be proud to know your pastor and ashamed for the causing of his death because if you all had not made him a idol the would not have taken him, His word is what has manifested in all our lives those of his congregation and those in many congregation where your pastor is your god but there is only one true and living God, May you all be blessed and not mourn for you brought this upon yourselves.

    • Wow! Monique Roberts, Your words were very harsh and not of God. If you are the Christian that you say you are then you should know that only God give life and only God can take life away. Your words cut the hearts of the people that loved Dr Tims the most and yet you did not know him, but you cast judgment on the people that did. Perhaps your envy is showing and you do not care who you hurt. However, just as God knows all things, God knows the words you spoke.

      To you all that loved Dr. Tims, my heart goes out to each of you. Knowing everyday you feel the lost of your beloved and wonderful pastor. I thank God I was blessed to hear him teach the true word of God. I mourn with you and will pray for you all. God is with each of you always.

      • I don’t think Monique’s words are harsh at all. It really is a call for men and women of God to stop living in the dark. I was delivered from some crazy stuff in the past. I was leading ministries at church while still having this double life. I was succussful professionally and many depended on me and would call me a man of God. But there was a heavy burden I felt of being found out through scanda and felt being a phony. The underground “set” that I dealt with my addiction knew that side of me. When the obsession came in, forget about the ministry and the disappointed people, the job, I had to find release! I prayed for deliverance and eventially, I was delivered (it is a process to be on guard–the bible says that we should avoid the sin that can so easily entangle us).

        I am so far removed from those things in the past, but if I don’t watch it, the enemy is slick and will take me back there. For a long time, I would not go to certain places, because of the temptation. To find dilverance, I had to find someone to confide in. I did, and that was the first step to recovery.
        I feel sad for Rev. Tims because I do understand the burden that one has in a public larger than life persona and this private one that makes you feel like a phony, a hypocrite, with you thinking that really other people have it together, but you do not. Unless, the person has totally abandoned the faith and is using the ministry as a hustle. From what I gather is that brother Tims was not able to release the demons. As one who is going through a 12 step program, it is a life-time journey. Addiction does not care about social status, race, or religion. Addiction will destroy ministries, marriages, children and will eventually kill you. Only a higher power can restore us to sanity. I know what it was like to be insane and to do insane things to support my addiction. Thank God for the freedom and sanity! Be well.

        • I didn’t find Monique’s words harsh nor unkind; truth sometimes hurts. The article was unusually well witten and thoughtful. The ‘churches’ follow a non-Biblical model for the most part. Reform must take place if these groups want to do the will of Yah. Judgment has begun at the house of Yah by Yah.

        • I agree with what you said. It must have been very difficult for Pastor Tims to pray for others to be delivered while he was suffering from his own demons. Who knows this could have been his 1st time relapsing. My ex husband suffered from drug addiction and it destoyed our family. Addiction is very powerful! Thank God for your deliverance. Pastor Tims was an annointed preacher and teacher I watched him daily on the Word network. I now watch his videos on youtube. I prayer for his family and church family.

      • I agree. it is harsh to blame parishioners for the death of a pastor. While there are some that idolize the pastor, many parishioners genuinely love their leader out of pure respect. Some people come to church totally messed up and God uses the pastor to preach a Word of deliverance that is never ending and because of that one may become forever grateful for the pastor for being obedient to deliver the Word. Whatever the flaws of a pastor, parishioners sometimes are able to focus less on the flaws and really see God. I hope that when all this is over that God will cover the man of God who can no longer defend himself but most of all I pray the people of God; pastors and laypeople really take note of what has happened among God’s leaders within the past few years and examine themselves.

    • so many people were and are impresses by the fancy cars and the talk these preachers have. church goers failed to notice that zachery need help and no one was able to help just watch him on the air moving fast on the pulpit . church too large who could he go too for help. he probaly needed rehab

      • Your are right as I watched some of his videos some of the signs are there. I lived with a coke addict for 20 yrs. If you watch he rubs his nose a lot and like you said moves very fast around the pulpit rarely standing still. I would like to believe this is his 1st time relapsing and it killed him but your right some of the signs of drug abuse are appearant in his videos. It’s unfortune that many pastors live with their demons in isolation as the article stated. They don’t seem to have anyone to turn to when they are in trouble. I also think Pastor Tims may have regretted not having his wife and children with him anymore. They had recently vactioned together a week before his death. This was their 1st family vaction since the marriage ended 2 yrs ago. On Pastor Tims youtube channel he posted a video a week ago (a week before his death) about marriage and relationships. It was about how God said it is not good for man to be alone. They should marry or at least have healthy relationships with someone close to them. How ironic it is that a week later he died alone in hotel room. It is not good for man to be alone!

    • My prayers go out to Pastor Zachery Tims and his family. I worked with his mother Madeline for over 20 years and she is a women of God and he was a man of God. Stop judging. We are all God’s children and he is the judge. My heart goes out to his Mother, Grandmother, ex-wife, children and extended family. If you cannot say anything to up lift the family, I say don’t say anything at all. I Love You Madeline.

      • The Apostle Paul gives specific instructions on how Pastors, Bishops,Elders, Deacons and leaders even the average Christians should conduct themselves. He even the Corinthian Church to put a man out of the church until he repented for gross sin.
        Wanda Owens and people like you defending sinful behavior by judging others who feel sad for the family but at the same time we expect Leaders to lead by example? I have experienced Church hurt several times. Three in the form of Pastor’s that everyone looked up who were caught then confessed to adulterous affairs causing a huge church split and the break-up of lengthy friendships over those for or against allowing the Pastors back in the Pulpit. Tithe money should not go to fund a mistress or to indulge in illegal drug use (not accusing anyone just saying in general if the suit fits)!
        Every leader should lead by example, or sit down and be restored so as not to hurt the body of Christ and the image of Christianity! It is hard enough to convince the lost and unsaved we are not all hyprocrites who are playing church!
        If you don’t like what I said then too bad, pray for me and give me the same grace & pardon you give these wayward Pastor’s! I pray for any family suffering a lost but I do not excuse someone who was given much because the bible said if you are given much, then much is required. r Wasn’t your Pastor given Salvation, thousand of members who loved him, a beautiful wife and fame and fortune?
        1st Thess, 5:22 “Avoid the appearance of all kind of evil.” Translation: is even if it look like you are doing evil, ( instead of holding hands in Rome with Paula White when your name is Benny Hinn and your divorced is not finalized but they snap your picture and it goes in the tabloids, then your defense is you are just platonic friends!!!) You cannot hide from the glare of the
        limelight when you are on World-wide Television in the information age!

    • I also use the bible to make my point and not my logic which is nothing but the expressed logic of a feable man. I read the last post by Monique and let me say it is not biblical teaching to think that God would take the pastor away because some members may have elevated him to high standard or to a God like image. In Deutoronomy 24:16 God said no longer will the fathers be put to death for the sins of the children neither the children for the sins of their fathers but every man shall be put to death for his own sins. It is possible that God would pass judgement if the pastor was presenting himself as a God to the congregation. However, there is indication he was preaching such messages. Let’s not forget the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:23-26 KJV “And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes”. I just hope we would stop blaming and trying to conclude why God took this pastor away so early but instead celebrate his life and all the souls that got saved while receiving the messages he preached. Listen at what the book of James tells us. James 5:20 KJV, “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins”. Now if a man can cover a multitude of sins by converting one sinner well how many sins did the pastor cover if thousands and perhaps millions got saved from death listening at his messages?

      • his is a little off the subject but hang with me because I’m trying to make a relevant point and will tie it all together in summation:
        I will be glad when all Christians redeemed from the curse of the law begin to really grasp the deep meaning of the words of Jesus on the cross “Paid in full, as in It is finished”. I will also be glad when Christians understand the differences in Old Covenant vs New Covenant, Grace (unmerited favor) vs Old Covenant Laws given to Jews only which was a works Covenant of based on keeping 613 Mosaic laws 24/7 along withJewish Holidays like the Pass over. I encourage all Christians to type into your internet under the word search: 613 Mitzvot (Hebrew for commandments) and bring up all 613 Old Covenant laws.

        Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law, according to Galatians 3:13-14 and those of us that have been redeemed from the curse of the law have access to go to boldly to the throne of God to receive mercy, even famous Pastors that have fallen into sin or disgrace!

        Not one Gentile (ANYONE NOT FROM THE 12 TRIBES OF ISRAEL) was ever included in the Jewish Old Covenant with God. Christians were grafted into the New Covenant called Grace AND REDEEMED FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW.

        Pastor Tims would have been stoned to death for adultery if we were under the Old Covenant law but we are ,not thank God.All genuine Christians are under the Dispensation of Grace by faith in Jesus.
        Is it right for Pastors (like Pastor Tims) to push one Mosaic law in Leviticus like Tithe paying law when Jesus said tithing was the least important matter of the law in Matthew 23:23 and Jesus was addressing Pharisee’s still under the Old Covenant because he had not yet died on his Cross?
        Jesus also said in Matthew 5:17 -20- He did not come to abolish the law and the Prophets but
        to FULFILL IT . Notice that last part TO FULFILL. What do you think Jesus meant by Paid in full
        as in It is Finished in John 19:30? Jesus paid for Pastor Tims in full if he was truly redeemed!

        Romans 10:4 “Christ is the end of the law for every believer’
        We are lead by the Spirit and not by the law. Pastor Tims had the better Covenant than the old one,according to Hebrew 8:6 -7! Jesus gives us daily grace upon grace John 1:16!

        God’s Grace will cover every sin but the bible also said if you continue in deliberate gross sin and fall away it is hard to ever be come back since you have crucified the Lord afresh! Hebrews 6:6
        I pray hard this will never apply to anyone of us, self included! Pastors that teach all you need to do is tithe to be blessed remember if you want to throw Redeemed Christians back under an Old Covenant tithe law you’d also better keep all of those 613 Mosaic laws in Levitcus and Deuteronomy including stoning for adultery, breaking the Sabbath (starts Friday night to Saturday night rest from all activities including blogging) and Circumcise all 8 day old male infant. The major Old Covenant law was not tithe paying but Circumcision and it predates Moses and goes all the way back to Abraham, Sabbath rest goes back to Genesis.
        Pastors make millions on that tithe paying Scripture given to Jews before Jesus said Paid in full. All those Old Covenant laws were in the terms and conditions not one of them could be broken without a sin offering, trespass offering, guilt offering or even death by stoning!

        • Few words could have summed up the point, BORING!
          Zachery taught tithing but Christians are under a better Covenant based on the payment Jesus made they have been given daily grace and mercy!

          If Zachery Tims had been under the Old Covenant he would not have been able die very rich teaching the tithe law because he would have been stoned to death for adultery a major Old Covenant law under the Old Covenant! We have a better New Covenant b-cuz of the payment Jesus made there is free grace and unmerited favor Paid in full. Zachery was Paid in full by Jesus not by his own (tithe) payments or the 613 Mitzvoh commandents in Leviticus!

    • My heart was deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Tim’s death.Although I never knew him personally or attended his church,still my sorrow and pain was enormous.Over the years I have watched the mighty works that God has done through this remarkable man,and yes he was still but a man.NO ONE knows for certain why God has allowed his death,but there is one thing I do know and that is the devil comes to kill,steal and destroy.Let us earnestly pray .for his family and that God will continue to do the good works that he has started in that ministry.

    • We mourn with those that mourn and we rejoice with those that rejoice, but we must remeber as chosen vessels of God, We must eat,breath,and practice the word of God daily.Accountability is Lacking in the body of Christ,we all want to be a Wonder.Man crediting miraculous to our account when all belongs to the One Living God Yeshua.For those pastors who are still yet alive Take heed,find someone to be held accountable to,yes your accountable to God but the natural man needs to be rebuked,corrected,at times.Find someone you can share your secrets with that will correct you in love,that will go to God on your behalf,that will stick with you until true deliverance come.Remember it is GOd who Saves,God who appoints,and God who gets the glory.May Riva Tims and his four children continue in the Legacy of Jesus Christ,BUt may she Remeber It’s all about GOD……………….

      • Amen, thank you also for speaking the truth in compassion/love. Accountability is KEY for many of us that struggle in certain areas of weakness. It can be the difference between success & failure. We sometimes are ashamed of afraid to ask others for “help” when we need it most & that is because we (even us Christians) are quick to “judge”. Brothers & Sisters, let’s be quick instead to do more reaching out to those who are hurting & lost and be careful of the words we speak to one another (taming the tongue), but always telling the truth in love. After all, look at the many, hurting people brother Tims introduced to the Lord, of course the Lord drew them, but he used brother Tims to secure them. This is the beauty of being connected to the source, we are all connected then to one another. Let’s practice more compassion towards one another and in doing so pray for each other at all times, thanking God for his wonderful son Jesus & the grace & mercy that he has freely given to all. Amen & May God wrap his arms around the Tims Family in this time of sorrow & greif!

    • Mam you seem to be very ready to access blame without having heard the verdict from God. Scrpture says not to judge a matter before time. This certainly is not the time; and it is very insensitive for you to heap on this congregation guilt as they bury their beloved pastor.

      • There is only one that can give live,and That is God himself.We are not blaming anyone .Listen to the words that Job spoke God Giveth and God taketh away.Dr.tims life was in the hands of God.God Bless you all,but let us remember we too are only Man. Even though we speak about dr.Tims the truth of the whole matter here its about God.Lets walk with our heads held high letting the world know God is still the answer for any situation or circumstances.To the tims Family Keep the Faith and all your answers are found in GOD>

  2. You have delivered quite a nice piece on the pastor and I think the major problem with the congregation or the body of Christ or better still most people who patronize church is that we idolize or pastors and ministers.

    But the most serious issue is that the pastors themselves mostly fail to recognize that they are human and fail to point their followers to this fact. Getting close to pastors mostly reveals that they are indeed human and may not appear as righteous as some ordinary Christians.

    Ministers therefore have to take a lesson from this case and humble themselves and stop thinking that they are better. May God have mercy on us all

  3. Thank you Ms. Devona for sharing your kind words an expressing what millions are feeling , but are unable to express in words right now. I to believe that this man was an anointed pastor, and has done great things for many. As you said, but still a man and I hope the media doesn’t try to make a big deal out of it. In the bible the man after GOD own heart fell many times, but was one of God chosen men, and everyone who is familiar with the bible know who I’m speaking of (King David). I pray for the congregation, family, and friends. Regardless of what the media says everyone has their own opinion about Pastor Tims, and the LOVE that is felt for him an not be removed by the negative comments of people.

  4. The death of Pastor Tims is a tragedy. My husband and I will continue to pray for Pastor Riva,her childretn,his mother and the NDCC church family. Whether it is our Pastors, Teachers, President, or Government Leaders, we ALL have to be ACCOUNTABLE to those we are called/elected to oversee. It is important to have the right support system around someone who has a tremendous amount of power and authority. I can not speak to who Pastor Zackery was accountable to or who he had supporting him but he definitely needed someone to hold him accountable after all he had been through previously and maybe he would still be with us. May God rest his soul until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  5. Thanks for this column,I am someone looking for answers on how a man of god can be caught up in the situations Tim was in the last couple of years. He was just flesh like me, we expect these pastors to be perfect and they are just a man. Now I do believe they have a bigger responsibility to practice what they preach, but when they fall short they should be forgiven the way we all are.

  6. I am sorry for the lost of a man of God leading a flock. A man of God still have hills to climb for he is a man. The FLOCK that follows must remember he is a vessel and not God himself. When we loose sight and make man perfect, we have forgotten already that God is only perfect. We are in a gathering to recieve a message and not honor the messenger. As the Messenger rise for the task at hand, he is now more and more in that Spiritual Warfare between God and Satan. We know God will win. We must remember that Peter survived only by keeping his eye on God. We do not know at what point Pastor slipped and maybe not on purpose but he could have taken his eye of God. I do not know him. I admire him for giving a testimony on how you can become a child of GOD. He did not deny his PROBLEM LIKE WE HAVE SEEN JUST RECENTLY. A pastor just recently said that “he settled so the church can move on.” “SETTLE!!!!!!” God’s word and just SETTLE!!! Pastor TIms said this is my problem, he stepped down like the word says to do. He give a testimony that God still loves you in spite of. He can use you if you let him. He knows you will have problems, but he, GOD is the only one that is perfect.

    • No one is saying a man of God does not experience spiritual warfare. We all know the Church is like a Hospital for the Spiritually sin-sick soul to come and get healed. No physically sick person should be spreading contagious diseases to others neither should a Spiritually sick person be preaching on Kingdom Living on World-wide Christian television until he is healed and made whole (restored)!
      Jesus did forgive the woman caught in the act of adultery but he also said “Go and sin no more”
      Pastor’s who are misbehaving: Notice Jesus did not say “Go and Sin Some More!

  7. People in leadership roles are not “SUPER STARS”…..they are HUMAN BEINGS!! We should not go to church to be entertained …IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRIST. It’s time to get our eyes off of a Man or Woman and focus our attention on GOD. The ancient church of Corinth like our 21st Century churches today had to deal with immorality issues,corruption and every conceivable sin….no difference now……still happening. It’s time to go back to true holiness. We all must examine ourselves and our motives especially those of us in leadership roles. Pastor Tims is now gone on into …”ETERNITY ” May he rest in Peace. For those of us who are still here, let us pray and live our lives pleasing to the Lord so that one day we can hear the Lord say “Well done thy good and faithful servant”

  8. I was reading everyone’s comments & thouht about how GOD shows us grace & mercy everyday. Inspite of our faults & short comings GOD is kind & faithful toward us. Pastor Tim’s is no longer here & regardless of our opinons I think those of us who love GOD should extend GOD’s characteristics of grace & mercy during this time of loss. Today it’s Pastor Tim’s…who knows tomorrow it could be you or your love one. During this time let’s just all keep our opinions & theological perspectives to ourselves & collectively pray for the Tim’s family, friends & congregation. We must not forget “ye without sin cast the first stone.” We all fall short & instead of judging Pastor Tim let’s thank GOD for not exposing us in our darkness & mess. God remains faithful!!!……pray & when you’re done praying…..pray some more! God & I love you!!!

    • Well said. I appreciate your comment and agree. May God bless you and yours! Love you with the Love of the Lord as well !!

    • YES, yes, yes & Amen for your spiritual & wonderful insight. Now, “YOUR” comments are a true indication of one who “studies” & whose seed has fallen on “good” ground. Thank you for posting your comment. This is where we all should be in expressing our heart felt sorrow. There is a time, down the road, where we all can look back & see what it is that we are doing or not doing that is harmful or hurtful to our families, our youth, our leaders, & even ourselves in or out of our churches. Reflection & truth, must be a part of our spiritual, emotional & physical growth. Jesus is a man/God of “TRUTH”. We all must look in the mirror & see/face what it is we need to understand about ourselves & our motives. It is true, there shall be no other God’s before Jehovah himself. We should just for now, have compassion for the family of Pastor Tim & celebrate his homegoing. After all, no matter what we think, he is now in a better place than those of us “left behind” HALLELUJAH! Peace be unto all of those who LOVED Pastor Zach :)

  9. I enjoyed your article to the fullest! Sometimes as christians, “we can’t handle the truth”!

  10. I would also like to add that “we all have a skeleton in the closet with some flesh on it”! Whether we say it or not or even if it is revealed.

  11. Beautifully written! May Pastor Tims rest in peace while his legacy lives on…Amen!

  12. Many of you have said wonderful things. I think one of the best things we can learn from this is that the gifts of God are without repentence. My family and I personally attend NDCC. We have been greatly impacted by the ministry that Pastor Tims imparted to us. This is a difficult time, but we know that God is a healer. Weeping only endures for a night. We are waiting on the joy that comes in the morning.Please be prayerful and regardless of what people say or the speculations that arise, God is God alone. He was God in the beginning and He is God in the end. His soveriegnty allows him to do whatever he wants and there is no need for anyone to speculate on why God called him home. I say that because the Word of God so plainly tells us that our ways are not HIs ways and our thoughts are not HIs thoughts. That says it right there. There is no need of forming personal opinions about why he passed. Those of us who really knew him and were effected by his ministry will keep that with us. Please pray for the Tims family and the NDCC congregation. Also, we must save ourselves from this untoward generation. No pointing fingers, no blaming; the Bible clearly tells us to save ourselves. The Bible also says that the righteous will barely make it to heaven. We did not idolize him, we went because he had a Word from God that he delivered week after week. If our number is called, do we have it right with God? Are we living a life that is pleasing to the Savior? Are we worthy enough to hear Well Done? Please keep that in mind before any of you speculate on this man’s life. We better get our own spots clean, wrinkles ironed out, and blemishes clear before trying to point. Let’s all pray and turn from our own wicked ways. Be blessed!

    • Amen, I’m praying for the family and the NDCC congregation.

    • …stay focused on what you know is true & the good tidings of your leader…..don’t waste time tryin to justify or defend what you know & have grown from pastor Tims ministry; use that energy & grieve. As members of the congregation I am certain yall can do without the unnecessary drama from others who didn’t have a relationship or don’t even know Pastor Tims. Continue to lean on GOD for strength & healing. Only HE can make this matter well with all. Stay focus on what you have learned & gained from Pastor Tims & grieve. All the rest is a distraction. Many are praying for you all.

  13. As I was reading this article i thought, wow, every thought that i have is written here. I tried to express this to individuals who are quick to say ” that’s why I don’t do church cause all that goes on with these pastors”. I tell them to not let that be another excuse; pastors are humans just like us. Whether or not pastor Zach Tims had struggles, he still preached the word of God and that’s what many need to understand. Unfortunately we all have struggles and have to do our best to try to over come it with the Lord’s help. Please all, lets focus on the messages of God and not who the deliverer is..God bless and lets continue to pray for his family and everyone else.

  14. Good word ……thank you.

  15. Very well written, Very well thought out!!!!! There nothing left to be said!!!

    • I agree with the effectiveness of this article. Many have not the boldness to speak what this woman has written. All too often most of us are “saved” and are delivered into the hands of God through a confident, charismatic, prolific Pastor. Not left to fend for ourselves, but placed under the leadership of a shepherd who has been “chosen” by God to lead and speak the word of God into our lives for righteous living. Now the word of God says to “Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you, consider the outcome of their way of life and imiitate their faith..” We, as the body of Christ must remember that “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Imitate your leaders faith in God and nothing else. Pastor Tim’s faith in God led him to heaven. The war between God and Satan for souls won’t end until the day of Christ’s return. Knowing that God is “no respecter of persons”; be mindful that Satan isn’t either. Whatever the circumstances are that led to Pastor Tim’s demise, his faith in God is the conclusion of the matter. “The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy.” Satan’s assignment is to take away the Holiness from a person and taint their persona as evil and unthinkable and unacceptable in the eyes of God and man. To make a nation of unbelievers behind Pastors Tims’ death or any other leader’s “fall;” is a mockery to God and a trick of the enemy. To turn people’s hearts away from God and to gain unwarranted attention is the enemy’s intent. “All souls belong to God.”

      In these perilous times, we must know the tactics of the enemy and the “expected end” God has for us all… That is why it is important to give your life to Christ. It is important to read the Word for yourself. Establish a relationship with God for yourself. Make it a point to live for Christ on purpose, for yourself. Search the Word for yourself. To those who have walked away from the church(es) for whatever reason, please, do not walk away from God.

      We all face struggles at one point or another in our lives. If someone says they haven’t had any struggles or temptations, “keep living.” We cannot determine the time or cause of our own death, but surely as a man lives, he will die. Let’s remember what faith in God can do, and move forward. I believe Pastor Tim’s soul is with the Lord and that within itself is truly the conclusion of the matter.

  16. Thank you DeVona for speaking the truth with love about Pastor Tim…God bless you my sister and you keep up the good work as an editor. What God has shown me at my church the people worship the pastor and not worship God. When you idealize man and not worship God he is not please. God told me not to idol my pastor but submit to my pastor because he is my father and he has mouth destiny in his mouth and obey God. I always pray for my pastor but I’m going to earnestly pray for him and cover him with the blood daily because I’m connected to my pastor and he is my responsibility and much as he to me.

  17. Thank you DeVona for speaking the truth with love about Pastor Tim…God bless you my sister and you keep up the good work as an editor. What God has shown me at my church the people worship the pastor and not worship God. When you idealize man and not worship God he is not please. God told me not to idol my pastor but submit to my pastor because he is my father and he has mouth destiny in his mouth and obey God. I always pray for my pastor but I’m going to earnestly pray for him and cover him with the blood daily because I’m connected to my pastor and he is my responsibility and much as he to me.

  18. This is a great word of comfort. You have not only expressed the meditations of your heart, but I believe, the Heart of God as well. God Bless you.

  19. This is a great word of comfort. You have not only expressed the meditations of your own heart, but I believe, the heart of God. God Bless You.

  20. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I cannot tell you how greived I was TWICE!! First of the news of Pastor Tims (who I only knew through tele-evangelism) and secondly through the response of many of the people. I tell you, it was amazing of the number of people who audaciously went to his page and proceeded to blast this man ON HIS PAGE AFTER HIS DEATH! I was angered and appaulled all in the same breathe. But it also helped me to see just why there is such a great falling away from the church…the church can often be the source of hypocricy. We no longer love, we no longer support, and we certainly are not our BROTHER’S n(and SISTERS) KEEPER. More and more, I hear comments from people like, “See, that’s why I don’t go to church”. and “I believe and love God (and JESUS His SON), but I don’t do church because of the people.” This, and other responses from the people who need a Savior do nothing more than solidify the CRY OF THE OUTCAST. We have lost our love as the church in Revelation, but we think we are fine. Thank you for pointing out the fact that while this man of God was far from perfect, there were two forces constantly at work in him..the MAN and GOD. Let us all be reminded of that fact, lest we forget and find ourselves in his similar shoes.


  21. This article confirms what I was saying to a friend yesterday. Let’s not make gods out of our spiritual leaders – respect them as vessels who are being used by God. See them as men and women, who like us on a daily basis, are prone to fall. It is in their falling and failing that we can give back to them – ’cause God knows so many of them give so much to us, in both tangible and intangible ways on a daily basis. It is in these moments that we need to give back to them through our prayers of restoration. What is the difference between the Christian who struggles with adultery, fornication or drug addiction and those of us who tell “little white” lies or turn a blind eye to those in need around us on a daily basis (even though we are in church every Sunday)? NOTHING – we are are all on an equal playing field, living by God’s grace. How many times have we fallen and failed in our moral and ethical responsibilities as parents? Isn’t this an ordained position that has a mandated role-model status-quo? Should we be condemned and thrown aside then? Why do we put sin in a balance to stratify our Christian family – are we being any different than a society operating by racial inequalities? Don’t get me wrong, we need to hold each other accountability, not let us not forget that we need to do it WITH COMPASSION AND IN LOVE. It is funny how we find it hard to forgive our fallen brothers and sisters who have sinned against God, when we all look up to God daily for the forgiveness of our own sins. It is funny how when a brother or sister passes under questionable circumstances, we quickly do God the “favor” of becoming Heaven’s gatekeeper and cast them into hell through our self-righteousness. As Christians, let us be mindful of the fact that we are all human; we all fall short – even on our best days. Our leader’s failures is not an excuse for us to not do what we know is right. A leader’s failure is not greater than yours or mine who know what to do and don’t do. A pound of feather and a pound of lead weigh no more than each other – they are both a pound. Your sins are not greater than my sins – they are simply sins. Let us read and follow our job description as a family member in the body of Christ and leave all the executive decisions to God. Be Blessed

  22. Very well written, excellent spiritual maturity, thank you for a voice that encompasses life and peace with honesty…

  23. Excellently written…..wasn’t harsh nor was it mean, just the truth about “people”,

  24. Yes, well written. God is Love and he love us all.


  25. This is a well written article that comes across as un-biased and honest. The writer has aptly expressed what all christians are: only sinners saved by grace! Bro. Tims was another human being like all of us; another sinner saved by grace!! But for God’s grace, anyone of us could find our demise in the sin that easily besets us!
    The writer presented the facts as they are; she had nothing to do with this! and then seeks to analyze the situation from a fallible human standpoint. This is no occasion for anyone to condemn the man of God, but to constantly take heed to ourselves as while we ‘preach in others we ourselves could become castaways! Its a reminder that pastors have’ feet of clay’ like all of us. Let us pray for Riva Tims and her children, Tims’ extended famly and church family in this dark hour. This is not to negate the fact that this Man of God was just a man like every other Man of God! Superb writing DeVona!
    Erika N

  26. There are passages in the word that say “judge not lest ye be judge”. By your own admission you knew nothing about the man. We need to be careful not to be judgmental about people especially when we don’t know them. Who’s to say he didn’t repent? I thought your words were very harsh at a time when the family, the church and those he impacted are grieving and need our prayers, not our opinions. We can’t be quick to condemn someone that’s living good. God desires for all of us to prosper. I do need to remember that if I am judgmental then someone will be judgmental of me because whatsoever and man sows that shall he reap…

    My prayers go out for the New Destiny Christian Center and the Tims Family.

  27. Devona, I enjoyed reading your artlicle.


  29. ‘Man of God, But Still a Man’ – What Concerns Me About Twenty-First Century Church Leadership

    First, I think this article helps us to maintain a most proper perspective on the humanity of those called by God to serve His causes. Interestingly, God himself is NEVER disillusioned of the fact that His saving grace through Christ, His Spirit, His anointing, His power and His endowment with gifts, talents and skills, none of these ever change the nature of our humanity and susceptibility to sin, self and Satan. If we could just follow God’s lead and perspective on human nature, we would never make the mistake of deifying any man of God beyond their manhood.

    But secondly, what concerns me about the track to twenty-first century church leadership is persons ‘who don’t adequately mature in Christ first as just a Christian before they assure leadership roles.’ In 1 Timothy 3:1-13, the Apostle Paul follows Christ logic and model that mature Christ-like character should always precede ordination to church leadership, listing 14 character qualifications as a prerequisite for leading in the church. It’s similar to the Job Experience or Qualifications slot featured on our present-day employment Job Descriptions by most businesses and companies. Too often in our day, leadership proceeds maturity in Christ and that based upon ones gifting, skills and talents alone. The mandate of New Testament leadership is almost impossible to fulfill faithfully with Christian immaturity, keeping a leaders heart pure, mind focused and character consistent no matter what He faces. This is precisely why Christ required of His first disciples ‘a self-denied life’ before they became apostles, pastors, evangelist, bishops and elders. None of them were perfect, but none of them fell to immorality, pride, greed, marital unfaithfulness, child\family neglect, selfishness or relational conflict. Today, we prize gifted leaders over mature leaders because we have produced a personal version of Christianity that’s foreign to Christ and New Testament guidelines.

    Finally, our spiritual gifts, knowledge of God’s word or church leadership positions alone do not translate into maturity, but strength of Christ-like character. Gifts, talents and skills can be deceptive, as excellent function can produce excellent ministry results. Strength of gifts ALONE WITHOUT mature Christian character will most certainly fall to pride, immorality and self-marketing. Christ-like character assures gifts, knowledge of God’s word and leadership positions serve in a mature context that’s Spirit-filled, universally safe for all and practically sound for your personal life – ‘Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.’ 1 John 2:6

    May God help us to return to being mature Christians before we become anything or anyone else in Christ church. This will most certainly keep the man in the man of God in check.

  30. Great work and wonderful words of wisdom. I did not know Dr. Tims but since the news of his passing I often wonder why? in his most darkest hours he felt he had no one he could turn to: for fear of being judge and yet we judge him still. God forgive us and help us to find a solution.We do forget that Bishops, Pastor, Elders, are no more than clay used of the Potter.

  31. Thank you DeVona for speaking the truth with love about Pastor Tim…God bless you my sister and you keep up the good work as an editor. What God has shown me in the spirit people worship the pastor and don’t worship God? When you idealize man and not worship God –God is not please. God told me not to idol my pastor but submit to my pastor because he’s my father and he has my destiny in his mouth and obey the father which our in heaven. I always pray for my pastor but I’m going to earnestly pray for him and cover him with the blood daily because I’m connected to my pastor and he is my responsibility. We are responsible for one another in the body of Christ.

  32. You have done the body of Christ a great service with this article. May the Spirit of truth remain upon your calling to minister through the written word. Shalom.

  33. What an awesome article… and so true. Even the most holiest of Saints, must hold Jesus closer than ever, through this walk on earth!

  34. The article was very insightful. Although addiction can be healed immediately, one has to continue to be in recovery daily. The Celebrate Recovery ministry is for those who have hurts, hangups, and habits, based upon the 8 beatitudes. This ministry is all over the country. I believe that Dr Tims and his wife could have benefited for this.
    The loss of a son, grandson, uncle, brother, husband, father, and minister is very difficult. Today he will be buried, please pray for the family and everyone who knew him. Whatever the circumstances of his death, Dr Tims bible based ministry touched millions. Everyone has a date with death, no one knows the day or hour. God knows. God bless.

    • Marcella wrote:
      Although addiction can be healed immediately, one has to continue to be in recovery daily.
      YES! This is not about judging Rev. Tims, but really is a sobering wake up call that unless a person continue in his/her recovery, the addictions will eventually KILL. Since Rev. Tims death, there were probably hundreds of “unknown” souls that met the same fate as Rev. Times. However, there isn’t any great fanfare and no one is writing about the greatness of their lives.

      For all those who state, “You cannot judge, because you did not know the man.” Probably not many knew the man, perhaps other than the people who secretly fueled his addictions. I am sorry to say that even people that thought they knew him really didn’t. I recall when I finally shared with close friends my addictions, they were shocked and could not and some found it hard believe, because of the public persona that I presented. I was in a pit of despair, but I always had this Joyous spirit and the “peace of God that passes all understanding…” I was the one who gave the uplift and encouragement, I was the one who prayed for others and acted if I did not have a care in the world My outer joy did not match the turmoil and the blackness that I was facing daily.

      For every Rev. Tims, there are many still in ministries addicted and not set free, though they are rallying people to come to the altar to get delivered from the very thing that still have them in bondage. We can cry out publically, pray in the spirit, speak in tongues, and still leave the sanctuary and go back to our addiction. That is the way of an addicted mind. Addicted people can be nice, but also are very self-centered and selfish–focused on getting that next “hit.” Admitting that we are powerless over the addiction and knowing that only God can restore us to sanity it the way to deliverance. That is truly the lesson that we can learn from this tragedy.

  35. Excellent article, very well worded. It’s a wake up call to all Christians to lift up our eyes unto the hills….unto the Lord only! I pray Lord that Zachery Tim’s soul rest in peace, Amen! GG

  36. Well said Keshia Nicole. I have only seen Pastor Tims on TV but its seems I that I have known him personally. I was uplifted by his ministry and how he turned his life around. He has touched many lives. My Pastor is well known all over the world and has been a friend of Oprah Winfrey and many Presidents for years and we do not worship him – we attend church to hear the words that the Lord has placed in his heart. Getting to know our Pastor is that he is just a man so let us continue to uphold Pastor Tims’ family in our prayers and thank God for the short time he was here to be a blessings to others. Miss you Pastor Tims but you are in a safer place now. We will see you on that great day in the meanwhile, R.I.P.

  37. I was reading comments about Pastor Tims’ death & my heart was saddened. People are so stupid & mean. Only a jealous person would portend that God took the pastor because his church was/is a MEGA-CHURCH & God wanted the people to know that they shall not worship idols. Death is the final answer. Stop pretending that man knows Gods every decision. And realize that death is an answer, to many questions, requests, petitions & prayers. My prayers are with the family and followers of this MAN Servant. Let’s keep in mind that MEGA CHURCHES have existed since ancient times. And, mega pastors have existed and died in old-age, not tragically. Stop trying to condemn people cause they are anointed to do what you are not. He was a great man and many followed, respected and some perhaps worshiped him. But, let’s remember this…he had a family and they loved him.

  38. I really enjoyed the article and i got a lot out of the message. I was very sadden by the news myself, but one thing that is for certain Pastor Tims has done something that we will all do one day in the near future. I really enjoyed the word that he preached and he has done his job here on earth. One thing that i do know for sure is that God knew that this day would come before he formed him in is mother’s woman. He also knew who and what he was before he called him and yet he still used him to do his will to preach to a dying world. What we think is not the final authority, but what God thinks and does is all that counts. What if God did not cover alot of the things that we have done in the course of our life here on earth? Would you have anything to be judgmental about then? Love covers a multitude of sins. God loves us unconditionally and that is all that matters.

    • Do u really believe that this was the plan that God had for Pastor Tims? …… NO it wasnt. The wages of sin is DEATH. We all are given a choice to choose whom we will serve. If he had chosen the plan that God had for him, he would have never been in the hotel room doing whatever he was doing. I know we have been taught to believe such foolishness, but it’s not so. We all must make a choice to think about our lives and the path that we will chose to take, rather it be a plan of life or death!!!

  39. I enjoyed the article along with the overwhelmingly majority. I agree that Pastor Tims idolized state of mind made it difficult for him to see clearly that, God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we can think, the addiction demons blinded him to the fact that his grace is sufficient, the demons screamed to him that they were far greater than the holy ghost that was inside of him.

  40. Writing should be your passion for you do it so well. Eloquently spoken with the great introspect, minus the judging, I so enjoyed reading your work. If you have other published writings, please indicate what they are and where I might find them. This is my first time visiting this website and there is certainly no shortage of opinions.






    • The article by Devona was well written did not appear to be judgmental. And, you (someoneudontknow) have summed it up well !! I want to be ready when Jesus calls my name. God bless everyone tonight.

  42. I do not believe no one is picking on a family in need of love and compassion. I believe this sounding board is about agreeing with an article that was very well written. Count the number of leaders that an incident has occurred that brings you back to wondering what happened. This article helps you remind yourself that if you are in a daze about a happening of a person, then your focus needs to be re-focus. I often say, “It is not the messenger is the message. ” When we allow the vessel that God chose to use to give us his message, be only a radio, we will receive what we are suppose to hear. God may use anyone and anything he desires. Please remember it took a rooster to remind us (Peter and the rooster crowing) An a donkey to tell us something (Paul on his way to another city). The message was clear in both incidents. The messenger just adds to the clarity of the message.

  43. Wonderfully written article! Great Job DeVona!

  44. Excellent article however, I caution every Saint to not judge this man or jump to conclusions about the way the media is ‘painting’ the picture about his life and past transgressions. I am disturbed at the fact that Pastor Tims needed help but did not receive it. I don’t know why his life ended and I am not in the position to question God because his thoughts and ways are not mine. I do know that he was hurting and it appears that he did not reach out to anyone for help. I don’t know how he died and don’t care because the white powder substance could have been anything (headache powder?) and he is in a better place. I think this should be a lesson to all church members to cover your Shepard with prayer because they pour out a great deal to their flock.

  45. 1 Timothy 3:2 – “The overseer (episkopos) then must be above reproach ….”

  46. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

  47. The Biblical facts, under this current post-crucifixion Grace Age, are these:

    1. If Zach Tims was never truly saved, was a fake, phony, or crook masquerading as a Christian, then he’s got a big problem same as all worldly unsaved people who die without Christ.

    2. If Tims WAS truly saved at whatever point in his life, whether decades ago or more recently, his sins, no matter how bad & no matter how long he engaged in them, ARE covered by the shed blood/death/resurrection of Christ. Period.

    3. Christ’s suffering/death/resurrection paid IN FULL for ALL sins, PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE, for ALL MANKIND, & is applied completely to those who believe this fact by faith from their hearts.

    4. Sin God himself PAID the price IN FULL, none of us believers can UNDO that payment, no matter how grievous or lengthy the sin/sins/sinning goes on. God is faithful even when we are not & He cannot deny Himself (by voiding the payment & taking it back).

    5. What the Lord DOES say re habitual SAVED sinners is that they will “reap what they sow” in their flesh bodies; that they will reap “destruction in the FLESH”; & that they WILL “lose REWARDS” at the Bema Seat Judgment of Christ, but THEY THEMSELVES will still be SAVED though “as by fire.”

    Those are the Biblical FACTS the Lord revealed to Paul for this current administration (dispensation) to the Gentiles (Jews, too).

  48. Oops, a Typo, Paragraph #4: SINCE God… not SIN God…

  49. GEEZ, how could anyone think any Word of faith name it and claim it Prosperity Gospel is the True Gospel of Jesus who commanded all who want to follow after Him take up their Cross and Follow Him? A cross was an instrument of death in Jesus day!
    These Prosperity Teachers have in now wise prepared their ship for the last end time days
    which Jesus declared: The Beginning of Sorrows Matthew 24. He said there would be famines, wars and rumors of wars and Earthquake in divers (many) place. Not to mention false teacher and Prophet. We are called to Test the Spirit not follow or believe every Spirit for many false Prophets with lying signs and wonders are going to come in these last days. I can’t say where Pastor Tims is for sure but neither can some of you!

  50. I meant God’s Sheep are not being prepared for the beginning of sorrows in the last days. The word ship was a typo but then again many sheep are being shipped wrecked!

  51. Has anyone ever pondered the thought that it may not have been a suicide,or an accidental death but a murder!! Perhaps someone who may have known his past gave him an overdose and planted the white powdery substance on him. Remember the woman @ the well? the same men who used her services wanted her stoned!!! What if someone was jealous or envious of him, wanted him to return to his old ways,and when he refused did this? what if he was trying to lead someone to Christ and they did this? Too many unanswered questions