Orlando rehab, retreat center to honor late pastor of New Destiny Christian Center

Published On: Apr 18 2013 06:36:14 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 18 2013 08:52:30 PM EDT

A late Orlando pastor is being remembered for his good deed, rather than his controversial death.

APOPKA, Fla. -

The late pastor of a Central Florida megachurch will have a new rehabilitation center built in his memory, according to his ex-wife.

Pastor Zachery Tims founded the New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, which grew to 8,000 members. Nearly two years ago he was found dead in a New York hotel room with a bag full of white powder in his pocket. The cause of Tims' death was not made public and authorities never confirmed what was in his pocket.

Tims' ex-wife, Riva Tims, will hold a celebration of life on Thursday night to discuss how they will honor Tims' legacy with "the Dr. Zachery Tims Junior Enrichment Center." The event is taking place at The Kingdom Church in Pine Hills at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

She and Tims divorced in 2009 over Tims' unfaithfulness. Family members acknowledge Tims had many personal problems he kept secret from his congregation, which they hope to help other religious leaders overcome.

The enrichment center will function as a "retreat oasis for ministerial leaders suffering from emotional and spiritual burnout," and a "rehabilitation facility for people struggling with addiction and depression."

The center, which is not associated with the church, is intended to help people like Tims, who some believe struggled with leading a Christian life while battling personal issues.

Riva Tims says she expects to open the center within 5 years.


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