Riva Tims Sues to Stop Pastor Paula White from Succeeding Zachery Tims as Pastor of New Destiny

Pastor Paula White named Senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center

After months of discussion about who would succeed Zachery Tims as Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center, the New Destiny Board of Regents and Board of Directors announced this week that Pastor Paula White, Co-founder and Pastor of Without Walls International Church in Tampa will be the new Senior Pastor of the Apopka, FL mega-church, just north of Orlando, FL. White had succeeded her ex-husband Randy White as Senior Pastor of Without Walls in July, 2009 after more than half of the church’s membership had left following their divorce.

Of her new post, White said in a statement released by New Destiny, “I will come to my new assignment with a servant\’s heart, humbled by this great responsibility and grateful for the confidence the board has shown in naming me Senior Pastor.” You can read the full statement here:

Following the announcement, Tims’ ex-wife and co-founder of New Destiny, Riva Tims has led a band of supporters in protest claiming that she is the rightful successor to the pastorate of New Destiny. In a press conference, she referenced the story of Solomon’s judgment between two women about whose child was dead and whose child was living (see 1 Kings 3:16-28) before making these remarks, “I’m here to declare to you today, that as founder of New Destiny Christian Center, that I am the real mother.”

Riva Tims went on to say that the Board and Pastor Paula White have refused to meet with her. Tims has filed suit and her attorney told an Orlando NBC affiliate, “There are several counts concerning the board and concerning Paula White and the activity that the board has taken which we feel is illegal.”

In response, New Destiny issued the following statement:

Obviously, we are saddened by the course of action Pastor Riva Tims as chosen to pursue.

Riva Tims from her Press Conference

Her lawsuit is completely without merit and we are extremely confident in our legal standing. We will take all actions necessary to protect our church, its ministry and its reputation.

In the wake of her divorce from Pastor Zachary Tims in 2009, Pastor Riva willingly signed legal documents releasing all claims over New Destiny Christian Center and left our church to begin her own ministry, literally just a few miles away. So we are surprised to hear her now say, three years later, that she should become Senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center.

As a co-founder of our church, she will always be loved and respected, but we are moving forward now with our new Senior Pastor, Paula White, and our focus is solely on the bright future of service and ministry that is ahead for our church. This lawsuit will distract us from that mission.

We wish Pastor Riva well in her service to Christ and we will continue to pray, as we always have, for the success of her ministry.

Here is footage from the actual press conference: