*Thousands clapped, sang, cried, laughed and listened as local and national pastors along with elected officials paid tribute to Zachery Tims, founder and senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, a predominantly black megachurch in Central Florida, says the Florida Courier.

Tims, who led the 8,000-member New Destiny, was found dead on Aug. 12 in a New York hotel. He was 42. Hours before the 11 a.m. service Saturday, a line of mourners snaked from the front doors of First Baptist Church of Orlando to the parking lot.

Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of the Potter’s House in Texas, preached the eulogy, delivering a fiery sermon about Tims, whom he said called upon him often for spiritual advice.

“I knew him more as Zach,” the renowned bishop said, adding how Tims traveled with him during his “He-Motions men’s tour” about 10 years ago.

“He just had this grace and charisma,” Jakes said in describing Tims’ personality. “What an incredible individual.”

Jakes also referred to the challenges Tims faced as a leader and pastor and a man who had been “deeply broken” by circumstances in his past.

“The greater the light, the greater the heat. If you stand in the light long enough, the light burns. His death is a wake-up call for all of the clergy to slow down. You’re moving too fast,” Jakes preached. He later noted: “I don’t know what happened in that (hotel) room … but it was Zach who died and Dr. Tims who stood up.”

Pastor Paula White of Without Walls International Church in Tampa said Tims called her his spiritual mother.

Read more at the Florida Courier.