APOPKA, Fla. — Controversial televangelist Paula White, who serves as a spiritual advisor to President Trump, announced on May 5 that she has transferred the pastoral leadership of New Destiny Christian Center to her son and his wife — which has also been renamed Destiny City. She outlined that she will now move to the “apostolic overseer” role at the church, as she believes that governance and “pastoring pastors” are her calling in life.
White had taken the pastorate at New Destiny Christian Center following the 2011 death of then-leader Zachery Tims, who according to reports, was found dead in a New York City hotel room due to “acute intoxication by the combined effects of cocaine and heroin.”
She told the congregation last Sunday that Tims, a longtime friend, had called her in 2005 and gave a personal prophecy that “wouldn’t make sense [then] … but it would make sense in 2019.” She said that she knew when she took the leadership role at New Destiny that it was only for a season.
“I knew that I wasn’t taking us into the promised land. … To everything there is a time,” White stated.
She also postulated that the Lord more recently told her that the time was right for the next step, which includes installing her son, Brad Knight, and his wife, Rachel, as lead pastors over the church.
“The Lord spoke to me very clearly and said, ‘If you miss this moment, you’ll delay things. Do not miss this moment,’ White claimed. “So, today I am officially enstating Pastor Brad and Pastor Rachel as the senior pastors over City of Destiny.”
White said that she would serve in an “apostolic overseer” capacity, adding that the word “apostolic” can be misunderstood, and she is therefore not completely comfortable with the word.
“I believe that my call is to be that, to govern. I believe it’s that, to church plant. I believe it’s that, to pastor pastors,” she remarked.
“As oversight pastor, I believe for 3,000 church plants. I believe that City of Destiny will have 3,000,” White continued. “I will continue with Paula White Ministries. If Pastor Brad asks me, I will preach for him as many times as he asks me to preach.”
White said that City of Destiny will also be launching a university, as well as a performing arts center, and that $155 million is “coming in” to build the facilities. She stated that she believes that the building projects will transpire quickly.
“The only thing that would get upset about anything is your flesh,” she stated. “So, anyone who’s spiritual, you just took a leap, like quantum, because you were like, ‘thank goodness.’ Because the worst thing is our destiny being held up, and your destiny just got released because God just elevated you to a new position.”
“It’s going to blow people’s mind. And God’s about to shine the light. And all you have to do is have half of a spiritual eye,” she told those gathered.
Knight, in praising his mother, said that he feels sad for those who are not understanding of White.
“I understand that God has favored you, that those who bless you will be blessed. Those who curse you will be cursed,” he asserted. “And I’m thankful that despite the fact that you’re Paula White … you have the humility and the ability to hear God enough to look toward succession, and that’s very, very rare.”
“You truly are an apostle, and the quicker that people that realize that, the quicker they realize that God has granted you favor and authority — and unique favor and authority, the better off that they’ll be,” he stated.
As previously reported, White considers herself a life coach, authoring books such as “The Ten Commandments of Health and Wellness,” “Simple Suggestions for a Sensational Life,” “I Don’t Get Wholeness, That’s the Problem — Making Relationships Work” and “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not.” She also serves as the chair of President Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board.
White has been married three times, with her first marriage being to Dean Knight, who she married as a teenager. In 2007, White divorced her second husband, Randy White of Without Walls International Church in stating that their lives were going in two different directions.
In 2015, she married Journey rocker Jonathan Cain, known for the secular hits “Don’t Stop Believin,’” “When You Love a Woman” and “Who’s Crying Now.” Cain has likewise been married two other times.
White drew controversy last year when she urged followers to give a “first fruits” offering of a day, week, or month’s wages, and said that there were consequences for not being obedient to the Lord.
“We are demanding life to your purpose,” she declared. “And with obedience to this first fruits instruction, which is putting God first now, your purpose, your year, your prosperity, and your power will have life and be resurrected!”
“When you apply this, everything comes in divine alignment for His plan and promises for you. When you don’t honor it, whether through ignorance or direct disobedience, there are consequences,” White also warned.
Following media reports about the matter, staff revised language on White’s website to remove any reference to a “day, week or month’s” wages, as well as text about “consequences.”