Orlando pastor among authors lined up for Midtown book festival


Pastor Riva Tims will be one of the many authors to be featured next month at the F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival in Daytona Beach.

Riva Tims

Tims is the former wife of the late Pastor Zachary Tims. At one time, they were co-pastors at New Destiny Christian Center, which became one of Central Florida’s largest congregations.

She now is the pastor of Majestic Life Ministries of Orlando, a church she founded a few years ago.

In her book, “When It All Falls Apart,’’ she shares her testimony on surviving a broken marriage, her ex-husband’s death and the controversy that ensued over the battle for leadership of New Destiny. She calls it the “road map’’ God gave her to reach a place of healing and wholeness.

The two-day festival kicks off Jan. 4 at the Midtown Cultural & Education Center.

Gift to community, other authors
Author Donna M. Gray Banks is one the organizers of the festival.

Banks is nationally known for her novel, “Ila’s Diamonds,’’ a story about a young African-American female working for the government during the 1970s and 1980s who finds love but ultimately loses it.

Banks said the F.R.E.S.H. festival was conceived through conversations with other authors who had a different view of the what, where and how a literary festival should be brought into a community.

“But the one thing we all agreed on is that literacy is a legacy and the gift of being able to read will never fail you or your loved ones,” said Banks.

She said the organizers want to make it possible for self- published authors and authors not published under large publishing companies to get their product out to the public.

Weekend lineup
The festival begins Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. with author and poet Milton McCulloch (“A State of Life:  Man, Woman, Child’’) along with musical guest artist Anthony Armstrong.  Price for the Friday night meet and greet is $20, which includes dinner.

On Jan. 5, the festival will begin at 10 a.m. and continues all day with presentations from authors Janis Kearney (“Conversations: William Jefferson Clinton from Hope to Harlem’’); Judge Hubert Grimes (“How to Keep Your Child From Going to Jail’’); Pastor Tims (“When It All Falls Apart’’); Dr. Irvin Winsboro (“Old South, New South or Down South: Florida and the Modern Civil Rights Movement’’); Dr. Willie Kimmons (“Parenting Guide’’), and Rahiem “The-Authortainer’’ Brooks (“Laugh Now’’).

Entrance fee into the book festival on Jan. 5 is $3.

There will be other authors from all genres selling their books on Saturday, including Vernelle Nelson, Erma C. Merritt, Michael Beckford, Cynthia Hughes, Andrea Hogan, Johnnie Mae Chavis, Michelle Donice, and Tremayne Moore.

Banks said there’s still space for additional authors and publishing companies to participate.

For more information, contact Banks at freshbookfestivals@gmail.com or call 386-627-4353. Tickets to the festival also can be purchased at the door.



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