Pastor Zachery Tims, Found Dead In Times Square Hotel, Allegedly Had Drugs
share this story
Police are investigating if drugs were involved in the death of a Florida megachurch pastor who was found dead in his Times Square hotel room.
There was an envelope filled with white powder allegedly inside the shorts of the Rev. Zachery Tims Jr, 42, the New York Daily News reported. Tims, who leads the 8,000-member New Destiny Christian Center near Orlando, was found lying face up on the floor of his room in the W Hotel by workers on Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal.
New York Police Department officials don't suspect foul play, according to reports, because his room was locked from the inside and none of his valuable belongings appeared to be missing. Police said his body showed no evidence of trauma.
Tims was in town for a meeting and was scheduled to fly next to Texas, the Daily News said.
An autopsy performed over the weekend was inconclusive, while toxicology tests will take weeks to complete, The Christian Post said.
Drugs had a role in Tims' life before he founded the church with his then-wife Riva in 1996. His biography on the New Destiny website said: "After Dr. Tims was miraculously saved, instantly delivered from drug addiction, and called into ministry, he determined to make his young life count by simultaneously earning two Bachelor’s degrees."
Tims has four children from his marriage with Riva, which ended in 2009 after he admitted to having an affair with a stripper, The Wall Street Journal said.
A prayer service on Monday at New Destiny Christian Center drew 2,000 people, according to The Orlando Sentinel. Tims' ex-wife spoke and told the audience that he'd vacationed in Puerto Rico with his family a week before he died.
"We lost one of our leaders," said the Rev. Willie Barnes, a Baptist pastor who spoke at the service. "His ministry was very, very powerful, especially to young people. He brought a different style of ministry, and it reached a lot of the younger generation because it wasn't so traditional," Barnes said, according to the Sentinel.