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Zachery Tims Dead: Possible Drug Overdose to Blame in Pastor's Death

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  • Zachery Tims, the late pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Fla., was found dead in a New York City hotel room on Friday, August  12, 2011.
    (Photo: New Destiny Christian Center via The Christian Post)
    Zachery Tims, the late pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Fla., was found dead in a New York City hotel room on Friday, August 12, 2011. Police do not suspect foul play.
By Nicola Menzie, Christian Post Reporter
August 15, 2011|7:07 pm

NEW YORK - Florida megachurch pastor Zachery Tims found dead in a New York City hotel room Friday may have died from a drug overdose, according to new media reports.

Tims, pastor of New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC) in Apopka, Fla., had a small glassine envelope holding white powder in his pants pocket when he was found unresponsive in his hotel room, the New York Daily News and NBC New York reported Monday afternoon.

Both news agencies cited an unidentified source in their reports.

The powder has not yet been tested to determine whether it is an uncontrolled substance, such as cocaine or heroin.

Tims, the senior pastor at NDCC since 1996, was found dead by cleaning staff in his room at the W Hotel in New York City Friday around 6 p.m.

Police have ruled out foul play and have no plans to launch a criminal investigation.

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The source who spoke with the New York Daily News said no jewelry was missing from Tims’ body and officials believe the Florida pastor had been alone in his room.

An autopsy conducted Saturday failed to provide any clues as to what may have killed Tims, 42. The results of a toxicology test were pending.

Tims, who often appeared on TBN’s “Praise the Lord” program, was reportedly in New York City for a meeting.

According to his biography on NDCC’s website, Tims had a troubled youth before he was “miraculously saved, instantly delivered from drug addiction, and called into ministry.”

Tims and his wife, Riva Tims, founded NDCC in 1996 and the church currently boasts about 8,000 members.

The couple divorced in 2009, two years after speculation surfaced that the senior pastor had been involved in an extra-marital affair with an exotic dancer.

In October of 2007, Tims confessed to his congregation that he would be stepping down and seeking counseling for a so-called indiscretion. Tims returned to the pulpit three months later.

After the divorce, Riva Tims left NDCC and founded her own church, Majestic Life Ministries, also in Orlando.

Calls to Majestic Life Ministries remained unanswered Monday.

Tims leaves behind four children.

Well wishes had been accumulating NDCC’s Facebook page since news of Tims' untimely death broke over the weekend, with both fans and fellow ministers expressing sadness over the pastor's death.

 

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