Singer/songwriter Clint Brown, megachurch pastor Paula White, and the Rev. Al Sharpton are among those who have taken to Facebook and Twitter to express grief over the loss of Zachery Tims, the Florida megachurch pastor who was found dead in a New York City hotel room Friday.
Clint Brown, a longtime friend of Tims who also leads a ministry in Florida, wrote on his Facebook page Sunday night:
My Heart is So heavy tonight... He was my friend for 17yrs since the first year I moved to Orlando... He built his great church on our property... We talked just about every week. We were Orlando Magic buddys, and we both loved our City and Churches. It will take Orlando a long time to get over this, Dr. Zachary Tims You will never ever be forgotten, Gone way to soon.... I miss you so much my heart is broken. I will say it like we said it every time we talked... Never Goodbye it was "See ya Later.” I Love you man...
Paula White also expressed remorse on losing Tims on her Facebook page:
Today my heart is grieved over the loss of my spiritual son and long time friend and associate, Pastor Zachery Tims. While words are difficult for me to find during this time of loss, I honor the great work he has done for the kingdom of God and pray for every family member, friend, associate and the incredible congregation of New Destiny. The Bible says that we mourn with those that mourn and rejoice with those that rejoice. As the family of God we walk through this together...
The Rev. Al Sharpton wrote on Twitter: “I join many others in being saddened by the news of the death of Rev. Zachery Tims of Florida.”
Gospel group, Mary Mary also took to Twitter asking for prayers for Tims’ ex-wife, Riva Tims: “Please pray for Pastor Riva Tims and her family and the loss Zachery Tims Rip.”
Jamal Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, Md., wrote on Twitter: “Dear Lord today bless the children, congregation & colleagues of Dr Zachery Tims. Cast off sorrow & help us celebrate!”
Bishop T.D. Jakes took to Twitter and wrote: "DEEPLY saddened to hear of the passing of Pastor Tims @ztims ...praying for his family and church."
Gospel singer Cece Winans called on her Twitter followers to "send up prayers" for the family and congregation of Pastor Tims, writing: "My heart is saddened by the passing away of my brother, Pastor Zachery Tims! May the God comfort, strengthen, heal and bless his family and congregation. Let's all send up prayers..."
Tims, pastor of New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC) in Apopka, Fla., was discovered dead in his room in the W Hotel in New York City’s Times Square 6 p.m. on Friday.
Cleaning staff reportedly discovered the 42-year-old minister’s body on the floor.
It was not immediately clear what was responsible for Tims' death. Police have said there will be no criminal investigation as no foul play was suspected.
It was not immediately clear if Tims had been alone in the hotel room.
Tims and his family founded New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC) in Apopka, Fla., in 1996 where he served as senior pastor. The church boasts a congregation of about 8,000, according to its website.
It was not immediately clear why Tims was in New York City.
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, who divorced Riva Tims in 2009, leaves behind four children.
A representative with NDCC told The Christian Post Monday that church officials would make a public statement regarding Tims' death at 7 p.m.
A message left with Riva Tims’ Majestic Life Ministries in Orlando has not yet been returned.