Madeline Tims, mother of late pastor Zachery Tims who was found dead in a New York City hotel room, has appealed the N.Y. Supreme Court decision Wednesday to release information about the cause and manner of her son’s death. As a result, the Appellate Court has issued an interim stay preventing the city from making that information public, The Christian Post has learned.
Madeline Tims' plea was rejected by the court before Christmas, after she sued the New York medical examiner's office, as well as the city, on Oct. 6. This was one day before the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) was set to issue a press release regarding the cause and manner of the Florida pastor's death.
Zachery Tims, former senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC), was found dead in his W Hotel room in Times Square Aug. 12. He was reportedly in New York City for a speaking arrangement. The charismatic preacher battled drug addiction before becoming a Christian, which he described in his memoir called It's Never Too Late. The book shares Tims’ story of "how a teenage criminal found his divine destiny and became a successful millionaire and pastor of a thriving church."
Tims' death has raised some controversy, as it was reported that a white powdery substance was found with the pastor's body. As his former congregation is still waiting to find out whether their pastor succumbed to his old addiction, the minister's family, lead by the mother, is fighting the legal battle to keep the cause of death only available to the closest of kin.
Madeline Tims' attorney, Ricardo E. Oquendo, Esq., argued that since the City has no right to publicly disclose autopsy reports, neither should it be allowed to disclose information listed on such reports – such as the cause and manner of death. But the judge sided with the OCME, which has historically released the cause and manner of death of individuals to the public.
Presently, Madeline Tims' appeal has again postponed the release of that information.
Meanwhile, Zachery Tims was replaced at NDCC by another celebrity pastor from Florida, Paula White. The decision to appoint White as Tims' successor raised some tension between the church board and the minister's ex-wife Riva Tims, who is the pastor at Majestic Life church.