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Fla. megachurch pastor Zachery Tims found dead in NY hotel

Zachery Tims zacherytims.com

Fla. megachurch pastor Zachery Tims found dead with narcotics in NY hotel
Zachery Tims
zacherytims.com

(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - Florida megachurch pastor Zachery Tims was found dead in a New York City hotel room on Friday, according to police.

A white powdery substance believed to be narcotics was discovered on the body, The Wall Street Journal reports.

New York City police said 42-year-old Orlando pastor was found dead on the floor of a room at the W Hotel in Times Square late Friday afternoon. There was no criminal activity suspected. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

His body was discovered by a hotel worker trying to check the minibar, the Journal reports.

According to his church's website and Facebook page, Tims was the senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Fla., which is one of the largest congregations in Central Florida. He also hosted and appeared on Christian television and radio programs.

In an article posted online Sunday, The Orlando Sun-Sentinel reported that the church had more than 7,000 members. Tims started the church in 1996. The congregation grew quickly and in 2005, the church built a $3.4 million, 34,000-square-foot youth center. The paper also reported that Tims had been in and out of jail as a young man and hoped the center would keep youngsters away from drugs and crime.

Church members and others posted a flurry of messages mourning the loss of the popular pastor on Facebook and Twitter late Sunday.

In 2009, Tims and his wife Riva divorced after he admitted to a year-long affair with a stripper. The couple had been married for 15 years, the Journal reports.

  • Edecio Martinez

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