Followers of the New Destiny Church packed out the Christian Center in Orlando last night to mourn the untimely death of the Florida megachurch founder Zachery Tims. Tim’s body had been found in a hotel room in Times Square, the previous Friday, after a staff member had found him when they came to check on the mini bar. Security had to break the door down in an attempt to gain entry to the room and it is thought that Tims was found lying face up in a walkway between the bedroom and the living room area. None of the pastor’s signature jewellery was missing and there was no sign of a disturbance or break in but investigators did say that a small amount of white powder was found concealed in the pocket of Tim’s shorts in a glassine type envelope. Tests are already being carried out to see what the substance was and if it contributed to the pastors death.
It is known that before Tims set up the hugely successful New Destiny Church in 1996 that he did struggle with drug addiction in his younger days. Under his leadership the congregation grew quickly and in 2005, the church built a $3.4 million centre designed for youths. The pastor built the centre as a place where disaffected young people could come and he hoped it would help them stay away from drugs and crime, as he himself had been involved in petty crime and spent time in prison in his youth. Tim’s claimed he had been ‘miraculously saved’ by the Lord and that is why he founded the New Destiny church. At its peak the New Destiny church had one of the largest congregations in Central Florida. Tim’s also hosted and appeared on Christian television and radio programs.
Tims had been married for over 15 years but got divorced in 2009 after his year long affair with a stripper. He had just returned from a weeks long vacation in Puerto Rico with his daughters before checking into the hotel in New York where he meet his death. Jamal Bryant, a pastor at the New Destiny church told faithful followers that the church would continue without Tims, saying, “You are not a personality-driven church. You are a purpose-driven church. Pastor Zack’s DNA is now on you. You are infected with excellence.” A medical examiner will determine the cause of death.