*According to NYPD, Pastor Zachery Tims was found dead at the W Hotel in Times Square on August 12. The cause of death is unknown.
Orlando news station WFTV released the following statement on their website that will clarify previous reports that Tims’ body was discovered Sunday:
The New York City Police Department confirmed Tims died on Friday, August 12, 2011. Tims’ body was found in room number 3711 at the W Hotel in New York’s Times Square at approximately 6 p.m.
The Police Department reports Tims was found unresponsive on the floor in the room. Emergency responders pronounced him deceased. The New York City Medical Examiners office is awaiting results of an autopsy.
Tims escaped a life of drugs and violence on the streets of his home-town, Baltimore, MD to eventually lead a mega church that began with six members and grew to over 7,500.
“He was a great man,” said Shirley Jackson, as she drove into the Apopka, Florida church property Sunday where dozens of people had gathered in the parking lot, many with tears in their eyes.
New Destiny had a growing membership of more than 7,500 worshipers. And the congregation was very active in the community, longtime Apopka Mayor John Land said.
“He’s going to be missed,” Land said about Tims. “I’m very sorry to hear that.”
Nationally known, the 42-year-old father of 4, co-founded/pastored New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando with his ex-wife Riva before their 15-year marriage ended in 2009 after he had an extra-marital affair.