Memorial Service to be Held for Zachery Tims

 
on August 17 2011 7:22 PM

A public memorial is schedule to be held this week after the body of mega-church pastor Zachery Tims Jr. was found in a hotel in New York.

The Florida church leader was discovered in the W hotel in Times Square on Friday, after visiting the city for a speaking engagement and meetings sources said.

Tims' church, New Destiny Christian Center, will hold a public viewing of the body this Friday, between 3 to 7pm EST, the church said. A funeral will be held at the First Baptist Church of Orlando will follow.

Tims, 42 years old, was found dead with a plastic envelope containing a white powdery substance police believe to be narcotics, authorities told WSJ.

Police also said there were no signs of trauma to the body and foul play was not suspected. An autopsy was inconclusive and authorities are awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Church members, fans, friends and family have grieved all week.

"I join many others in being saddened by the news of the death of Rev. Zachery Tims of Florida," tweeted the Rev. Al Sharpton.

"Today my heart is grieved over the loss of my spiritual son and long time friend and associate, Pastor Zachery Tims,"  said megachurch pastor Paula White on her Facebook page.

"My thoughts and prayers for Pastor Zachary Tims of New Destiny Christian Center in FL's family and congregation. May you RIP in God's love," said another commenter on the church's Facebook page.

An ex drug addict, Tims was saved in 2006, according to the church website. After discovering Christianity, he earned degrees in accounting and theology and worked at a ministry in Baltimore. In 1996, he and his wife Riva moved to Orlando, where they founded the New Destiny Christian Center.

The church has since grown to more than 8,000 members, and its broadcasts reach 100 million households. The church is well-known in the Apopka area for its charitable deeds for the poor.

 

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