Mystery Surrounds Zachery Tims' Death

 
on August 17 2011 10:25 PM

Autopsy results on the Rev. Zachery Tims have turned up inconclusive, authorities say, extending the mystery surrounding the untimely death even further.

Tims, 42, was found dead Friday in the W hotel on Times Square, New York , with a plastic envelope containing a white powdery substance police believe to be narcotics, authorities told WSJ. He was in the city for a speaking engagement and meetings, sources said.

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.

Tims' church, New Destiny Christian Center, downplayed rumors, while supporters poured out condolences throughout the 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 Web site. After his conversion, 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.

New Destiny will hold a public viewing Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. EST, the church said. A funeral at the First Baptist Church of Orlando will follow.

 

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