Fla. Pastor Found Dead In NYC Hotel Room

Published On: Oct 14 2011 02:40:23 AM EDT   Updated On: Aug 15 2011 12:14:43 PM EDT

The pastor of a Florida megachurch was found dead in a New York City hotel room on Friday.

New York City police said 42-year-old Zachery Tims of Orlando 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. No criminal activity was suspected as of late Sunday.

According to his church's website and Facebook page, Tims was the senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Fla., 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 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.

Tims was involved in a controversy in 2009 when he divorced his wife Riva after admitting to having a year-long affair with a stripper.

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


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