Zachery Tims – the senior pastor, founder and CEO of the New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando, Florida – was found dead on the floor of his New York City hotel room on Friday.
According to CNN, Tims, 42, was found by a cleaning lady at the W Hotel in Times Square and was pronounced dead at the scene once emergency services arrived.
The news of his death shocked the 8,000 member congregation of his church, that was originally founded in 1996.
“I was shocked to hear of Pastor Tims passing. I will miss you and am thanking God for the time you were here. Go rest high on that mountain,” one member posted on the church’s official Facebook page.
“Forever grateful to Dr. Tims and NDCC. Our daughter and son in law began their Christian journey with Pastor Tims. On this sad day we want to send our condolences to his family and flock and simply say … Thank you! His life and ministry were not in vain,” another wrote.
While the official cause of death has yet to be released, sources familiar with the investigation revealed that a glassine envelope containing white powder was found in Tims’ pocket. That powder will be tested to determine if it’s cocaine, heroin or any other drug.
Tims is survived by his ex-wife, Riva Tims, and their four children Zoelle, Zachery III, Zahria and Zion.