Unanswered questions surround the death of Orlando area Pastor Zachery Tims whose body was found in his New York hotel room Friday.
Several reports stated that Tims was found with an unidentified white substance, which will be tested to see if it was connected to his death. His body was discovered by a hotel worker trying to check the minibar, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Drugs have played a role in Tims’ life before he founded the church with his then-wife Riva in 1996.
In his memoir and self-help book, “It’s Never Too Late: How a teenage criminal found his divine destiny and became a successful millionaire and pastor of a thriving church,” Tims details how he was miraculously saved from drug addiction. After the transformation he went on to earn to bachelor degrees and Tims’ church, the New Destiny Christian Center, grew from a modest group to a house of worship boasting 8,000 members. The church is noted for “teaching the reality of the gospel in a simplistic fashion,” according to its website.
While the church’s future without Tims remains to be seen, messages from the pastor’s Twitter page were seen Monday afternoon.
Someone updated Tims’ Twitter account and linked to a message that read, “There are several rumors and speculations regarding Pastor Zach. We are having a meeting and a press release on TONIGHT, Monday, August 15th at 7:00pm. Please join us. We look forward to seeing you there.”
The church’s phone number was included on the link, but an automated message played for callers Monday night and a press release is still forthcoming.
The megachurch leader’s death came as a surprise and sent a wave through the Black gospel gospel community. Advocacy circles took to social media networks to express their condolences.
“I join many others in being saddened by the news of the death of Rev. Zachery Tims of Florida,” Reverend Al Sharpton tweeted Monday.
Gospel celebrities Fred Hammond, CeCe Winans, Donnie McClurkin and numerous others expressed similar sentiments on Twitter.
Tims has four children from his marriage with Riva that ended in 2009 after he admitted to having an affair with a stripper, The Wall Street Journal said.