Apopka, Florida MegaChurch Co-Founder Zachery TIms, Found Dead in New York Hotel

On Friday a prominent African American preacher was found dead on the floor of the W Hotel where he was staying while in the city to deliver a sermon. His name was Zachery Tim and he was the founder of the Destiny Christian Center Mega Church in Apopka, Florida, he was 42-years old. Tim so-founded his church in 1996 with his then wife Riva Tims.

According to the church’s website the message of “new destiny” is to convey a life changing concept that bring divine reversal in the lives of a people hungry for God and ready for change. It speaks to the heart of man with a balance of practical principles for living a successful and purpose driven life free of sin, sickness, worry and debt.

Those in the area were hungry for the message for the congregation grew quickly and in less than ten years he built a $3.4 million church and a 34,000 square foot youth center. He hosted and appeared on numerous Christian radio and television programs. He was called by some “the Fresh Prince of Preachers”. He was confident, articulate, successful and he touched thousands of lives with his message of prosperity living. He and his beautiful wife and four children were a picture of a perfect union of man, God and Woman.

The size of the church was not the only thing that grew in Tims world, he and his wife and children lived a lavish life style with homes in gated communities, expensive cars, designer clothes and a private helicopter that transported him between his two church locations. Tims was from the DC area and had been a trouble teen, He was incarcerated numerous times as a young man and saw the youth center as a way of giving back to his community. He was young and suave and the words he used in preaching his sermons resonated with the young and old alike; he attracted the young, the old and the ones in between.

Tims lost hundreds of parishioners when in 2009 he revealed an extramarital affair with a stripper. He left his congregation briefly but then returned in his senior pastoral role. His wife of more than 15 years (Riva Tims) filed for divorce. She had since started her own congregation in Orlando where she lives with the couples four children. Tim wrote a book about his life “It’s Never Too Late” published by Charisma House Publications.

The cause of death was not known at the time of this posting but police are investigating the possibility of a drug overdose. A white powder was found in Tim’s pocket and is being testing to identify whether it is heroin or cocaine. Police sources say that family members have confirmed that none of his jewelry or other belongings are missing. The church was located in Apopka, Florida, this writer’s hometown.

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