Florida Pastor found dead in Times Square hotel

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From NBC New York

The pastor of a large Florida congregation was found dead in a Times Square hotel room Friday, according to several news reports.

The body of 42-year-old Zachery Tims, a senior pastor from Orlando, was found on the floor of his room at the W Hotel on Broadway, police told The Associated Press. No criminal activity was suspected as of Sunday.

Tims founded the New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka with his wife Riva in 1996, according the The New York Daily News. The church has grown to a congregation of 7,500 people, his website says.

Two years ago, Tims divorced his wife of 15 years after admitting to an affair with a stripper, reported Black Christian News in 2009.

Tims had turned to religion after a troubled childhood. In his memoir, It’s Never Too Late (Charisma House 2006), he writes the he was convicted of attempted murder at age 14 and spent two years in juvenile facilities. He overcame a drug addiction and became a pastor because “God had a greater plan,” his website says.

In Florida, members of Destiny Christian Center drove to the Apopka Church Sunday after hearing news of the father of four’s death.

“He was a great man,” Shirley Jackson told the Orlando Sentinel as she drove onto the Apopka church property.

Apopka Mayor John Land said Tims was a key member of the community.

“He’s going to be missed,” Land told the Sentinel. “I’m very sorry to hear that.”

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