[UPDATE BELOW] Zachery Tims, the celebrated pastor of Florida megachurch New Destiny Christian Center, was found dead in a Times Square hotel room Friday night. Police say the 42-year-old Christian evangelist was discovered unresponsive in a room in the W Hotel around 5 p.m., and was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Wall Street Journal, a housekeeper who tried to clean the room in the afternoon found it locked from the inside, and hotel security subsequently entered to find Tims's body. The cause of death is still under investigation, but there was no sign of anything suspicious in the room, and at this time no criminality is suspected.
Tims grew up in Maryland and described his drug addiction and troubles with the law in his book 2006 book It's Never Too Late. After earning degrees in theology and accounting, he founded New Destiny in Orlando in 1996 with his wife Rita. The first service drew six people and took place in a hotel room; there are now 8,000 members according to the center's website, which also claims that the televised Sunday worship service reaches more than 100 million homes worldwide.
In 2009, Tims and his wife Rita divorced after he admitted to a year-long affair with a stripper, the Journal reports. (Rita Tims went on to found her own church, Majestic Life Ministries in Orlando.) Here's video of Tims preaching.:
UPDATE: A police source tells the Journal that a white powdery substance believed to be narcotics was discovered in the shorts Tims was wearing when he was found dead. "What that white powdery substance is and whether it played a role in Mr. Tims’ death is still to be determined," says the source.