NY Authorities Reveal Cause of Death of Ex-Hoodlum Megachurch Minister Who Died Mysteriously in Hotel Room

The Reverend Zachery Tims was a troubled young man before he was

“miraculously saved, instantly delivered from drug addiction, and called into ministry,”

according to his megachurch, New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida.

When Tims was fourteen, the young hoodlum was convicted of attempted murder and went to juvie for two years. After finding God, though, he eventually came to be idolized by a congregation of more than 7,000 — and by a broadcast audience of millions via “the largest African-American religious network in the world.”

In 2006, Tims published a book called It’s Never Too Late: How a Teenage Criminal Found His Divine Destiny and Became an Entrepreneur and Pastor of a Thriving Church with a Global Ministry. In it, he thanks Jesus Christ for saving him. Tims saw his own turnaround as a miracle and as living “testimony” that was instrumental in letting others know that

God is in the recycling business and can change a messed-up life and make it beautiful.”

That was until the Lord, in His mysterious ways, guided Tims to a Manhattan hotel room, where He (or was it Satan?) smote the televangelist in August of 2011.

Now we finally know what killed Tims: he went on a drug binge and overdosed.

The New York Medical Examiner’s Office released the cause of death Thursday after a drawn-out legal battle by the Apopka preacher’s mother, Madeline Tims, to keep the cause sealed.

The NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner’s release says Tims died of “acute intoxication by the combined effects of cocaine and heroin.”

Zachery Tims lived his whole adult life selling — literally selling  — how God saved him. But God clearly didn’t, and Mr. Tims died alone in a hotel room like any unsaved two-bit junkie.

The truth of his existence is no longer so shiny and sellable. Tims’ book is still available on Amazon, brand new. Those wishing to learn about the Almighty’s powers and kindness can get the hardcover edition for the special bargain price of $4.35.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder of Moral Compass, a now dormant site that poked fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He joined Friendly Atheist in 2013.