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Zachery Tims was found dead on the floor of a room in New York City’s W Hotel in Times Square on Aug. 12, 2011. News reports indicate Tims, who died at the age of 42, had a plastic bag filled with white powder in his pocket, leading many to believe his death was associated with a drug overdose. By Tims’ own testimony, he was instantly delivered from drug addiction when he was saved as a teenager.

The Ebony article, titled, “What Really Happened to Pastor Zachery Tims,” includes quotes from his ex-wife and friends on what could have led to the NDCC pastor’s death, the cause of which is still not known publicly. His mother, Madeline Tims, has fought to keep the results of his autopsy private, and the magazine says the mystery may never be solved.

Looking back, Zachery’s wife Riva Tims said she was possibly an enabler throughout their marriage.

“He probably felt like he could just do anything. I was an enabler in a sense. I thought that was stuff in the past. I didn’t realize it was still current. I found out for sure about the affairs and substance abuse at the same time. When he started telling me stuff, I began to dig and other things came out.”

Zachery and Riva Tims have four children. After the couple divorced in 2009, Riva started her own ministry, Majestic Life Ministries. After Zachery’s death, Riva filed a lawsuit against NDCC’s board of directors after Paula White was appointed as the new senior pastor.

The board claimed Riva’s case had no legal standing given a marriage settlement agreement she signed in 2009, and less than a week later, she dropped the suit.

“My concern, as the mother of the children of the late Dr. Zachery Tims Jr., Zoelle, Zachery III, Zahria and Zion Tims, is that they will never have an opportunity to receive the inheritance their father left for them. As the co-pastor to many that were birthed into the Kingdom of God at NDCC my concern is that the legacy and vision of NDCC will be abandoned.”

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