On August 15, 2011, at approximately 1:30pm, I learned that Pastor Zachery Tims had been found dead in a New York Hotel Room three days prior (August 12th). Though it has not been confirmed, the general consensus is that he quite possibly died from a drug overdose as a glassine envelope containing white powder was found on his person. Having read Dr. Tims' book, Never Too Late, where he detailed his childhood woes and the start of his drug use, he ended the tome on a positive note proclaiming that he had gotten the victory over his addiction. However as we await the results of the delayed toxicology reports, there is a possibility that he did not.
A few weeks after Dr. Tims' death, while watching The Word Network, I learned that Bishop George Bloomer also had a bout with drug addiction. He openly expressed how he'd shoot up in his big toe sometimes just before going out to preach. During the broadcast, Bloomer expressed his disdain seemingly with the Body of Christ (Church) filled with prophets and seers yet nobody saw what he was doing. And if they did see what he was doing, nobody said anything to him. He said there is a drug culture within the Body of Christ that many are either unaware of and or are overlooking.
Just over a month ago, I received an email pointing to a link that contained a mugshot of Archbishop Veron Ashe. I followed the link which ultimately revealed the Archbishop had been arrested in 2004 for cocaine possession. I was dumbfounded because I had followed his ministry for years and had no idea this was happening. Well, that's not entirely true. I had heard rumors over the years but none were substantiated; much like this one. For all I knew this could have been fabricated by someone who was trying to discredit men of God. So I decided to do some research. I made a few phone calls and sent a few emails. Within a day or two I had obtained official documentation that Archbishop Veron Ashe had in fact been arrested in 2004 for cocaine possession/possession of a controlled substance.
Now that I had this tidbit of information, what, if anything, was I supposed to do with it? Pastor Zach was gone. Bishop Bloomer had been forthcoming with his struggles and relapse. And I didn't know if Archbishop Ashe was using or should I say still using or not. (I say this because I've never heard him acknowledge using drugs save becoming addicted to Oxycontin while under doctor's care). Nevertheless, if he were using, was I really going to stage an intervention for someone I didn't know? I think not!
I wanted to look away; move on to the next thing; the next phase of my life. Every man has their own mountains to climb and their own burdens to bear. This wasn't my problem but rather it was theirs and I was choosing to stay out of it. But the more I turned away, the more drug overdoses I began to see springing up throughout the land. I wondered what was going on. From near and far, people seemed to be dying from a 'habit' they had desperatly (in some cases) tried to shake. I was perplexed; confused; disturbed. What, if anything, was God saying?
Finally, I looked into the mirror. Like Pastor Zach, Bishop Bloomer and Archbishop Ashe, I was a Christian; a Believer and follower of Christ. According to me, I had been saved for many years and loved God with my whole heart. And like Pastor Zach, Bishop Bloomer and Archbishop Ashe, I had my battles with addiction.
You see, the truth of the matter is I was an addict; an addict on the verge of ingesting a lethal dose of my drug of choice that could quite possibly end my life if I didn't soon find a way out!
Stay tuned for part 2... www.1220-media.com.