Nigeria has been thrown into sudden mourning following news that one of the country’s most influential and richest pastors, Prophet TB Joshua, passed away on Saturday, June 5 of 2021. His shocking death is coming just two months after he came down with a stroke and was flown to Turkey in an air ambulance for treatment. The late prophet is the founder and leader of one of Africa’s biggest churches in Africa, The Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN), based in Lagos and known for running Emmanuel TV, one of the most-watched Christian channels worldwide.
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Confirming his untimely death in a Facebook post, the TB Joshua Ministries revealed that his death is of divine will. He left a legacy of service and sacrifice to God’s kingdom that will continue to live on for generations. While the cause of his death is still unknown, he was reportedly rushed to a nearby hospital after he was found in an unusual position in his apartment. This was just a few hours after a brief preaching on Saturday. Sadly, he gave up the ghost around 3 am and his last words were, “watch and pray.” TB Joshua is survived by a wife, Evelyn Joshua, with three grown-up children and grandchildren.
Although a very controversial pastor, TB Joshua was one of the most loved pastors in the country due to his humanitarian works. For this reason, many have taken to mourning him on social media while recounting all the good that he did in his short lifetime. The cleric, who was only 57 years at the time of his passing, was due to celebrate his 58th birthday in a week.
PROPHET TB JOSHUA
Temitope Francis Balogun Joshua, better known as Prophet TB Joshua, was born on June 12, 1963, in Arigidi, Akoko, Ondo State. According to reports, his birth was prophesied 100 years before he was born, and unusual circumstances also surrounded his eventual birth. He reportedly spent a total of 15 months in his mother’s womb and narrowly escaped death again 7 days after he was born.
Although he completed his primary school education at St. Stephens Anglican Primary School, Akoko, he wasn’t so lucky with his secondary school education. He dropped out at form 1 and began doing menial jobs to survive, including carrying chicken waste. He later tried to join the Nigerian military, but his plans were thwarted after the train which was supposed to transport him to the training academy broke down and left him stranded en route. Nonetheless, he has always shown great zeal for doing God’s work, organizing bible studies for local children, earning him the nickname “small pastor” at a very young age.
In 1987, TB Joshua founded The Synagogue Church of All Nations at the age of 24 after receiving a heavenly vision telling him that he has been given a divine anointing and a covenant with God to start a ministry. Years later, he built a mega-church with its headquarters in the Ikotun-Egbe area of Lagos State. He later founded Emmanuel TV, the church Television broadcast service, instantly making him the most popular televangelist in Nigeria. Today, his church is popular across Africa and Latin America. This is despite having only one branch in Ghana.
The Synagogue Church has been described as Nigeria’s biggest tourist attraction and most visited religious tourist destination in West Africa. According to the Nigerian Immigration Services, in 2016, 6 out of 10 foreign travellers in Nigeria are visiting his church. The Late TB Joshua was also described as the Oprah of Evangelism and YouTube’s most popular pastor. Before its suspension, the church boasted of 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube and had over 4 million followers on Facebook.
In 2011, Forbes named him the third richest pastor in Nigeria with a net worth ranging between 10 million dollars and 15 million dollars. In 2015, he reportedly bought a Gulfstream Private Jet at a whopping 60 million Naira.
It’s no secret that TB Joshua’s church became popular for performing divine miracles. Yet, his ministry has been ridden with controversies over how he conducts the miracles and claims of the kind of illness his spiritual powers can heal people of. He is known for hitting people, sometimes slapping them hard to deliver them from demons. Other times, he gives people what he calls anointed water or oil to cure them of various illnesses, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, open wounds, and even blindness. He also claimed to be able to raise the dead and deliver people from the spirit of homosexuality, prostitution, armed robbery, internet fraud, and even human trafficking.
Many celebrities and top politicians of many countries have visited his church and attested to his spiritual powers. This includes Nigeria’s former minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke, who visited him for spiritual healing from breast cancer. Nollywood actor Jim Iyke, known for acting in bad boy roles, also visited him in 2013 for deliverance from demon possession as well as Ghanian singer Denise Williams.
TB Joshua also came under heavy criticism many times for his spiritual power claims. In April of 2021, YouTube suspended his ministry channel for claiming to have a cure for homosexuality. Many have also reportedly died over his preaching. In 2011, hospitals in London reported much death from HIV/AIDS after some patients stopped taking their drugs at the advice of their pastor, TB Joshua.
Apart from miracles, TB Joshua is known for his prophecies which sometimes come to pass and other times does not. For example, he claimed to have predicted the death of Legendary pop singer Micheal Jackson as well as the Malaysian Aircraft MH370 that disappeared in 2014. One of his many prophecies that never came to pass was that of the US 2016 Presidential election, where he predicted that Hilary Clinton would win the polls, but she eventually lost to Donald Trump, among others.
It’s also no news that TB Joshua is not very much liked by other pastors in Nigeria. Pastor Chris Okotie once described him as the ‘son of the devil.” Many other pastors, including Pastor E.A. Adeboye, David Oyedepo, Ayo Oritsejafor, Paul Adefarasin, Mattew Ashimolowo, have denounced him severally as a fraudulent Christian pastor.
Despite the controversies surrounding his ministry, the late Prophet T.B Joshua is known for giving, and his philanthropic works across the globe precede him. According to Forbes, in 2011, TB Joshua spent over 20 million dollars on education, health, care, and rehabilitation programs for repentant Niger Delta Militants, former sex workers, and armed robbers. In addition, he once donated 26 million Naira towards electricity infrastructure in Ondo State and donated huge sums to the Nigerian and Ghanian police force. Many of his members have also benefited from scholarships ranging from Primary, secondary, and tertiary education.
He also donates to victims of natural disasters, notably the 2010 Haiti earthquakes and has been a major donor for sports, deportees, and family reconciliation programs. Because of all his selfless humanitarian works, TB Joshua was recognized by the United Nations and the Nigerian government numerous times.
Sadly, at the age of 57, he passed away to the great beyond on June 5 of 2021. This is two months after he came down with a stroke and was flown in an air ambulance to receive treatment in a hospital in Turkey. According to reports, he felt uncomfortable while conducting service on Saturday evening and retired to his apartment to rest. When he did not return after several hours, top church officials searched for him and found him in an unusual position, prompting them to rush him to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
News began circulating about his shocking passing for hours before a statement was finally released by the TB Joshua Ministry. The statement claimed that the late 57-year-old man of God predicted his death and preached about it during his last administration at the Emmanuel TV partner’s meeting, focusing on where he said, “Time for everything. Time to come here for prayer and time to return home after the service.” – Prophet T.B Joshua
The statement further noted that he left a legacy of service and sacrifice to God’s kingdom that will live for generations yet unborn while urging the general public to give the Emmanuel family privacy to mourn.
Nigerian T.B Joshua’s Death Reactions
While many Nigerians have reportedly camped at his church headquarters in Lagos to weep over his death, other Nigerians have taken to social media to wish Prophet T.B Joshua an eternal rest him peace and eulogize him for all the humanitarian work he did during his short lifetime. In contrast, some other Nigerians who only remember the man of God for his controversial lifestyle have taken to criticizing him even at death.
Recounting how TB Joshua helped him in the past, Nigerian Footballer Abu Azeez wrote
“I couldn’t join my teammates in Dubai because my passport was seized and about to be destroyed at the Italian embassy. TB Joshua sent his P.A to make one call, I got my passport the next day. Baba bought another ticket for me and gave me money, used his escort to take me to the airport….”
Former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, wrote on Instagram;
“He was a wonderful, kind, generous, wise, and loving man who was undoubtedly one of God’s ‘End Time’ generals and who did so much for those in need and the body of Christ. My family and I shall miss him dearly as he soars to the stars and takes his place amongst the angels and saints in Heaven.”
Criticizing TB Joshua, popular Journalist Sandra Ezekwesili wrote on Instagram;
“TB Joshua was reportedly Ill and went to the hospital. Did he teach his numerous followers to try hospitals and not abandon their medication for his holy water and anointing oil? His ministry did a lot of damage. Any conversation that doesn’t include that is dishonest.
Do you think TB Joshua will be greatly missed by many worldwide for his humanitarian works?
Do you think he lived a selfless life, and his legacy will continue to live on even after his death?