Saturday 5th June was a day just like any other at the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua popularly referred to as T.B Joshua preached that evening at the Emmanuel TV partners meeting before retiring to his office.
In the meeting, Prophet T.B Joshua titled his message “time for everything.” He said there is a time to gather for prayers and time to return home. Reports say he encouraged members to watch and pray as those were his last words in the meeting.
After the meeting, T.B Joshua indeed returned home; but this time the glorious home in heaven although the cause of his demise is not made public. However, his wife Evelyn Joshua said she met her husband in a reflective position but unconscious, she said efforts by his disciples to resuscitate him to life did not yield results.
The demise of the prophet came few days to his 58th birthday. In a pre-birthday massage, T.B Joshua said there are more birthdays ahead as he shared concerns over the worry of those who want to come for his birthday celebration.
He said “as things stands, you may have realized it will not be easy for me to celebrate my birthday under the present circumstance. Some of the people who want to come are troubled by situations all over the world, we see their fear and worry, I feel their pain; I feel their worry.” He then encouraged that June 12 be dedicated to fasting and prayers.
T.B Joshua started his ministry in the mid 90’s; unlike the common practice by other pastors, T.B Joshua did not have a branch of his church anywhere. In 2004 after NBC ban TV stations from airing miracles from pastors on TV, T.B Joshua launched a satellite station known as Emmanuel TV. The satellite TV further brought a great deal of exposure to international audience.
Famous for his miracles and prophesies on TV, T.B Joshua suffered lack of acceptance by his fellow pastors till his demise. T.B Joshua created a path for himself and has never been linked to any pastor as mentor; this has led many to question how he rose to this level of success in the ministry as many believed he was a fake preacher that used demonic powers to attract followers.
Many have wondered if the church will survive after the demise of the prophet however, the church has announced that Evelyn Joshua wife of the deceased will be taking over the leadership of the church. The church elders selected Evelyn as the successor of the church leader after a meeting; it was also gathered that the late prophet did not leave a succession plan behind.
According to reports, the elders said so much spiritual and financial efforts has gone into building the church and it cannot be allowed to waste, someone has to take charge immediately. Before her succession, Evelyn was a senior pastor in the SCOAN.
T.B Joshua and Evelyn have been married for 31 years and the marriage is blessed with two children. It was revealed that T.B Joshua proposed to his wife 45minutes after he met her when she came to him for counseling and spiritual guidance.
The succession of Evelyn as the leader of the Synagogue Church of All Nations SCOAN has raised much dust on social media as many criticized why she would be the successor of the deceased. Some say her succession means the church was a family business while others question why one of his disciples can’t step in since they were groomed by the late prophet himself.
While the family was mourning his demise, one of his daughters delivered a baby boy on the day of her late father’s birthday June 12. Sarah is married to Tanzanian businessman Brain Moshi; the couple tied the knot in Lagos last year. Many have congratulated the couple saying her late father has reincarnated.
The late prophet is set to be buried in his church premises in the Ikotun area of Lagos state however, there were controversies as to where the prophet will be buried. According to the ruler of Arigidi Akoko in Ondo state, Oba Yisa Olanipekun they want T.B Joshua’s body back in his ancestral home, he said they will not take it lightly if he is not buried in his home town.
The church has since intervened in the matter saying he needs to be buried in the church premises because of spiritual reasons. The church has also announced the funeral programs that will lead to the funeral of its leader.
In a statement published on the church’s social media pages said they are preparing for the week-long service from 5th July through to Sunday 11th of July 2021. They said the service is to honor the life and legacy of T.B Joshua. “All services will be broadcast live on the Emmanuel TV. The service which will be open to the public will be communicated to you at the appropriate time” the statement said.
We pray for comfort for the family and his church, may the Lord grant them the heart to bear this irreparable loss; may his soul rest in peace.
Author: Kangmwa Gofwen
Lagos Bureau Chief, Nigeria