Temitope Balogun Joshua, commonly referred to as T. B. Joshua, was a Nigerian charismatic pastor, televangelist and philanthropist.
He was the leader and founder of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, a Christian megachurch that runs the Emmanuel TV television station from Lagos.
According to People Gazette, family sources who did not want to be quoted as an official statement was still being prepared, confirmed that the prophet is dead at age 57.
The cause of death is not yet disclosed, but family sources said his remains had been deposited at the morgue and an autopsy would be performed forthwith.
The Life Of JB Joshua:
According to Joshua’s official biography, unusual circumstances surrounded his birth. He said that he spent 15 months in his mother’s womb and narrowly avoided death after a quarry explosion near his house sent rocks through its roof just seven days after his birth. It is also alleged that Joshua’s birth was ‘prophesied’ 100 years prior.
Joshua, then known as Balogun Francis, attended St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School in Arigidi Akoko, Nigeria, between 1971 and 1977, but failed to complete one year of secondary school education.
In school, he was known as “small pastor” because of his love for the Bible. He worked in various casual jobs after his schooling had ended, including carrying chicken waste at a poultry farm.
He organised Bible studies for local children and attended evening school during this period.Joshua attempted to join the Nigerian military but was thwarted due to a train breakdown that left him stranded en route to the military academy.
The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN)
Joshua wrote that in a heavenly vision he had received divine anointing and a covenant from God to start his ministry.
Following this, Joshua founded the ministry organisation The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN). According to the organisation, more than 15,000 members attend its weekly Sunday service; visitors from outside Nigeria are accommodated in the accommodation blocks constructed at the church.
Purported Healings And Miracles
SCOAN claims regular occurrences of divine miracles.Several hundred Nigerians and international visitors come to the SCOAN each week to register for the prayer lines where the visitors are prayed over by Joshua. SCOAN has published numerous videos claiming to document the healing of incurable disabilities and illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, blindness and open wounds.
SCOAN is also known for the purported “deliverance” of those allegedly possessed by evil spirits during its services. Strange occurrences have been reported during these deliverance prayers, including the case of a South African girl who allegedly ‘cried blood’ and a Liberian man who began behaving ‘like a dog’. A young man allegedly delivered from a ‘homosexual demon’ at The SCOAN also attracted widespread media attention, as did the ‘transformation’ of a Paraguayan transvestites.
After ‘deliverance’, those involved often confess the atrocities which the ‘evil spirit’ allegedly pushed them to engage in, such as prostitution, armed robbery, internet fraud and human trafficking.
A Forbes blogger estimated that Joshua spent $20 million on “education, healthcare and rehabilitation programs for former Niger Delta militants”. There is also a rehabilitation programme for militants from Nigeria’s volatile Niger Delta region, repentant armed robbers and sex workers who came to the church for ‘deliverance’.
Joshua went to the aid of several communities in distress, notably providing two transformers to a local community after theirs was burned beyond repair.
He donated over N26m towards restoring electricity and putting an end to over two years of power outage in four councils in Akoko area of Ondo State.
The cleric has additionally made several large donations to the police force in Nigeria, Ghana and Colombia.
The SCOAN has a ‘scholarship program’ which caters for the academic needs of students in their thousands, ranging from primary to tertiary education.
In 2012, Joshua sponsored a Nigerian student doing a PhD in Oxford University, with Nigerian media reporting she received £100,000 from the church. He also gave a scholarship to a young Motswana to study at Harvard Law School in America.
After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Joshua sent a team of medical personnel and humanitarian workers to the affected area, establishing a field hospital called ‘Clinique Emmanuel’.
He additionally sent support to nations such as Philippines, India and Ghana in the wake of varying natural disasters. The ‘Emmanuel TV Team’ also assisted victims of the earthquake that struck the nation of Ecuador in April 2016, providing over $500,000 worth of humanitarian aid.
Joshua funded the building and running of a school in Lahore, Pakistan named ‘Emmanuel School’. He also rebuilt a school in a rural area destroyed by the 2016 Ecuador earthquake, travelling to Ecuador for the opening of the school in June 2017.
Support For Migrants And Deportees
Several groups of Nigerians attempting illegal travel to Europe through Libya have been supported at The SCOAN following their deportation from the North African nation with only the clothes on their backs. Stories of the harsh conditions they encountered and Joshua’s subsequent assistance made headlines in several local newspapers.
In 2009, Joshua started a football club, My People FC, as part of efforts to help the youth. Two members of the team played for Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets in the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Sani Emmanuel, who apparently lived in The SCOAN for several years, was Nigeria’s top-scorer and the tournament’s MVP. Emmanuel and his colleague Ogenyi Onazi signed professional contracts with SS Lazio, Onazi a key player for the Nigerian Senior Team, the Super Eagles.
WBO International Light Middleweight boxing champion King Davidson Emenogu said that Joshua has financially supported him throughout his career and purportedly prophesied that he would be a world boxing champion.
Joshua was involved in the meeting of the family of the late president of Liberia, Samuel Doe, with the former warlord Prince Yormie Johnson who was responsible for Doe’s death. During this meeting the family publicly forgave Johnson who said it was through Joshua’s prayers that he stopped drinking alcohol and turned to Christianity.
The cleric also played a prominent role in reconciling broken homes and restoring families torn apart by false accusations.
In recognition of his humanitarian activities, he was awarded a National Honour by the Nigerian government in 2008 as well as receiving a letter of appreciation from the United Nations.
He was further honoured as an Ambassador of Peace by the Arewa Youth Forum, a predominantly Muslim organisation, as well as being recognised with an ‘award of excellence’ by ZAKA, Israel’s primary rescue and recovery voluntary service.
SCOAN claims that Joshua has successfully predicted events in the lives of individuals who attend his church services as well as worldwide events, including a purported prophecy of Michael Jackson’s death, and the outcome of two African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final matches, which were won by Zambia and Nigeria respectively. He has been voted by the public among the most famous prophets.
His prophecy about the impending death of an African president was widely reported in African press. Joshua’s followers believe the prophecy concerned the former president of Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika who died in 2012, aged 78.
False rumors spread using Joshua’s name are known to have caused widespread panic in communities, affected sporting events, music concerts and led people to stop using social networks.
When Hamza Al-Mustapha, the Chief Security Officer of former Nigerian President Sani Abacha, was released after eleven years of imprisonment, his first port of call was to Joshua’s church in acknowledgement of a ‘prophecy’ the cleric allegedly gave him when Abacha was still in power.
Critics argue that Joshua’s predictions are too vague.
Alleged MH370 Prophecy
SCOAN released a video claiming that TB Joshua predicted the Malaysia Airlines MH370 event. The prophecy received a lot of attention on social media and its accompanying YouTube video amassed over 1 million views.
Several terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIS, Al-Qaeda affiliates and Al-Shabaab militants have allegedly been predicted by Joshua, including the November 2015 Paris attacks, the Garissa University College attack in Kenya, the Ouagadougou hotel siege in Burkina Faso and the 2016 Brussels Bombings. It is also claimed that he predicted the Boston bombing attacks in America.