Temitope Balogun Joshua popularly known as Prophet TB Joshua was a Nigerian charismatic pastor, televangelist, and philanthropist. He was the leader and founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, a Christian megachurch that runs the Emmanuel TV television station from Lagos. He is the most criticized man of God.
He was born on 12th June 1963 in Ondo State in the south western part of Nigeria and died on 5th June 2021 in Lagos, Nigeria, few days to his 58th birthday. TB Joshua was widely known across Africa and Latin America and had a large social media presence with over 6,000,000 fans on Facebook. His YouTube channel, Emmanuel TV, had over 1,000,000 subscribers and was the most-viewed Christian ministry on the platform before the channel was suspended by YouTube in 2021 for alleged homophobic hate speech. TB Joshua was described by media outlets as the “Oprah of Evangelism” and “YouTube’s most popular pastor.”
TB Joshua was awarded various accolades, notably receiving the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by the Nigerian government in 2008 and being voted the Yoruba man of the decade by Pan-Yoruba media outlet Irohin-Odua. He was called one of Africa’s 50 most influential people by Pan-African magazines and New African Magazine.
As of 2011, according to Forbes, TB Joshua was Nigeria’s third-richest pastor, although the claim was immediately denied in a statement by the church. He was a controversial figure, and was officially blacklisted by the government of Cameroon in 2010. He was officially listed by Time Magazine as one of the top 10 most richest pastors in the world with an estimated net worth of $25 million dollars.
In 1990, TB Joshua got married to Evelyn Johua and the marriage is blessed with two children namely Serah and Promise Johua.
According to TB Joshua, 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. According to his followers, a prophecy about the birth of a man of God from the poor neighborhoods of Oosin in Arigidi Akoko given 100 years earlier applied to T. B. Joshua.
TB 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 organized Bible studies for local children and attended evening school during this period. TB 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. Unfortunately, he died on 5th June 2021 in his house in Lagos shortly after his Saturday night teaching.
Synagogue Church of All Nations claims that TB Joshua has successfully predicted events in the lives of individuals who attend his church services as well as worldwide events, including a 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 in the world.
His prophecy about the impending death of an African president was widely reported in African press. TB Joshua’s followers believe the prophecy concerned the former president of Malawi BIngu wa Mutharika who died in 2012, at the age of 78 years old.
False rumors spread using TB 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 TB Joshua’s church in acknowledgement of a ‘prophecy’ the cleric allegedly gave him when Abacha was still in power. Critics argue that TB Joshua’s predictions are too vague.
His television channel, Emmanuel TV was founded on 8th March 2006 by TB Joshua where its Sunday services are broadcast live. TB Joshua’s programmes also air weekly on a number of local television stations across Africa. It debuted on DSTV and GOTV in November 2015, as well as Star Times in February 2016. In its profile on TB Joshua, the BBC described him as “Nigeria’s best known televangelist”.
Emmanuel TV’s motto is ‘Changing lives, changing nations, changing the world.’ The station is also known for its catch-phrase, ‘Distance Is Not A Barrier’, encouraging viewers to ‘pray along’ with T.B. Joshua by ‘touching the screen’. There are several claims of people receiving miraculous ‘healing’ through these prayers, including popular Nollywood actress Tonto Dikeh who said TB Joshua’s prayers ended her 14-year smoking addiction.
TB Joshua earned a reputation for not focusing on the Prosperity Gospel and Emmanuel TV is known as one of the few Christian channels that does not engage in fundraising on air.
In April 2021, YouTube suspended Emmanuel TV’s channel as a result of alleged hate speech by TB Joshua in videos on the channel. At the time the channel was suspended, it had over 1,800,000 subscribers and 400 million views. The allegations of hate speech referred to claims made by TB Joshua in at least seven videos that homosexuality is the result of possession by demonic spirits and that homosexuality can and should be cured via spiritual deliverance.
At the time of the channel’s suspension, it was most-viewed Christian ministry on the platform. Google ranked one of Emmanuel TV’s YouTube videos as the fourth-most viewed clip ever within Nigeria with almost 100 million views. TB Joshua has many critics and was known to be controversial. He was hated by many pastors in Nigeria, who are not happy with his style of ministry and prophecy.
TB Joshua was publicly condemned by several prominent pastors within Nigeria, his most vocal critic being Pastor Chris Okotie who described him as a ‘son of the devil’. The Christian Association of Nigeria and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria both acknowledged that TB Joshua is not a member of either organization and denounced him as an ‘impostor’. Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Ayo Ortsejafor, Pastor Paul Adefarasin, and Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo are among the pastors who publicly denounced TB Joshua.
TB Joshua was married to Evelyn Joshua and had three children. He died on 5th June 2021 after one of his evening services in Lagos, Nigeria, just one week to his 58th birthday. No cause of death was given. According to several eye witnesses his death was very mysterious.
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