On Sunday June 6, the world woke up to news of the passing of charismatic preacher and televangelist Temitope Balogun Joshua, better known as TB Joshua. The 57-year-old died, of unknown causes, a week before his 58th birthday. Joshua died on Saturday evening, June 5, shortly after concluding a sermon at his Lagos church, where his last words to the congregation were: “Watch and pray!”
Joshua was the founder and leader of the The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, (SCOAN), a Christian megachurch which included the Emmanuel TV television station in Lagos, Nigeria. “God has taken His servant Prophet TB Joshua home – as it should be by divine will. His last moments on earth were spent in the service of God. This is what he was born for, lived for and died for,” SCOAN said in a written statement published on Facebook. SCOAN added,” Prophet TB Joshua leaves a legacy of service and sacrifice to God’s Kingdom that is living for generations yet unborn.”
Although loved by millions around the world, his Facebook page has over 5 million followers, Joshua had many detractors. He had been criticised for the veracity of the many miracle healings, amongst them curing of HIV/AIDS, which took place at his church. Earlier this year, Joshua’s YouTube channel was banned by the platform amidst accusations of hate speech after he claimed that he could cure gay congregants.
In 2014 at least 80 South Africans lost their lives when a church hostel belonging to Joshua collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cleric claimed that he had healed people with the virus. This, despite the fact that the World Health Organisation (WHO) stating that there was no cure for the virus.
SCOAN and Emmanuel TV have expressed their gratitude for all the love and prayers received thus far, and asked that the family be afforded some privacy to mourn.
Despite all the controversy surrounding the late pastor, his followers have flooded social media platforms to express their grief and condolences to the family. Some Twitter users, however, didn’t hold back on expressing their honest thoughts around the damage TB Joshua had left behind.
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