The late founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Prophet TB Joshua, was born on June 12, 1963, in Arigidi village in Akoko, Ondo State, and grew up to become one of Nigeria’s most charismatic pastors, televangelists, seers, and a revered man of God.
Joshua was known for his popularity across Africa, Asia, and America with a huge media presence which had well over 5 million fans on Facebook while his YouTube channel, Emmanuel TV, had over 1.5 million subscribers and was the world’s most viewed Christian ministry on the platform before it was suspended by YouTube last month.
He was described at various times as the ‘Oprah of Evangelism’ and ‘YouTube’s most popular Pastor.’
During his lifetime, Prophet 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.
In 2011, Forbes Magazine, named Joshua Nigeria’s third-richest pastor, although the claim was immediately denied in a statement by the church. Joshua was as controversial as he was popular and often hugged the headlines in negative ways due to his unorthodox ways of performing miracles as well as several accusations of staged deliverance and alleged sexual immorality.
However, here are 10 interesting things many may not know about the man of God.
1. His strange birth
For those who don’t know, the birth of Prophet T.B. Joshua on June 12, 1963, in a small village called Arigidi in Akoko, Ondo State, was more of a mystery as he reportedly stayed beyond the nine months required for babies to stay in their mother’s wombs.
According to stories, Joshua came after 15 good months in which, to the amazement of the simple people of Arigidi, was rather strange and a precursor to signs that he would be up to mysterious things in the world and that he would be a peculiar being.
2. Unprivileged and illiterate background
The late TB Joshua grew up in a poor home and due to the inability of his parents to afford sending him to school, he didn’t complete his secondary school education, dropping out of form one and had to engage in menial jobs to support his family and siblings, including working in a poultry farm.
3. Attempts to join the military
Prophet TB Joshua reportedly attempted to join the Nigerian Army but couldn’t scale through the recruitment exercise as he could not afford the transport money to travel to Kaduna State for the recruitment.
4. Quiet family man
Many Nigerians do not know that Prophet TB Joshua was a happily married man and a father of three children. He was married to Evelyn Joshua while their eldest daughter, Serah, is a graduate from the London School of Economics. He kept his family out of the limelight around him.
Joshua was honoured as the ‘Yoruba man of the decade’, by IrohinOdua, the first pan-Yoruba news outlet. In recognition of his humanitarian activities, he was awarded a National Honor by the Nigerian government in 2008 as well as receiving a letter of appreciation from the United Nations.
Read also: T.B Joshua reported dead
6. His ministry
Joshua’s Christian TV station, Emmanuel TV, made his ministry more exposed, drawing more and more foreigners from all around the world to his weekly church services.
He was not devoid of controversies as he was often trailed by storms mainly due to the nature of sicknesses he reportedly healed people of, and afflictions he had delivered people from. He was also known for his predictions/prophecies, most especially the controversy that stemmed from his prediction of the American president during the 2016 elections.
He had prophesied that Hillary Clinton would win the US Presidential elections, with what he claimed would be a narrow victory but in the end, Clinton was roundly defeated by Donald Trump.
8. Deaths in the Synagogue
In 2014, during a worldwide programme at the Ikotun, Lagos headquarters of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, a guesthouse collapsed in the church compound, leading to the killing of about 115 South Africans.
According to Lagos State officials, the collapse of the building was a result of construction inadequacies, but the church dismissed the assertion, claiming that there was an aircraft that was spotted circling over the building before it went down.
The church, asserted that it was an attempt to kill Joshua and has maintained that stance till date.
Many Nigerians did not know that despite his lack of basic education, Joshua was an author and publisher of many books including Christian literatures. Some of the titles include The Mirror, The Step Between You and The Cure, Daily Time With God and What The Future Holds.
TB Joshua was a silent philanthropist who did not like blowing his trumpet. He was known to have doled out cash gifts and foodstuff including other material gifts, to widows, the poor and the downtrodden who visit his church.
He was once reported to have spent $20 million on the education, healthcare and rehabilitation programs for former Niger Delta militants, repentant armed robbers and sex workers who came to the church for ‘deliverance’.
He also had an uncanny love for football when in 2009, he formed a football club, My People’s FC, which was meant to empower talented youths in the ministry. The club churned out the likes of Sani Emmanuel who was the top scorer and Most Valuable Player at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, as well as former Super Eagles midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi, among others.
11. Social media presence
Joshua was a very popular figure on social media, garnering over 1.5 million subscribers on the YouTube channel of Emmanuel TV, with another whopping three million likes on Facebook. His Twitter handle was also not left out as he had well over 180,000 followers.
By Isaac Dachen…
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