JUNE 12 is significant for Nigerian Prophet T.B Joshua, philanthropist and founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN). it is the day he was born in Arigidi-Akoko in the present day Ekiti State 55 years ago.
Temitope Balogun Joshua in partnership with evangelists, pastors, lawyers, teachers engineers, doctors, nurses, entrepreneur and his Emmanuel .TV team sacrifices time, efforts, strength, finances and knowledge, touching lives of people every June 12, in commemoration of his birthday.
Though controversial preacher, his birth prefigures that he is not an ordinary man. He had spent 15 months in his mother’s womb before his birth as against the normal nine months birth and delivery. As if that was not enough, the author of the 190-page book what the future holds, a Journal of prophesies for the outgoing years, is said to have miraculously survived an unlucky accident that would have claimed his life as a young child, a day before his naming ceremony. A blast emanating from a quarry in the community had flung a large rock through the roof of where he was laid and left him unscathed. It would equally be recalled that his ministry began in a humble way, in a saturated area of Magodo, Egbe, Ikotun, Alimisho Local Government Area of Lagos State, demonstrating the humility of its founder. The ministry has today spread its reach to different parts of the world, with corresponding attraction of tourists to Nigeria. The Irefin Street Ikotun headquarter of the church has played host to African leaders including former Zambian President, late Frederick Chiluba, former Ghanaian president, late John Evan Atta Mills, late Winnie Mandela, wife of South African President, Late Nelson Mandela, former Malawian President Joyce Banda among other eminent personalities.
Despite attracting such timber and caliber from Africa and across the world, gaining international acceptability and appeal, the televangelist appears not well recognized in his own country. But the truth remains that what he lacks in Nigeria, he gain in profusion in countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Austria, Columbia, Mexico, and Peru where his crusades attract large crowd. In May last year, he contemplated relocating his ministry to Israel owing to its persecution by those he thought should encourage his efforts to building a society where peace and love reign and rule. The move, which caught many Nigerians, unawares obviously saw some eminent Nigerians telling him not to relocate because of the effect such decision would have on Nigeria tourism.
There is no doubt that Prophet T.B. Joshua deserves to be celebrated from different perspectives, especially at a time like this when the nation is passing through some kind of recession. In fact he is God’s gift to humanity and he has displayed it by putting smiles on faces of many. He has become the greatest friend of the poor and downtrodden in society. Apart from his healing and deliverance gifts, the cleric walks tall in several aspects of human endeavours.
The story of his life is an excellent demonstration of God’s ability to use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. With just primary school education, the SCOAN helmsman who equally runs the Emmanuel TV station from Lagos Nigeria has established himself as a force to reckon with in God’s vineyard. His ministry is arguably the most visited in the whole of Africa and has continued to attract scintillating reviews from the international media.
Tens of thousands of visitors from across the world have continued to throng the Ikotun-Egbe based ministry in search of spiritual succour. It doesn’t end there, the man of God understands the challenges of the troubled world and has maintained a rare reputation for helping individuals, institutions and nations overcome their spiritual as well as socio-economic challenges through crusades and humanitarian efforts.
Uncountable numbers of people both Nigerians and foreigners have continued to benefit from his ministry’s milk of human kindness. Through his ministry’s Emmanuel TV Partners, millions of lives, nations and destinies have been changed across the world. His mantra is that true love always searches for whom to help whenever and wherever it is in a position to do so. And how he has been able to maturely manage the bad press emanating from the collapsed building incident remains very phenomenal. He has maintained a calm and unperturbed mien – a quality that can only be God-given especially in situations of crisis. T.B. Joshua is believed to be the only Nigerian pastor that is hardly seen around the corridors of power. He will never be found in any government house because he believes that a true servant of God should be for all and not frolic around with politicians. We have seen some Christian leaders who have rubbished their reputation because of money and partisan politics but Prophet Joshua prefers to empower the masses.
In the last two years, the man of God has received both national and international recognitions for his exemplary service to human race. He was recently ranked amongst the most famous prophets in the history of manhood. The ranking was contained in a publication by an America-based research organization – www.Ranker.com. It said that the ranking was based on votes from over 250 million people worldwide. The website observed that from reputable, prominent, and well known prophets to the lesser known of today, these were some of the best professionals in the prophet field. The publication which parades a total of 71 prophets named T.B. Joshua as number 13 in the world and number one in Africa followed by the late Joseph Ayo Babalola who occupies number 32 in the world and number 2 in Africa. Only these two prophets were named from Africa. The list included great biblical figures like Abraham, Moses, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Elisha, Micah and Paul the Apostle, amongst others. It is on record that Temitope Balogun Joshua (born June 12, 1963), popularly referred to as T.B. Joshua, has been awarded various accolades, notably the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 2008 by the Nigerian government. Prophet T.B Joshua has also at one time been voted the Yoruba man of the decade by Pan-Yoruba media outlet, Irohin Odua. He was recognized as one of Africa’s 50 most influential people by Pan-African magazines. and The Africa Report and New African Magazine also listed him among world’s most famous prophets.
He attended St. Stephens’ Anglican Primary School but failed to complete his secondary school due to poverty. While in primary school, he was referred to as the small pastor and led evangelical activities. His ambition to join the Nigerian Army crashed after the train that was to convey him developed fault along the way and left him stranded for six days.
Mpamugoh writes from Lagos.