By Vera Wisdom-Bassey
Since the death of the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, popularly known as TB Joshua, things have not been the same in the church.
The church has been enmeshed in many internal conflicts, particularly on who succeeds the famous cleric that many people described as a rare philanthropist. There was also a legal battle between some stakeholders in the church and the late prophet’s wife.
But there seems to be a breath of fresh air as the people of Ikotun-Egbe, where the headquarters of the church is located in Lagos, received with joy the news that the church that once gave them succour until the death of the founder will reopen soon.
A lawyer in the legal department of the church, Mr. James Akhigbe, stated that key leaders of the church have been holding vigils, fasting and praying to know from the mind of God when the church should reopen.
“The church will open soon. Committees have been set up to see to the affairs of the church and to put things in place. And these committees were inaugurated by Prophet (Mrs.) Evelyn Joshua,” he said.
Members of the committee include Akhigbe, Jegede Niyi of engineering/infrastructural department, Mrs. Mojisola Oguntoyinbo, human resources/public relations committee, Abraham Showunmi, finance committee, Olatunde Olanipekan, finance department, and Kola Kareem, welfare fepartment.
SCOAN stopped its Sunday and weekly programmes as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted socio-economic activities. Prophet TB Joshua died on June 6, immediately after a church programme with his disciples who converged on the mountain for a special teaching. He died of an undisclosed ailment at the age of 57.
Prior his death, the church was holding services online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The late prophet’s wife, Mrs. Evelyn T.B Joshua, whom the church has announced as the new leader, has called on all SCOAN members to watch out for the reopening of the church soon. She assured them that God’s mercy endures and expressed optimism that the church would come out stronger, by the grace of God.
She said: ”We are getting ready and even yearning to start services but we cannot go outside the will of God whose directive is what we shall continue to uphold, live and work on.
“Besides, I am still mourning the passing of my husband. When the mourning time is over and, most importantly, when the Lord intimates us to begin, we shall move swiftly in God’s grace.”
The woman of God admonished the church, its members and non-members to stand firm in serving God.
“The peculiarity of the church is another thing, where foreigners are all eager to be here even right now amid the world health crisis.
“We have no fear whatsoever but don’t forget a good Christian must also be a good citizen. We have continued to pray for God’s mercy for our nation and the world,” Mrs. Joshua said.
Akhigbe highlighted that, before the church fully resumes, certain things need to be put in place, including structures that would help to easily run many activities in the church.
“Even before the demise of the founder, service has holding as an interactive one, which means that whether you are in Nigeria or other countries, you can be reached, and is mostly for people who have one ailment or the other.
“Even when the pandemic seems to be over, still we have to obey the authorities,” he said.
According to him, the church does not embark on any activity to please anyone but based on divine direction.
Also, Oguntoyinbo said that the church has largely depended on its Emmanuel TV service to air most of the programmes in the church: “This is also important in order to handle the large crowd and to allow our mother in the Lord to finish her mourning. Right now, prayers are ongoing to know when the church will open.”