Currently alive, at 56 years of age.
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Temitope Balogun Joshua (born June 12, 1963), commonly referred to as T. B. Joshua, is the Nigerian founder of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), a Christian organisation headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. A Christian pastor, humanitarian and author, Joshua broadcasts Christian televangelism via SCOAN’s Christian television station Emmanuel TV, and on the Internet via the Streaming Faith broadcast portal.
According to SCOAN’s account, supernatural phenomena accompanied Joshua’s birth and early life.
Joshua allegedly remained in his mother’s womb for 15 months before he was born. In hospital, his mother was warned not do an operation by a pastor, who said that God was busy preparing the child in her womb. During his naming ceremony seven days after birth, a big stone was said to have flown from where workers were drilling a borehole, pierced the roof where people were celebrating and landed where the baby was placed. The stone missed him narrowly .
It is also said a sage had predicted his birth a century earlier.
Joshua attended St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School (Ikare-Akoko, Nigeria, 1971-1977), 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 and ability to predict things to come in his community. He further gained reputation for spiritual prowess after confronting a madman in the school premises and collecting his weapon from him. He was the leader of ‘Scripture Union’ whilst in school.
Joshua worked washing people’s feet on the muddy streets of Lagos before moving to a poultry farm where he had the degrading job of carrying chicken waste. At the same time, he held Bible studies with children and attended evening school.
His ambition to enlist into the military was aborted by an act of fate, as the train he boarded to attend an interview in the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, developed serious faults that left him stranded in the bush for six days.
Founding of SCOAN
In 1987, T.B. Joshua visited a ‘prayer mountain’ to seek the face of God. There, he fasted and prayed for 40 days and 40 nights. He wrote that in a heavenly vision, he had received divine anointing and a covenant from God to start his ministry. In his own words, he said concerning the life-changing experience:
“… I saw a hand that pointed a Bible to my heart. The Bible entered my heart and my former heart seemed to immerse with the Bible immediately… I heard a voice saying, ‘I am your God. I am giving you a divine commission to go and carry out the work of the Heavenly Father… I would show you the wonderful ways I would reveal myself through you in teaching, preaching, miracles, signs and wonders for the salvation of souls…’ ”
Joshua started a church with just a handful of members, naming it ‘The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations’—a name he says God divinely revealed to him. Since then, the church has grown far beyond the shores of Nigeria. More than 15,000 members attend the weekly Sunday service, and visitors from outside Nigeria are accommodated in the church facilities.
From the very first service held in 1987 to the present day, the church has been controversial due to reports of miraculous signs and wonders that occur every week. Numerous videos have been produced which purport to document the healing of incurable sicknesses such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and paralysis; showing people’s conditions before, during, and after prayer from T. B. Joshua.
The church currently has branches in Ghana, the United Kingdom, Austria, and Greece. He is also mentoring many evangelists from around the world in the church premises, saying: "The biggest reward God can give to His servant… is to make disciples who will do better than what we are presently doing." .
Reported Miraculous Activities:
Healing and health-related events
Instantaneous baby deliveries, healing of terrible cancerous sores, the deadly HIV/AIDS virus, barrenness, and raising from the dead are among the reported miraculous activities taking place at SCOAN. In September 2008, it was reported that a man who had been mentally ill for 14 years was restored to sanity and reunited with his family at SCOAN. Spiritual healing at The SCOAN has been mentioned by TIME Magazine.
Prediction of events
Joshua has predicted many world events and disasters, including the the disastrous cyclone in Myanmar, the Heathrow Boeing 777 Plane Crash the rescue of Ingrid Betancourt from the Colombian jungle, the death of Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, the recent New York Plane Crash and the tragic death of the former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyn. Joshua also regularly predicts events in the lives of individuals who attend his church services.
Deliverance of demon possessed
Many who have come to the church possessed by evil spirits are said to be delivered following prayer from T. B. Joshua. It was recently reported an occult grandmaster was delivered in the church.
The Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu (whose daughter was allegedly healed of epilepsy at the church), President Omar Bongo of Gabon and Former President Frederick Chiluba of Zambia are among the many notable individuals who have visited SCOAN in Lagos.
South African Rugby star Jaco Van Der Westhuyzeb is also said to have received healing through prayer from T. B. Joshua.
Relationship with Ghana’s President
The recently elected President of Ghana, Professor John Evans Atta Mills is a member of The SCOAN and a close friend of TB Joshua. He said Joshua had predicted his victory in the Ghanian polls, specifying there would be three elections and the results would be released in January. Mills has described Joshua as his mentor.
‘Another Ministry’ is the humanitarian arm of SCOAN, with projects catering to the needs of widows, dwarves, the elderly, physically challenged, orphansand the destitute. The church provides scholarships to orphans and children of the less privileged, with educational support promised from primary to tertiary levels. There is also a rehabilitation programme for armed robbers and prostitutes. Often, the church financially supports them to secure a practical vocation. During his 45th birthday on June 12 2008, T. B. Joshua made a large donation to the less privileged. Joshua has also provided scholarships for numerous physically challenged students and sponsored many physically challenged athletes.
In a recent bi-monthly event for the physically challenged at SCOAN, Joshua expressed plans to build a university to specifically cater for the less privileged who have no one else to help them further their education, as well as giving gifts of over N30m to the thousands of participants.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) have also honored Joshua in recognition of his scholarship schemes for poor and physically challenged students.
T. B. Joshua claims to have been instrumental in reconciling the families of the late Samuel Doe of Liberia and the man who was accused of assassinating him, Prince Yormie Johnson. Prior to the reconciliation, the two families were sworn enemies. The Nigerian press have reported other cases of families being reconciled by T. B. Joshua after years of separation.
T. B. Joshua is a strong advocate of families, and has recently embarked on numerous activities to reunite families who have long been separated due to false accusations of witchcraft within the home, a practice common in certain parts of Africa.
In recognition of his humanitarian activities, Joshua was recently awarded the National Honour of OFR (Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic) by the Nigerian Government.
Emmanuel TV is the television station of SCOAN and broadcasts 24/7. Every Sunday service is broadcast live on Emmanuel TV and its unique programmes are attracting a growing viewership across Africa and America.
T. B. Joshua’s programmes also air 5 days a week on TBN Africa and CTV, as well as weekly on a number of Nigerian television stations.
Some have criticised T. B. Joshua, due to the large amount of alleged miracles that take place in his meetings. The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), an umbrella association of Nigerian Pentecostal Churches, refused admission to the Synagogue Church, denouncing T. B. Joshua as an impostor. Chris Okotie, Pastor and popular televangelist in Nigeria, accuses Joshua of "shamanist practices". Christian critics often refer to T. B. Joshua’s unorthodox methods as being not confirmed in the Bible.