A prominent Nigerian televangelist has died hours after presiding over a program at his Lagos-based megachurch on Saturday.
Prophet T.B. Joshua, the founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), passed away one week before his 58th birthday, his church said in a statement Sunday.
“On Saturday 5th June 2021, Prophet TB Joshua spoke during the Emmanuel TV Partners Meeting: “Time for everything – time to come here for prayer and time to return home after the service,” T.B. Joshua Ministries wrote in a Facebook post. “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.”
Joshua’s cause of death was not stated. Since his rise to prominence in the late 1990s, the popular preacher was renowned for his philanthropy, prosperity teachings, and purported healings and miracles.
SCOAN plays host to dozens of international guests, and local celebrities, who visit the worship center for prayers.
Emmanuel TV, the broadcast arm of the church, airs in Africa on DSTV – a satellite service owned by South African firm MultiChoice. Joshua’s ministrations and humanitarian outreaches in different parts of the world are showcased on the popular video platform.
Joshua was not without controversy. In recent weeks, his YouTube channel was deactivated after he posted videos claiming to ‘cure’ gay members of his congregation of their sexuality.
In 2011, Joshua was listed by Forbes as the third-richest pastor in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of between $10 - $15 million. SCOAN, however, denied the claims.
In 2014, a building on SCOAN’s premises collapsed, killing more than 100 people – most of whom were foreigners from South Africa.
Tributes have been pouring in following the passing of the famous preacher. A Nigerian social commentator, Japheth Omojuwa, has described Joshua’s death as “a big loss to Nigeria.”
“TB Joshua is a big loss to Nigeria and the Ikotun end of Lagos especially. His church is one of the major points of tourist attractions to Nigeria and I can’t begin to imagine the impact of his death on businesses, people and the less privileged in that area. May he Rest in Peace,” Omojuwa tweeted Sunday morning.