Temitope Balogun Joshua commonly referred to as T.B Joshua, born June 12 1963 is a Nigerian pastor, televangelist and philanthropist.
He is the founder and leader of The Synagogue Church, of All Nations(SCOAN), a Christian organization that runs the EMMANUEL TV television station from Lagos, Nigeria.
Joshua is known for his popularity in across Africa and his online presence with 2,500,000 fans on Facebook and nearly 500,000 Youtube subscribers.
Joshua is said to be the most popular Youtube pastor and he’s also described as the “Oprah of evangelism”.
According to Joshua’s official biography, unusual circumstances surrounded his birth. He says that he spent 15 months in his mother’s womb and narrowly avoided death after a quarry explosion near his hose sent rocks through it roof only seven days after his death. It is also alleged that Joshua’s birth was prophesied 100 years prior to his birth.
Joshua then known as Balogun Francis attended St. Stephen’s Anglican primary school in ARIGIDI AKOKO, Nigeria between 1971 and 1977, but failed to complete one year of secondary education.
In school, he was known as small pastor due to his love for the Bible after schooling had ended, he worked in various casual jobs, including carrying chicken waste from a poultry farm.
He organized bible studies for local children and the same time attended evening school during this period. Joshua attempted to join the Nigerian army but was could not due to a train breakdown that left him stranded leading to the military academy.
Joshua said that in an heavenly vision he had received divine anointing and a covenant from God to start his ministry. Following this, Joshua founded the ministry organization The SYNAGOGUE Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) with only a handful of members.
According to the organization, over 15000 members attend its weekly Sunday service; visitors from outside Nigeria are accommodated in the accommodation blocks constructed at the church.
The GUARDIAN reports that SCOAN attracts more weekly attendees than the combined number of visitors to BUCKINGHAM PALACE and the TOWER OF LONDON. Due to this crowd, the SCOAN’S popular service has resulted in great boost for local businesses and hoteliers.
The SCOAN has been described as nigeria’s biggest tourist attraction and the most visited destination by religious tourist in west Africa, with thousands of foreigners flocking to attend the church’s weekly services.
Nigerian immigration says that 6 out of 10 foreign travellers coming into Nigeria are bound for the SCOAN.
The church popularity has led to an increase in flight route to Lagos.
Spiritual healing at the SCOAN has been the subject of several media reports, including a mention in Time Magazine and an article by foreign policy detailing the proficiency of Nigerians to seek “spiritual help due to insufficient medical facilities”.
A huge debate was stirred when the father of abducted school girl Ese Oruru stated his intention to take his daughter to T.B JOSHUA for prayers following her release.
Many has also claimed to be healed by the anointing water that has been prayed over by Joshua and given to those who are unable to physically attend his church service in Lagos, while others claimed they were protected from deadly incidents because they had the water with them.
In 2013 four people died in stampede in Joshua’s Ghana branch when in a service it was being distributed drew huge crowd from beyond the church’s capacity, bringing Accra the capital city of Ghana almost to a standstill. Joshua also made headline when he claimed his anointing water could cure Ebola. He sent 4,000 bottles of this anointing water alongside $50,000 to the Ebola stricken nation of sierra Leone. This came after The Lagos State Health officials visited Joshua asking him to publicly discourage Ebola victims from visiting his church for prayers. A sierra Leonean politician later claimed that the anointing water helped stop the spread of the disease and cured many Ebola victims.
SCOAN is also known for the deliverance of those allegedly possessed by evil spirit during its services. The wife of Ghanaian goal keeper Richard Kingson was delivered of an evil spirit which was supposedly behind her husband’s inability to secure with a team since 2011.
Notable Ghanaian human rights lawyer kwabla Senanu was delivered from a spiritual problem that has caused him embarrassing bouts of sleep in the courtroom. Ghanaian musician Denise Williams said she was delivered from a demon that had pushed her to become a drug addict and suicidal.
Similarly, popular NollyWood Actress Camilla Mberekpe was also said to be delivered at the SCOAN.
Nollywood actor Jim Iyke also said he received deliverance at SCOAN, the video of the event subsequently going viral.
Strange ocurrences has been reported at the SCOAN including Liberian man who began behaving like a dog and south African girl who “cried blood”.
SCOAN claims that Joshua has successfully predicted events in the lives of individuals who attended his church services as well as worldwide events; a prophecy of Micheal Jackson’s death, the Boston bombing attack in America and the outcome of two African cup of nations final matches.
His prophecy about the impending death of an African president.
False rumors spreading using Joshua’s name are known to have caused widespread panics in communities, affected sporting events, music concerts and led people to stop using social networks.
Although critics argue that Joshua’s prediction are to vague, he was ranked among the most famous prophets in history by an American ranking website. Joshua has prophesied on several things; in April Joshua prophesied that an impending terror attack would befall Ghana, Joshua predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 US election.
Joshua has been publicly condemned by several prominent pastors in Nigeria, his vocal critic being pastor Chris Okotie. Also the Christian Associaton of Nigeria and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria have both acknowledge Joshua is not a member of either organization and denounced him as an imposter. He was black listed by the government of Cameroon in 2010 and termed “a son of the devil”. A popular Ghanaian witch doctor said he went to the Vatican city to report Joshua to pope francis for his false prophecies. On September 14 2015 it was reported that Joshua secretly purchased a $60 million Gulfstream G550 private jet, this rumor was dismissed as false by a media aide of Joshua. On 12 september 2014 a guest house collapsed in the SCOAN premises killing atleast 115 people, 84 of them south Africans.
Joshua is known for his humanitarian projects worldwide, a forbes blogger estimating that Joshua has spent $20 million on charitable activities. Joshua has also come to the aid of several communities in distress.
The SCOAN has a scholarship program which caters for the academic needs of students in their thousands, ranging from primary to tertiary institution.
After the 2010b Haiti earthquake, Joshua sent a team of medical personnel and humanitarians to the affected areas. He additionally sent supports to some countries in the wake of natural disaster.
Several group of Nigerians attempting illegal travel to Europe through Libya has been supported by SCOAN following their deportation with only the clothes on their back, stories of harsh conditions they encountered and Joshua’s subsequent assistances made headlines in several local news papers.