Temitope Balogun Joshua, widely and fondly called T.B. Joshua, is a renowned Nigerian Charismatic Pastor, televangelist and Philanthropist. He is the leader and founder of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), a Christian Megachurch that runs the Emmanuel TV television station from Lagos.
He was born June 12, 1963 in Arigidi Akoko, a Yoruba community in Nigeria.
Joshua attended St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School in Arigidi Akoko, Nigeria, between 1971 and 1977. He later had his secondary school education, but failed to complete it.
Joshua had a humble beginning while he was growing up. While in school, he was known as “Small Pastor” because of his love for the Bible. He was said to have worked in various casual jobs after his school work, including carrying chicken waste at a poultry farm. He organised Bible studies for local children and attended evening school during this period.
Joshua attempted to join the Nigerian military but the dream was defeated due to a train breakdown that left him stranded on his way to the military academy.
Joshua then decided to do the work of God all throughout his life which led to the establishment of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN).
He has since recorded lots of achievements which are quite tremendous and worth mentioning.
The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN)
Joshua is the founder of Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), a ministry he revealed was as a heavenly vision, divine anointing, and a covenant from God to start. The organization which had the initial start off members of about 15,000 members attended its weekly Sunday service now has an unimaginable number of visitors globally constructed at the church in Nigeria.
The Guardian reported that The SCOAN attracts more weekly attendees than the combined number of visitors to Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. The SCOAN’s popular services have also resulted in an enormous boost for local businesses and hoteliers.
Despite Joshua’s popularity, the church only has a branch in Ghana, Joshua stating that “it is not yet time” for him to have branches worldwide as “it will be too much for my character”.
Joshua is a great man of God, with his growing popularity across Africa and Latin America and his social media presence with 3,500,000 fans on Facebook. His YouTube channel, Emmanuel TV, had over 1,000,000 YouTube subscribers and was the world’s most viewed Christian ministry on the platform before it was suspended.
Joshua has been widely described as the “Oprah of Evangelism” and “YouTube’s most popular Pastor”,
The SCOAN has been widely described as “Nigeria’s biggest tourist attraction” and “the most visited destination by religious tourists in West Africa,” with thousands of foreigners flocking to attend the church’s weekly services.
Figures released by the Nigerian Immigration Service indicated that six out of every ten foreign travelers who come to Nigeria visit SCOAN, a development attributed to economic potentials of religious tourism.
This Day newspapers reported that the presence of SCOAN has increased local and inbound tourists” to over two million annually.
The church’s popularity has also led to an increase in flight routes to Lagos from several African countries since 2013.
Healings and Miracles
SCOAN has also had claims of regular occurrences of divine miracles. Several hundred Nigerians and international visitors come to the SCOAN each week to register for the prayer lines where the visitors are prayed over by Joshua. SCOAN has published numerous videos claiming to document the healing of incurable disabilities and illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, blindness and open wounds.
Many have also claimed to be healed through ‘anointing water’ that has been prayed on by Joshua and given to those who are unable to physically attend his church in Lagos. Others claim they were protected from deadly incidents because they had the water with them.
Joshua also made name with the said anointing water. He revealed that anointing water could cure the deadly disease Ebola. He subsequently sent 4,000 bottles of the water alongside a cash gift of $50,000 to the Ebola-stricken nation of Sierra Leone.
There have been lots of recorded celebrity deliverances attributed to SCOAN, notably from Ghanaian human rights lawyer Kwabla Senanu who claimed that he was delivered from a spiritual problem.
In a similar incident, Ghanaian musician Denise Williams said she was delivered from a demon that had pushed her to become a drug addict and suicidal.
Veteran Nigerian Nollywood celebrities, Camilla Mberekpe and Jim Iyke also said they received deliverance at The SCOAN, the video of which went viral on social media.
SCOAN is also known for “deliverance” of those allegedly possessed by evil spirits during its services.
Strange occurrences have been reported during these deliverance prayers, including the case of a South African girl who allegedly ‘cried blood’ and a Liberian man who began behaving ‘like a dog’.
A young man was also delivered from a ‘homosexual demon’ and many others at The SCOAN have received widespread media attention.
This great man of God, T.B Joshua has travelled to various countries of the world including Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Paraguay to hold ‘crusades’.
He also visited Israel to receive a humanitarian award from ZAKA and visit biblical sites.
His ‘Miracle Crusade’ in Cali, Colombia in July 2014 was allegedly attended by 100,000 people and held in the Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero.
His visit caused a media storm when the Paraguayan parliament approved that the cleric be awarded with the ‘National Order of Merit’, the country’s highest honour usually reserved only for its own citizens.
Testimonies from those who alleged they were healed through Joshua’s prayers at the crusade made headlines in local media.
Emmanuel TV is also one of the numerous achievements of SCOAN. It has its motto as ‘Changing lives, changing nations, changing the world’. The SCOAN television station broadcasts 24/7. Its Sunday services are broadcast live Joshua’s programmes through which he reaches to Christian faithful globally.
There are several claims of people receiving miraculous ‘healing’ through these prayers, including popular Nollywood actress Tonto Dikeh who said Joshua’s prayers ended her 14-year smoking addiction.
Joshua has earned a reputation for not focusing on the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ and Emmanuel TV is known as one of the few Christian channels that do not engage in fundraising on air.
Emmanuel TV also has YouTube Channel with over 2,000,000 subscribers and 400 million views, before it was closed in April 2021 after allegations of hate speech. It was the world’s most viewed Christian ministry on the platform.
Google, the internet giant also ranked Emmanuel TV’s YouTube videos as the fourth most viewed clip ever within Nigeria.
A Forbes blogger estimated that Joshua has spent $20 million on “education, healthcare and rehabilitation programs for former Niger Delta militants”. There is also a rehabilitation programme for militants from Nigeria’s volatile Niger Delta region, repentant armed robbers and sex workers who came to the church for ‘deliverance’.
Joshua has come to the aid of several communities in distress, notably providing two transformers to a local community after theirs was burned beyond repair.
He donated over N26m towards restoring electricity and putting an end to over two years of power outage in four councils in Akoko area of Ondo State.
The cleric has also made several huge donations to the Police force in Nigeria, Ghana and Colombia respectively.
The SCOAN has a ‘scholarship program’ which caters for the academic needs of students in their thousands, ranging from primary to University level.
In 2012, Joshua sponsored a Nigerian student doing a PhD in Oxford University, with Nigerian media reporting she received £100,000 from the church.
He also gave a scholarship to a young Motswana to study at Harvard Law School in America.
Setback: Collapse of Guest House
Like any human being on earth, Joshua has had a fair share of setbacks.
On 12 September 2014, a guest house collapsed in the SCOAN’s premises in Lagos killing at least 115 people with 84 of them South African nationals. Controversies trailed the circumstances that led to the collapse of the building. This however did not however stop Joshua from doing the work of God.
Awards and Honours
Joshua has in the course of his Christian journey earned various awards, notably honoured with the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by the Nigerian government in 2008.
He was voted the Yoruba man of the decade by Pan-Yoruba media outlet Irohin-Odua rated one of Africa’s 50 most influential people by Pan-African magazines, The Africa Report and New African Magazine.
Joshua as well received a letter of appreciation from the United Nations.
After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Joshua sent a team of medical personnel and humanitarian workers to the affected area, establishing a field hospital called ‘Clinique Emmanuel’.
He additionally sent support to nations such as Philippines, India and Ghana in the wake of varying natural disasters.
The ‘Emmanuel TV Team’ also assisted victims of the earthquake that struck the nation of Ecuador in April 2016, providing over $500,000 worth of humanitarian aid.
Joshua funded the building and running of a school in Lahore, Pakistan named ‘Emmanuel School’. He also rebuilt a school in a rural area destroyed by the 2016 Ecuador earthquake, travelling to Ecuador for the opening of the school in June 2017.
Joshua has also touched the area of sports. In 2009, he started a football club, My People FC, as part of efforts to help the youth. Two members of the team played for Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets in the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Joshua has authored several books including The Mirror ISBN 0-620-37453-5 and The Step Between You, among numerous others.
His Personal Life
Joshua is happily married to Evelyn Joshua. The union is blessed with three children.
His Net Worth
T.B. Joshua is one of the richest and most influential Pastors in Nigeria and African at large. As at 2011, according to Forbes, Joshua was Nigeria’s third-richest pastor with over 10 Million dollars.