Just days away from his 58th birthday, celebrity Nigerian Christian preacher Prophet T.B. Joshua has passed away from unknown causes.
Temitope Balogun Joshua was the leader and founder of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), a Christian megachurch that runs the Emmanuel TV television station from Lagos.
Joshua was also famous for being one of Nigeria’s millionaire church pastors who fly private jets.
Joshua was widely known across Africa and Latin America and was referred to as ‘Prophet’ by his church members. He had a large social media presence with more than 3 million fans on Facebook. Emmanuel TV’s Youtube channel had over one million subscribers and was reported to be the most-viewed Christian ministry on Youtube.
“God has taken His servant Prophet TB Joshua home – as it should be by divine will,” the church stated on its Facebook page. “His last moments on earth were spent in the service of God. This is what he was born for, lived for and died for.
“As Prophet TB Joshua says, “The greatest way to use life is to spend it on something that will outlive it”.
“Prophet TB Joshua leaves a legacy of service and sacrifice to God’s Kingdom that is living for generations yet unborn.
“The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations and Emmanuel TV Family appreciate your love, prayers and concern at this time and request a time of privacy for the family.
“Here are Prophet TB Joshua’s last words: “Watch and pray.”
Joshua was awarded various accolades, notably receiving the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic by the Nigerian government in 2008 and being voted the Yoruba man of the decade by Pan-Yoruba media outlet Irohin-Odua. He was called one of Africa’s 50 most influential people by Pan-African magazines The Africa Report and New African Magazine.
As of 2011, according to Forbes, Joshua was Nigeria’s third-richest pastor, although the claim was immediately denied in a statement by the church. He was a controversial figure and was officially blacklisted by the government of Cameroon in 2010.
Joshua has been described by media outlets as the “Oprah of Evangelism” and “YouTube’s most popular pastor”.