LAGOS: Thousands of mourners have gathered at the Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in the Ikotun area of Lagos for the burial of Popular Nigerian televangelist; TB Joshua after a week of funeral rites.
The controversial Nigerian-born pastor died about a month ago at the age of 57.
Yesterday, July 8, thousands of Nigerians including people visiting from different parts of the world paid their last respects to Temitope Balogun Joshua at a memorial service held for him at the auditorium of the Lagos headquarters of the megachurch.
TB. Joshua was revered by people from around the world and tens of thousands of people attended his weekly services including many African presidents, senior government officials, international soccer players, musicians, and other high-profile celebrities.
His rise to prominence in the late 1990s coincided with the explosion of “miracle” programs performed on Nigerian TV by various pastors. His ministry professed to heal all manner of illnesses, including HIV/Aids, and attracted people from all over the world.
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Known as the “Prophet” by his followers, he ran the Christian television station Emmanuel TV and often toured Africa, the US, the UK, and South America.
Mr. Joshua came from a poor background and was brought up by his Muslim uncle following the death of his Christian father.
Other popular Nigerian mega-pastors were missing from the week of memorials to Mr. Joshua, highlighting the frosty relationship he had with them.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) previously described him as an “impostor” who belonged to a group of “occults” that had infiltrated Christianity.
CAN later issue a statement a few days after his death, saying “the loss was not only to the family and the church but to Nigeria and the world at large”.
Joshua is survived by his wife; Evelyn Joshua, and three children; Sarah Joshua, Promise Joshua, and Heart Joshua.
May his soul rest in peace, Amen.