The founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua, is many different things to many people.
Some express intense hatred towards him, so much so, that you would think he had personally caused all their woes and sorrows.
On the contrary, others talk with such awe about him that you would think they couldn’t live without him.
Who is this man that is constantly causing a stir, a rift in the breach, rippling the still waters?
Who is this man who has become a topic of conversation from the mouths of the most impoverished to societies finest and elites?
This was among many reasons the pronouncement of his death on Sunday came as a huge shock to many across the country.
Ripples Nigeria had earlier reported that the SCOAN confirmed the death of TB Joshua on Sunday, shortly after a church programme.
The statement from the church however, did not reveal the circumstances around his death or the cause.
Known for performing controversial “miracle” healings, Joshua attracted a large following from outside the country, and indeed from other continents, especially from South Africa and has included visits from South African politicians such as Winnie Madkizela-Mandela and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, as well as the late Springbok rugby players Ruben Kruger and Wium Basson.
Joshua’s Synagogue, Church of All Nations has branches around the world, and a YouTube video even credits him with predicting the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.
Yet critics say this wildly popular televangelist hinders efforts to curtail the spread of HIV and tuberculosis with testimonies by church-goers that faith and his holy water can cure both.
He is also accused of taking advantage of his followers and controlling those closest to him, who call him “Daddy.”
Despite these criticisms, the SCOAN has enjoyed huge patronage from eminent personalities across the world and here are a few:
The video captured the actor thrashing about and in fits as a group of men believed to be part of a prayer team at the church battled to restrain him while another continued to scream “Out!!”
The Synagogue church had posted a confirmation on their Facebook wall that indeed it was the actor who was delivered.
Their statement reads in part, “As Wise Man Daniel ministered prayer in Jesus’ name, Nollywood Actor Jim Iyke, of international fame, was arrested by the power of the Holy Spirit. The evil spirit that had tormented his life for so many years began to manifest, confessing that it was the cause of his setback and disappointment.”
He explained how he was healed by TB Joshua from his afflictions.
In his word, “Yes, I got my healing through TB Joshua. It is our Lord’s doing. I was having issues with the mentality for over seven years.”
“I spent so much money visiting hospitals, orthodox and unorthodox doctors without positive result. Until I was introduced to TB Joshua.”
He confirmed it during an interview stating, “We all seek divine intervention, we all seek blessings of spiritual leaders, and it happened that this time we came to TB Joshua… and it shouldn’t be seen to be any controversial activities,” he said.
In the video, Gomes can be heard explaining his injury woes to the crowd and how they impacted his development with the Red Devils.
Gomes, however, took to Twitter to explain the video, saying “Regarding the video that has come out from 2016. I am from a Christian family. At the time my mum was a fan of the pastor, and she really wanted me to go,’ Gomes tweeted.
“I was going through some issues. From the outside looking in, it looks crazy, but I was just practicing my faith.”
The Zimbabwean politician has paid several visits to TB Joshua for spiritual guidance.
In 2013, Tsvangirai stood in a prayer line at TB Joshua’s church, while wearing a red and yellow African attire outfit.
Mr Tsvangirai fell helplessly into his chair when TB Joshua laid hands on him. That was not the first time the MDC-T leader was visiting the Nigeria prophet as his first public visit came in 2010 when he was accompanied by his estranged wife, Ms Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo on September 1, 2010.
Sources said the Nigerian prophet in 2010 told Mr Tsvangirai that he would never be president of Zimbabwe and this did not go down well with him and he reportedly went on to consult various prophets and traditional healers across the country, but they told him the same story.
He went on to lift the 2013 African Cup Of Nations, three years later before retiring from international football.
Former Nigerian international Daniel Amokachi once said in an interview: “I don’t go to church because of miracle, but when I went to Synagogue I did see the miracle with my eyes but I never received any. The good thing was that I came out of that church knowing that Jesus exists.”
He continued: “Judging from the lifestyle I had in the past, for me to have found Jesus Christ from there was a positive thing for me. And it was a turning point in my life. But you see when you’re desperate, so many things can happen. I was even conned because I was desperate to treat my injury.”
It was reported that Amokachi went to the synagogue with a knee injury.
Needless to say, a good of prominent people, political and business figures have also paid the late cleric a visit to seek spiritual help, with many of them doing so clandestinely, and in the dead of the night.
Many of the mysteries around him may never be solved, with the demise of the renowned cleric, a huge void has been created regarding televangelism in Nigeria and the world at large.
By Mayowa Oladeji
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