TB Joshua is a Nigerian pastor, tele-vangelist
and philanthropist. He is the leader and founder of The Synagogue,
Church of All Nations, SCOAN, a Christian organisation that runs the Emmanuel TV television
station from Lagos, Nigeria. TB Joshua was born on 12 June 1963, at Arigidi,
Ondo State, Nigeria. Currently, he is almost 56 years. He resides in Lagos, in Nigeria. TB Joshua is a Nigerian by birth and citizenship. His net worth is between $10 million to $15
million, according to Forbes, 2011. TB Joshua got married to Evelyn Joshua in
1990, and they are going strong. They have three children. His eldest daughter, Serah Joshua, is a graduate
from the London School of Economics, Department of Law, and she was ‘called to the bar’ in
Nigeria in December 2015. His second daughter, Promise Joshua, is studying
Politics and International Relations, also at the London School of Economics. TB Joshua is known for his popularity across
Africa, and Latin America, and his social media presence with about 3.5 million fans
on Facebook. His YouTube channel, Emmanuel TV, has over
1.2 million YouTube subscribers, and over 4.2 million views, and it is the world’s
most viewed Christian ministry on the platform. Google ranked one of Emmanuel TV’s YouTube
videos, as the fourth most viewed clip ever within Nigeria. Described as the “Oprah of evangelism” and
“YouTube’s most popular Pastor”, Emmanuel TV is among the world’s largest Christian
television networks. TB Joshua has been 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 has been called one of Africa’s 50 most
influential people, by the Pan-African magazine, The Africa Report, and the New African Magazine. As of 2011, according to Forbes, TB Joshua
was Nigeria’s third-richest pastor, although the claim was immediately denied in a statement
by the church. He is known to be controversial, and was even
‘blacklisted’ by the government of Cameroon in 2010. According to TB 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 house sent rocks through
its roof, just seven days after his birth. It is also alleged that TB Joshua’s birth
was ‘prophesied’ 100 years earlier. TB Joshua, then known as Balogun Francis,
attended St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School, in Arigidi, in Akoko North-West, Nigeria,
between 1971 and 1977, but failed to complete one year of secondary school education. In school, he was known as “small pastor”,
because of his love for the Bible. He worked in various casual jobs after his
schooling had ended, including carrying chicken waste at a poultry farm. He organised Bible studies for local children,
and attended evening school during this period. TB Joshua attempted to join the Nigerian military,
but was thwarted due to a train breakdown, that left him stranded en route to the military
academy. TB Joshua wrote that, in a heavenly vision,
he had received divine anointing, and a covenant from God to start his ministry. Following this, TB Joshua founded the ministry
organisation, The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, SCOAN. According to the organisation, more than 15,000
members attend its weekly Sunday service; visitors from outside Nigeria are accommodated
in the accommodation blocks constructed at the church. 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 TB Joshua’s popularity, the church
only has a branch in the country of Ghana, TB Joshua stating that, “it is not yet time”
for him to have branches worldwide as “it will be too much for his character”. The SCOAN has been 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 travellers coming into Nigeria are
bound for The SCOAN, a fact discussed in Zimbabwean parliament when addressing the economic potentials
of religious tourism. This Day newspapers reported that, “about
two million local and inbound tourists” visit The SCOAN annually. The church’s popularity has led to an increase
in flight routes to Lagos from several African countries in 2013. TB Joshua’s contribution to Nigeria’s religious
tourism, was highlighted when he hinted at the possibility of relocating his ministry
to Israel, during a Sunday service. The announcement proved controversial, with
several prominent Nigerians urging him to remain in the country, citing the economic
setbacks Nigeria would likely experience through his potential relocation. SCOAN claims 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 TB Joshua. SCOAN has published numerous videos, claiming
to document the healing of incurable disabilities and illnesses, such as HIV AIDS, blindness
and open wounds. Spiritual healing at The SCOAN has been the
subject of several media reports, including a mention in Time Magazine, an Associated
Press interview, and an article by Foreign Policy, detailing the tendency of Nigerians
to seek ‘spiritual’ help due to insufficient medical facilities. A huge debate was stirred within Nigeria,
when the father of abducted school girl, Ese Oruru, stated his intention to take his daughter
to TB Joshua for ‘prayers’ following her release. Similarly, a leaked report stating the intention
of Nigeria’s embattled former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to visit TB Joshua
for ‘spiritual support’, in her battle against breast cancer, elicited controversy. Many have also claimed to be healed through
‘Anointing Water’, which has been prayed over by TB 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. In 2013, four people died in a stampede in
TB Joshua’s SCOAN, Ghanaian branch, when an unadvertised service drew huge crowds far
beyond the churches capacity, bringing Ghana’s capital city Accra almost to a standstill. TB Joshua also made headlines, when he claimed
that his 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. This came after Lagos State Health officials
visited TB Joshua, requesting him to publicly discourage Ebola victims from visiting his
church for prayers. A Sierra Leonean politician, later claimed
the water helped stop the spread of the disease, and cured several Ebola victims. SCOAN is also known for the purported “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 allegedly delivered from a ‘homosexual
demon’ at The SCOAN, also attracted widespread media attention, as did the ‘transformation’
of a Paraguayan transvestite. After ‘deliverance’, those involved often
confess the atrocities which the ‘evil spirit’ allegedly pushed them to engage in, such as
prostitution, armed robbery, internet fraud, and human trafficking. The wife of a Ghanaian goal keeper, Richard
Kingson, was delivered of an evil spirit which was supposedly behind her husband’s inability
to procure a contract. Notable Ghanaian human rights lawyer, Kwabla
Senanu, claimed that he was delivered from a spiritual problem. Similarly, 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 actress, Camilla
Mberekpe, was also said to have been delivered at The SCOAN. Popular Nollywood actor, Jim Iyke, also said
he received deliverance at The SCOAN, the video of the event subsequently going viral. A video of Kenyan Olympic athlete, Mercy Cherono,
receiving ‘deliverance’ through TB Joshua’s prayers, attracted widespread attention in
Kenya. She subsequently testified, in the company
of her husband, how the ‘evil spirit’ had negatively affected her young marriage and
career. Although TB Joshua rarely goes abroad, he
has travelled to 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. He additionally held a meeting with Cali’s
police force, giving a donation of $100,000, to support the families killed, or injured
in the course of their duties. The SCOAN is involved in extensive humanitarian
projects worldwide. A Forbes blogger estimated that, TB Joshua
has spent $20 million on charitable activities. Several media reports show the church has
donated large amounts of money, in order to help orphans, widows, elderly, physically
challenged, and destitute. 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’. TB Joshua, allegedly, joins his team in several
of the humanitarian journeys they undertake, to less-privileged communities. TB 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 26 million naira towards restoring
electricity, and putting an end to over two years of power outage, in four councils in
Akoko area of Ondo State. Also, he has additionally, made several large
donations to the police force in Nigeria, Ghana, and Colombia. The SCOAN has a ‘scholarship program’ which
caters for the academic needs of students in their thousands, ranging from primary to
tertiary education. In 2012, TB 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. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, TB Joshua
sent a team of medical personnel and humanitarian workers, to the affected area, establishing
a field hospital called ‘Clinique Emmanuel’. Additionally, he 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. TB 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. Several groups of Nigerians attempting illegal
travel to Europe through Libya, have been supported at The SCOAN, following their deportation
from the North African nation, with only the clothes on their backs. Stories of the harsh conditions they encountered,
and TB Joshua’s subsequent assistance made headlines in several local newspapers. In 2008, TB Joshua 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 Under-17 World Cup. Sani Emmanuel, who apparently lived in The
SCOAN for several years, was Nigeria’s top-scorer and the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Emmanuel and his colleague, Ogenyi Onazi,
signed professional contracts with SS Lazio, Onazi, a key player for the Nigerian Senior
Team, the Super Eagles. WBO International Light Middleweight boxing
champion, King Davidson Emenogu, said that TB Joshua has financially supported him throughout
his career, and purportedly prophesied that he would be a world boxing champion. TB Joshua was involved in the meeting of the
family of the late president of Liberia, Samuel Doe, with the former warlord Prince Johnson,
who was responsible for Doe’s death. During this meeting, the family publicly forgave
Johnson, who said it was through TB Joshua’s prayers, that he stopped drinking alcohol
and turned to Christianity. In recognition of his humanitarian activities,
he was awarded a National Honour, by the Nigerian government in 2008, as well as receiving a
letter of appreciation from the United Nations. He was further honoured as an Ambassador of
Peace, by the Arewa Youth Forum, a predominantly Muslim organisation, as well as being recognised
with an ‘award of excellence’ by ZAKA, Israel’s primary rescue and recovery voluntary service. SCOAN claims that TB Joshua has successfully
predicted events in the lives of individuals who attend his church services, as well as
worldwide events, including a purported prophecy of Michael Jackson’s death, and the outcome
of two African Cup of Nations final matches, which were won by Zambia, and Nigeria respectively. He has been voted by the public among the
most famous prophets. His prophecy about the impending death of
an African president, was widely reported in African press. TB Joshua’s followers believe the prophecy
concerning the former president of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in 2012, aged
78. False rumours spread, using TB Joshua’s name,
are known to have caused widespread panic in communities, affected sporting events,
music concerts, and led people to stop using social networks. When Hamza Al-Mustapha, the Chief Security
Officer of former Nigerian President, Sani Abacha, was released after eleven years of
imprisonment, his first port of call was to TB Joshua’s church, in acknowledgement of
a ‘prophecy’ TB Joshua, allegedly, gave him when Abacha was still in power. SCOAN released a video, claiming that TB Joshua
predicted the Malaysian Airlines, MH370 event. The prophecy received a lot of attention on
social media, and its accompanying YouTube video amassed over 1 million views. Several terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIS,
Al-Qaeda affiliates, and Al-Shabaab militants, have allegedly been predicted by TB Joshua,
including the November 2015 Paris attacks, the Garissa University College attack in Kenya,
the Ouagadougou hotel siege in Burkina Faso, and the 2016 Brussels Bombings. It is also claimed that he predicted the Boston
bombing attacks in America. TB Joshua’s alleged prophecy in April 2016,
that an impending terror attack would befall Ghana, made national headlines in the West
African nation, and led the national police to issue a statement, calling for the general
public to be calm and vigilant. 600 foreigners reportedly cancelled their
visits to Ghana in the wake of the statement. Days later, a captured Malian terrorist confessed
that his group had planned to target Ghana. TB Joshua, incorrectly, predicted that Hillary
Clinton would win the 2016 US election. After this prophecy failed to materialise,
with Donald Trump winning the election, TB Joshua stated that he was referring to Clinton’s
win in the popular vote, and any misinterpretation was due to a lack of “spiritual understanding”. A video of TB Joshua, predicting “the military”,
of an undisclosed Southern African nation, embarrassing, killing or capturing “a President
or Vice-President, or the First Lady of that nation‚” surfaced on social media after
the statement, which was made and recorded in August 2014, was interpreted as a prophecy
of the 2017 coup against Zimbabwe’s long-term leader Robert Mugabe. Notable visitors to SCOAN have included the
late Ghanaian President, John Evans Atta Mills, South Africa’s Winnie Mandela, EFF leader,
Julius Malema, the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, former Malawian President, Joyce Banda, Zimbabwean
Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangarai, and the late Zambian President, Frederick Chiluba,
who once stated that he watched ‘Emmanuel TV’ daily. Tanzanian President, John Magufuli, visited
The SCOAN in 2011. Days to his inauguration in November 2015,
TB Joshua visited Tanzania, where he met Magufuli, who received him at the airport, the outgoing
President Jakaya Kikwete and opposition leader Edward Lowassa. His visit caused a media storm in Tanzania,
even though he did not publicly appear at the inauguration. Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan,
visited The SCOAN in September 2014, following the tragic building collapse of a guest-house
within the church premises. After Jonathan conceded defeat to Muhammadu
Buhari, in Nigeria’s historic 2015 elections, TB Joshua controversially claimed he had warned
him of his impending electoral defeat, an assertion later corroborated by one of Jonathan’s
aides. A BBC Africa journalist, once questioned whether
TB Joshua was “the most powerful man in Africa”, due to his alleged influence in
the African political sphere. Days after the late John Atta Mills became
President of Ghana in 2009, his first port of call was TB Joshua’s church, for a thanksgiving
service, where he revealed that TB Joshua had accurately ‘prophesied’ his ascension
to power, and specific details relating to his narrow victory over Nana Akufo-Addo. TB Joshua was a regular visitor to Ghana,
during Mill’s early presidency, and allegedly organised prayer warriors to be praying in
Osu Castle. TB Joshua’s much-publicised prophecy, concerning
the death of Malawian President, Bingu Mutharika, garnered intense media attention, and was
subsequently the subject of a Malawian government inquiry as his successor, Joyce Banda, is
a devotee of TB Joshua. Banda claimed TB Joshua’s prayers, healed
her husband, after he suffered a stroke, and regularly visited TB Joshua in Nigeria, while
she was Head of State. TB Joshua played the role of a peace-maker
in the aftermath of the Tanzanian elections in 2015, visiting the country to meet, and
hold reconciliatory talks with President John Magufuli, a member of his church, and opposition
leader, Edward Lowassa. Commentators acknowledged that his visit,
significantly, reduced tensions in the country after the elections, which the opposition
party alleged were fraught with irregularities. TB Joshua was a key influence in former Liberian
warlord Senator, Prince Johnson’s decision, to endorse the candidacy of George Weah, for
president in the 2017 Liberian elections. His endorsement came days after the two were
spotted publicly together in The SCOAN, a visit that caused a media storm in Liberia. Weah’s main opponent, and current Vice President,
Joseph Boakai, also allegedly requested to visit TB Joshua in lieu of the elections. Emmanuel TV, the SCOAN television station,
broadcasts 24/7. Its Sunday services are broadcast live. TB Joshua’s programmes also air weekly on
a number of local television stations across Africa. It debuted on DStv and GOtv in November 2015,
as well as StarTimes in February 2016. In its profile on TB Joshua, the BBC described
him as “Nigeria’s best known televangelist”. A Ghanaian psychiatrist in the UK, was controversially
sacked from the NHS, after recommending Emmanuel TV to a patient with a history of ‘satanic
abuse’, although later cleared of any wrongdoing by a tribunal. Emmanuel TV’s motto is, ‘Changing lives, changing
nations, changing the world.’ The station is also known for its catch-phrase,
‘Distance Is Not A Barrier’, encouraging viewers to ‘pray along’ with TB Joshua
by ‘touching the screen’. There are several claims of people receiving
miraculous ‘healing’ through these prayers, including popular Nollywood actress, Tonto
Dikeh, who said TB Joshua’s prayers ended her 14-year smoking addiction. TB 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 does not engage in fundraising on air. TB Joshua has many critics, and is known to
be controversial. He has been publicly condemned by several
prominent pastors within Nigeria, his most vocal critic being Pastor Kris Okotie, who
described him as a ‘son of the devil’. The Christian Association of Nigeria, and
Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, have both acknowledged TB Joshua is not a member of
either organisation, and denounced him as an ‘impostor’. Enoch Adeboye, David Oyedepo, Ayo Oritsejafor,
Paul Adefarasin, and Matthew Ashimolowo are among the pastors who publicly denounced TB
Joshua, as did disgraced American mega-church leader, Ted Haggard. TB Joshua was ‘blacklisted’ by the government
of Cameroon in 2010, and termed a ‘son of the devil’. Rumours of a visit by TB Joshua to Zimbabwe
in 2012, led to an intense national debate, culminating with pastors and politicians strongly
objecting. A popular Ghanaian ‘witch-doctor’ said he
went to the Vatican City, to ‘report’ TB Joshua to Pope Francis, for his ‘false’ prophecies. In 2011, several media houses in the UK reported
that, at least three people in London, with HIV, died after they stopped taking life-saving
drugs on the advice of their pastors. The HIV prevention charity, African Health
Policy Network, believed that The SCOAN “may” be one of those involved in such practices,
although the three in question have no demonstrable link to the SCOAN. The BBC quoted The SCOAN as saying “No, we
do not ask people to stop taking their medication”. On 14 September 2015, it was reported that
TB Joshua “secretly purchased a $60 Million Gulf-stream G550 Private Jet”. These rumours were dismissed as false by a
media aide of TB Joshua. A self-confessed member of the Islamic sect,
Boko Haram, came to The SCOAN in March 2014, allegedly with plans to ‘bomb’ the church. According to him, it was TB Joshua’s prayers
that prevented the plan, and later compelled him to confess. The subsequent clip of the confession went
viral on YouTube, and proved very controversial. A group known as the “Movement for Accountability
and Good Governance”, has called for the investigation of the incident based on the claims that were
made. On 12 September 2014, a guest-house collapsed
in the SCOAN’s premises in Lagos, killing at least 115 people, 84 of them South Africans. Controversy has continued to swirl around
the circumstances that led to the collapse, with the former Nigerian Minister of Aviation,
Femi Fani-Kayode, alleging Nigeria’s intelligence agencies ‘blew up’ the building. In March 2016, the President of Malawi, Peter
Mutharika, attacked TB Joshua as a ‘false prophet’ for allegedly predicting his impending
death. His comments were condemned by the Evangelical
Association of Malawi, especially as there was no record of the purported prediction. Nigeria’s Premium Times newspaper stated that
TB Joshua incorporated a company, called Chillon Consultancy Limited, in the British Virgin
Islands, in June 2006, based on reports stemming from the Panama Papers leak. TB Joshua immediately denied his involvement,
stating on Facebook, “I am not a businessman, and have no business whatsoever. What God has given me is more than enough.” A prominent Nigerian Muslim cleric, Sheikh
Hussaini Yusuf Mabera, threatened to drag TB Joshua to court for “describing Jesus Christ
as God”. Thanks for watching. Please comment, like, share and subscribe.