T. B. Joshua

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T. B. Joshua
Born Temitope Balogun Joshua
(1963-06-12) June 12, 1963 (age 52)
Arigidi, Nigeria
Residence Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos, Nigeria
Nationality Nigerian
Occupation Self-proclaimed Prophet, minister, televangelist
Net worth US$10-15 million (Forbes, 2011)[1]
Spouse(s) Evelyn Joshua
Website The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations, Emmanuel TV, YouTube Channel

Temitope Balogun Joshua (born June 12, 1963), commonly referred to as T. B. Joshua, is a Nigerian preacher. He is the leader and founder of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN),[2] a religious organisation that runs the Emmanuel TV television station from Lagos, Nigeria.

He has been awarded various accolades, notably receiving the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by the Nigerian government in 2008[3] and being voted the Yoruba man of the decade by Pan-Yoruba media outlet Irohin-Odua.[4] He was recognised as one of Africa's 50 most influential people by Pan-African magazines 'The Africa Report' and 'New African Magazine'[5][6] and listed among the world's most famous people.[7]

Joshua is known for his popularity across Africa and his online presence, with over 1,500,000 fans on Facebook[8][9] and hundreds of YouTube videos which have proved controversial and amassed millions of views [10] In 2011, according to Forbes, Joshua was Nigeria’s third-richest pastor.[11]


According to Joshua’s official biography, unusual circumstances surrounded his birth. He says that he spent 15 months in his mother’s womb[12] and narrowly avoided death after a quarry explosion near his house sent rocks through its roof just seven days after his birth.

Joshua, then known as Balogun Francis,[13] attended St. Stephen's Anglican Primary School in Arigidi-Akoko, Nigeria between 1971 and 1977,[14] but failed to complete one year of secondary school education.[14] 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.[15] He organised Bible studies for local children and attended evening school during this period.[12] 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.[16]

The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN)[edit]

Joshua wrote that in a heavenly vision he had received divine anointing and a covenant from God to start his ministry.[17] Following this, Joshua founded the ministry organisation The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) with only a handful of members.[18][self-published source] According to the organisation, more than 15,000 members[19] attend its weekly Sunday service; visitors from outside Nigeria are accommodated in the accommodation blocks constructed at the church.[20][21][22]

The Guardian reported that The SCOAN attracts more weekly attendees than the combined number of visitors to Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.[23] The SCOAN's popular services have also resulted in an enormous boost for local businesses and hoteliers.[24]

Despite Joshua's popularity, the church only has a branch in Ghana,[25] Joshua stating that "it is not yet time" for him to have branches worldwide as "it will be too much for my character".[26]

Collapse of guesthouse[edit]

On 12 September 2014, a guesthouse collapsed in the SCOAN's premises in Lagos killing at least 115 people, 84 of them South Africans.[27]

Alleged healings and miracles[edit]

SCOAN remains controversial both in Nigeria and abroad, claiming regular occurrences of divine miracles.[28] 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 and the "Wise Men". SCOAN has published numerous videos claiming to document the healing of incurable disabilities and illnesses such as HIV/AIDS.[29][30][31] Medical reports are a prerequisite for prayer for any health-related ailment in an attempt to authenticate the miracles said to be occurring.[citation needed]

Spiritual healing at The SCOAN has been the subject of several media reports, including a mention in Time Magazine,[32] an Associated Press interview[33] and an article by Foreign Policy detailing the proficiency of Nigerians to seek 'spiritual' help due to insufficient medical facilities.[34]

Anointing Water[edit]

Many have also claimed to be healed through Anointing Water that has been prayed over by Joshua and given to those who are unable to physically attend his church in Lagos.[35][36]

The water sparked controversy when four people died in a stampede in Joshua's Ghanaian branch when an unadvertised service where it was being distributed drew huge crowds far beyond the churches capacity, bringing Ghana's capital city Accra almost to a standstill.[37]

Joshua also made headlines when he claimed 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.[38] This came after Lagos State Health officials visited Joshua, requesting him to publicly discourage Ebola victims from visiting his church for prayers.[39]

Alleged deliverances of demon-possessed[edit]

SCOAN is also controversial for the deliverance of those allegedly possessed by evil spirits during its services.[40] The wife of Ghanaian goal keeper Richard Kingson was allegedly delivered of an evil spirit which was supposedly behind her husband's inability to procure a contract with a team since 2011.[41] He has since secured a contract with Turkish club Balıkesirspor.

Notable Ghanaian human rights lawyer Kwabla Senanu testified at The SCOAN that he was delivered from a spiritual problem that had caused him embarrassing bouts of sleep in the courtroom.[42] Similarly, Ghanaian musician Denise Williams said she was delivered from a demon that had pushed her to become a drug addict and suicidal.[43] Veteran Nigerian Nollywood Actress Camilla Mberekpe was also said to be delivered at The SCOAN.[44]

Popular Nollywood actor Jim Iyke also allegedly received deliverance at The SCOAN,[45] the video of the supposed event subsequently going viral.[46]

Foreign crusades[edit]

Although Joshua rarely travels, he has held foreign crusades in Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and Colombia. His 'Miracle Crusade' in Cali, Colombia in July 2014 was allegedly attended by 100,000 people and held in the Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero.[47]

He held a crusade in the Estadio Azteca in Mexico which was allegedly attended by 200,000 people over two days in May 2015.[48][not in citation given]

Humanitarian work[edit]

Another ministry is the humanitarian arm of SCOAN. There are media reports that this humanitarian arm has donated money in order to help orphans and the destitute.[49] In 2009 it was reported that one widow received more than 500,000 N.[50] In 2012, Joshua sponsored one Nigerian student doing a PhD in Oxford University with Nigerian media reporting the total given amounted to £100,000.[51] There is also a rehabilitation programme for militants from Nigeria’s volatile Niger Delta region and a Forbes blogger estimated that Joshua has spent $20 million on humanitarian activities over a period of three years.[52]

Joshua was involved in the meeting of the family of the late president of Liberia, Samuel Doe, with the former warlord Prince Yormie Johnson who was responsible for Doe's death. During this meeting the family publicly forgave Johnson.[53]

SCOAN has also established another NGO in Ghana called Passion For Needy.[54] 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'.[55] In recognition of his humanitarian activities, he was awarded a National Honour by the Nigerian government in 2008 [3] as well as receiving a letter of appreciation from the United Nations.[56] He was further honoured as an Ambassador of Peace by the Arewa Youth Forum, a predominantly Muslim organisation, in appreciation of his humanitarian endeavours.[57]


In 2009, 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 U-17 World Cup. Sani Emmanuel, who apparently lived in The SCOAN for several years,[58] was Nigeria's top-scorer and the tournament's MVP. Emmanuel and his colleague Ogenyi Onazi have now signed professional contracts with SS Lazio, Onazi a key player for the Nigerian Senior Team, the Super Eagles.[59]

WBO International Light Middleweight boxing champion King Davidson Emenogu said that Joshua has financially supported him throughout his career and purportedly prophesied that he would be a world boxing champion.[60]


SCOAN claims that Joshua has successfully predicted events in the lives of individuals who attend his church services as well as worldwide events, including a prophecy of Michael Jackson's death,[61] the Boston bombing attacks in America [62] and the outcome of two African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final matches, which were won by Zambia [63] and Nigeria[64] respectively.

His alleged prophecy about the death of an African president was widely reported in African press.[65] Joshua's followers believe the prophecy concerned the former president of Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika who died in 2012.

False rumors spread using Joshua's name are known to have caused widespread panic in communities,[66][67] affected sporting events[68] and led people to stop using social networks.[69]

Alleged MH370 prophecy[edit]

Joshua's purported prophecy about the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH370 several months before the incident drew international media attention[70] with its accompanying YouTube video amassing over 1 million views.[71]

Notable visitors[edit]

Notable visitors to SCOAN have included late Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills [72] South Africa’s Winnie Mandela,[73] EFF leader Julius Malema,[74] the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu [75] and the late former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba who once stated that he watched 'Emmanuel TV' daily.[76]

It also included C. S. Upthegrove.

Emmanuel TV[edit]

Emmanuel TV, the SCOAN television station, broadcasts 24/7. Its Sunday services, which include the prayer line, are broadcast live. Joshua's programmes also air weekly on a number of local television stations across Africa. In its profile on Joshua, the BBC described him as "Nigeria's best known televangelist".[77]

Emmanuel TV logo

YouTube Channel[edit]

Emmanuel TV's YouTube Channel is one of the most subscribed Christian YouTube channels worldwide, having amassed 195,000 subscribers and over 80 millions views since its inception. Google ranked one of Emmanuel TV's YouTube videos as the fourth most viewed clip ever within Nigeria.[78]

Personal life[edit]

Joshua is married to Evelyn Joshua. They have three children.[79] His eldest daughter Serah Joshua has graduated from the London School of Economics, Department of Law.[80]


Joshua has many critics.[81]

According to media reports, at least three people in London with HIV have died after they stopped taking life saving drugs on the advice of their evangelical Christian pastors. "The women died after attending churches in London where they were encouraged to stop taking the antiretroviral drugs in the belief that God would heal them." The HIV prevention charity African Health Policy Network (AHPN) believed that the SCOAN, which has UK headquarters in Southwark, south London, "may" be one of those involved in such practices. However 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".[82]

On 14 September 2015 it was reported that Joshua "secretly purchase[d] [a] $60 Million Gulfstream G550 Private Jet". He claimed that "the jet was paid for by at least eight African Heads of State in 2014".[83] These rumors were dismissed as false by Ezekiel, a media aide of Joshua.[84][85]

Books written by T. B. Joshua[edit]


  1. ^ "The Five Richest Pastors In Nigeria". Forbes. 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  2. ^ "Prophet TB Joshua". Scoan.org. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  3. ^ a b Umem, James (2008-12-23). "Adeboye, TB Joshua Absent At National Awards". Vanguard. 
  4. ^ "Awo, Soyinka, TB Joshua listed as Yoruba icons". Nigerian Tribune. 2015-02-20. 
  5. ^ "The 50 Most Influential Africans". The Africa Report. 2012-09-30. 
  6. ^ "2012: 100 Most Influential Africans". New African Magazine. 2012-12-26. 
  7. ^ Okonkwo, Oge (2015-02-27). "Popular Prophet Named One Of The Most Influential Personalities In Africa". Pulse (Nigeria). 
  8. ^ "T.B. Joshua Passes Million Milestone On Facebook". Peace FM (Ghana). 2014-05-29. 
  9. ^ Akli, Emmanuel (2012-12-07). "T.B. Joshua Speaks". Ghanaian Chronicle. 
  10. ^ Yenko, Athena (2014-03-12). "Malaysian Flight MH370: Prophecy Video Emerges Dated July 28". International Business Times. 
  11. ^ "Pentecostalism in Africa: Of prophets and profits". The Economist. Oct 4, 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Correspondent, Codewit (2009-04-07). "Untold Story Of A Mystery T.B. Joshua". Codewit. 
  13. ^ "Welcome To The Primary School Where T.B. Joshua Studied | Welcome to ShoutNaija ➨ TOP Nigerian portal". Shoutnaija.blogspot.in. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  14. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  15. ^ Emmanuel, Tito (2010-08-12). "TB Joshua – 47 Happy Cheers". All Africa. 
  16. ^ Olanipekun, Akinwale (2011-06-12). "TB Joshua: Saving The Face Of The World". Sunshine Memo, Ondo. 
  17. ^ [2][dead link]
  18. ^ "The History of the SCOAN". Scoan.org. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  19. ^ "Celebrity Priests". The Economist. 2012-07-07. 
  20. ^ "The Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, Nigeria ; Travel report of my visit to the Synagogue Church - March 13-22, 2007". Vergadering.nu. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  21. ^ "Report on TB Joshua, the man in the Synagogue". Bennier.tripod.com. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  22. ^ "revivalinpower". revivalinpower. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  23. ^ Mark, Monica (2013-09-01). "Lagos Businesses Cash In On Lure Of Super Pastor TB Joshua". The Guardian (UK). 
  24. ^ Ben-Nwankwo, Nonye (2013-08-17). "TB Joshua’s Neighbours Convert Homes To Hotels". The Punch (Nigeria). 
  25. ^ Umoren, Comfort (2010-09-21). "3 Jailed For Robbing T.B. Joshua’s Church In Ghana". This Day. 
  26. ^ "Why I Don't Have Churches Everywhere - T.B. Joshua". Citi FM Online (Ghana). 2014-08-27. 
  27. ^ TB Joshua Lagos church collapse: Many South Africans dead BBC
  28. ^ "TB Joshua now releases videos of his early days miracles". Zambian Eye. 2012-10-23. 
  29. ^ "Prophet TB Joshua Heals A Man Who Has AIDS". Nigeria Films. 2014-02-02. 
  30. ^ "People 'healed' of HIV-AIDS after visiting Nigerian Prophet TB Joshua". Harare24. 2012. 
  31. ^ "Prophet T.B.Joshua & The Synagogue". The Remnant. 2008-02-01. 
  32. ^ Kluger, Jeffrey (2009-02-12). "Spiritual Healing Around The World". Time Magazine. 
  33. ^ Petesch, Carley (2014-04-19). "Nigeria Preacher: Healer Or Controversial Leader". Associated Press. 
  34. ^ Getty, Rowan Moore (2014-04-25). "Only The Synagogue Can Save You". Foreign Policy. 
  35. ^ Edjewhovbo, Benson (2010-07-22). "Curing Four Year Old Acid Victim". Daily Independent. 
  36. ^ Ndlovu-Gherke, Nomsa (2010-07-16). "By Divine Connection". The Voice (Botswana). 
  37. ^ Hirsch, Afua (2013-05-23). "Celebrity Pastor Under Fire After Worshippers Die In Rush For 'Holy Water'". The Guardian (UK). 
  38. ^ Griffin, Andrew (2014-08-17). "Millionaire Preacher Sends 4,000 Bottles Of Holy Water As Ebola Cure". The Independent (UK). 
  39. ^ Moon, Ruth (2014-10-29). "Why Nigerian Health Officials Turned to a Megachurch Pastor When Ebola Struck". Christianity Today. 
  40. ^ "Demon Possessed Redeemed Elder Delivered By TB Joshua". Modern Ghana. 2009-07-23. 
  41. ^ Reynolds, Emma (2012-09-11). "Wife Of Premier League Goalie Claims To Be 'Witch' Who Wrecked Her Husband's Career And Made Him Impotent". Daily Mail (UK). 
  42. ^ Graphic, Daily (2013-04-08). "T.B. Joshua 'Delivers' Sleeping Lawyer". My Joy Online (Ghana). 
  43. ^ Graphic, Daily (2013-03-18). "I Attempted Suicide, Was Into Prostitution, Drugs – Vodafone Icons Winner". My Joy Online (Ghana). 
  44. ^ Afisunlu, Feyi (2013-04-29). "Pastor T.B. Joshua Delivers Nollywood Actress From Witchcraft". Daily Post (Nigeria). 
  45. ^ Aglanu, Ernest Dela (2013-09-29). "Jim Iyke Delivered From 'Demonic' Possession At TB Joshua's Church". My Joy Online (Ghana). 
  46. ^ "Much Ado About Jim Iyke’s Deliverance At TB Joshua’s Synagogue". Daily Independent (Nigeria). 2013-10-01. 
  47. ^ Ejiofor, Clement (2014-07-18). "TB Joshua Gathers 100,000 In Colombia". Naij (Nigeria). 
  48. ^ Sky, Anthony (2015-05-11). "TB Joshua y su Cruzada de Sanidad en México". Cafe Y Cabaret (Mexico). 
  49. ^ Okonkwo, Innocent (2010-06-15). "TB Joshua Makes Case For The Needy". All Africa. 
  50. ^ Okafor, Chiji (2009-10-18). "Widow, 9 Kids Eat From Refuse Dump". National Life. 
  51. ^ Adeyemo, Adeola (2012-11-19). "Prophet T.B Joshua Sponsors Nigerian Student Yinka Oduwole With N26 Million For A PhD At Oxford University". Bella Naija. 
  52. ^ Nsehe, Mfonobong (2011-06-07). "The Five Richest Pastors In Nigeria". Forbes Blog. 
  53. ^ "Son Forgives Man Who Butchered President Doe". IOL. 2000-11-22. 
  54. ^ Ametepe, Isaac (2011-04-29). "Passion for Needy registers 120 less privileged persons under NHIS". The Ghanaian Rector. 
  55. ^ "Emmanuel TV Haiti Earthquake Relief". Read Us. 2010-08-27. 
  56. ^ Makaka, Sam (2014-01-30). "Prophet TB Joshua Gets UN Recognition". Nyasa Times (Malawi). 
  57. ^ Ido, Akan (2013-08-04). "TB Joshua Receives Peace Award From Arewa Youth Forum". Y Naija. 
  58. ^ Ajah, Uchenna (2009-11-09). "TB Joshua's Altar Boy is Eaglets' Joker". All Africa. 
  59. ^ "TB Joshua Said I'll Score Against Venezuela". Punch (Nigeria). 2012-11-18. 
  60. ^ Leitch, Adam (2012-07-04). "Nigerian Prophet Predicted King's World Title Win". Daily Echo (UK). 
  61. ^ Njoku, Ihechukwu (2009-06-29). "Prophet TB Joshua Predicted The Death Of Michael Jackson". Nigeria World. 
  62. ^ Efe Mensah, Dorcas (2013-04-16). "TB Joshua Prophesied About Boston Bombings In January". My Joy Online (Ghana). 
  63. ^ Manasa, Makweembo (2012-02-14). "TB Joshua Prophesied Zambia's Historic AFCON Victory". Zim Eye (Zimbabwe). 
  64. ^ Alawode, Adebobola (2013-02-08). "Nations Cup Final – Eagles Will Win Says TB Joshua". PM News (Nigeria). 
  65. ^ Gwede, Wanga (2012-04-02). "Prophet TB Joshua Insists President's Death 'Very Close'". Nyasa Times (Malawi). 
  66. ^ "Church Debunks Mystery Lion Prophecy". Vanguard (Nigeria). 2010-01-27. 
  67. ^ Mlotshwa, Jabulani (2010-03-29). "Tales Of Doom Far Too Tall". Mail & Guardian (South Africa). 
  68. ^ "CONFIRMED! Prophecy Not True As Tickets Run Out". Tumfweko (Zambia). 2012-06-07. 
  69. ^ "TB Joshua Ministries Debunk Death On 2Go And Facebook Prophecy". African Spotlight. 2012-07-17. 
  70. ^ Hallowell, Billy (2014-03-12). "Did Nigerian Pastor’s ‘Prophecy’ Predict the Disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 Months Ago?". The Blaze. 
  71. ^ John, Simi (2014-03-13). "Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Clip of Nigerian Preacher 'Predicting Disappearance' Goes Viral [VIDEO]". International Business Times (UK). 
  72. ^ Njoku, Ihechukwu (2012-08-02). "Prophet TB Joshua Says, 'Be Prepared To Die'". Nyasa Times (Malawi). 
  73. ^ Zvomuya, Percy (2012-08-23). "TB Joshua: The Preacher Who Knows Too Much". Mail & Guardian (South Africa). 
  74. ^ "Malema In Nigeria To Visit Prophet". News 24 (South Africa). 2013-08-14. 
  75. ^ Achi, Louis (2003-11-17). "Seeking Healing, South African Monarch Visits Synagogue". This Day. 
  76. ^ Brittain, Victoria (2011-06-19). "Frederick Chiluba Obituary". The Guardian (UK). 
  77. ^ Oladipo, Tomi (2014-09-17). "TB Joshua: Nigeria's best known televangelist.". BBC. 
  78. ^ Mohammed, Amina (2015-05-21). "Patience Jonathan’s "There is God" video Nigeria’s most viewed YouTube clip ever – Google". Premium Times (Nigeria). 
  79. ^ [3][dead link]
  80. ^ "Tb Joshuas Daughter Graduates From London School Of Economics". nigeriafilms.com. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  81. ^ "10 things you didn't know about T B Joshua and his SCOAN ministry". Buzznigeria.com date = 2014-07-25. 
  82. ^ "Church HIV prayer cure claims 'cause three deaths'". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-10-18. 
  83. ^ "Pastor T.B Joshua secretly purchases $60 Million Gulfstream G550 Private Jet". Anygist.com. 2015-09-15. 
  84. ^ "Rumors Of T.B Joshua’s Purchase Of $60m Private Jet Baseless, False – Aide". 2015-10-28. 
  85. ^ "T.B. Joshua’s new private jet story". 

External links[edit]