Temitope Balogun Joshua (born June 12, 1963 in Arigidi, Nigeria), commonly referred to as T. B. Joshua, is a Christian, minister, televangelist, humanitarian and faith healer. He is leader and founder of the ministry organisation The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN). The SCOAN runs a Christian television station called Emmanuel TV, available on satellite and on the Internet via the Streaming Faith broadcast portal.
Joshua attended St. Stephen's Anglican Primary School in Arigidi-Akoko, 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 and ability to predict things to come in his local community.
He worked in various casual employments 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. 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.
The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN)
In 1989, T. B. Joshua allegedly fasted and prayed for 40 days and 40 nights. He wrote that in a heavenly vision, he had received divine anointing and a covenant from God to start his ministry. In his own words, he said of the experience:
“… I saw a hand that pointed a Bible to my heart. The Bible entered my heart and my former heart seemed to immerse with the Bible immediately… I heard a voice saying, ‘I am your God. I am giving you a divine commission to go and carry out the work of the Heavenly Father… I would show you the wonderful ways I would reveal myself through you in teaching, preaching, miracles, signs and wonders for the salvation of souls…’ ”
Following this, Joshua founded the ministry organisation The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) initially with only a handful of members. According to the organisation, more than 15,000 members now attend its weekly Sunday service; visitors from outside Nigeria are accommodated in the church facilities.
SCOAN remains controversial both in Nigeria and abroad, claiming regular occurrences of divine miracles. It has published numerous videos claiming to document the healing of incurable illnesses such as HIV/ AIDs and cancer, showing conditions before, during, and after prayer in Jesus' name from T. B. Joshua. Spiritual healing at The SCOAN has been mentioned by Time magazine.
Since June 2010, five ‘Wise Men’ have joined in ministering to people at The SCOAN, purportedly able to prophesy, heal and deliver in the same vein as T.B. Joshua.
The church has branches in Ghana, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Greece.
Another Ministry is the humanitarian arm of SCOAN, with the stated aim of undertaking projects catering to the needs of widows, dwarfs, the elderly, physically challenged, orphans and the destitute.
The church provides scholarships to orphans and children of the underprivileged, with educational support given from primary to tertiary levels. There is also a rehabilitation programme for armed robbers, prostitutes and militants from Nigeria’s volatile Niger Delta region. He is also well known in Nigeria for reconciling broken families and marriages.
SCOAN has established various NGO’s in other countries, including the Passion For Needy in Ghana.
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, was Nigeria's top-scorer and the tournament's MVP. Emmanuel and his colleague Ogenyi Onazi have now signed professional contracts with SS Lazio and are representing Nigeria in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Following the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, T.B. Joshua rewarded the efforts of the Nigerian Team, presenting the physically challenged medallists with cash gifts and cars.
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'.
In recognition of his humanitarian activities, he was awarded a National Honour by the Nigerian government in 2008.
A Forbes blogger estimated Joshua has spent $20m on humanitarian activities in the last three years.
Claims of prophecy
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 and the outcome of various football matches.
Notable visitors, especially within the African political sphere, have visited SCOAN. These include Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangarai, Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills (who testified that T.B. Joshua prophesied his ascent to presidency), South Africa’s Winnie Mandela, Malawian Vice President Joyce Banda and The Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. Edward Lowasa Former Prime Minister of United Republic of Tanzania.
Emmanuel TV is the television station of SCOAN and broadcasts 24/7. Their Sunday and Monday services are broadcast live. T. B. Joshua's programmes also air 5 days a week on TBN Africa, as well as weekly on a number of local television stations across Africa.
There are claims that Joshua's alleged miracles are counterfeit. The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), an umbrella association of Nigerian Pentecostal Churches, refused admission to the Synagogue Church, denouncing T. B. Joshua as an impostor, and querying his background, mentorship and calling to the ministry. Christian critics often refer to T. B. Joshua's unorthodox methods as being not confirmed in the Bible.
Books authored by Joshua
* The Mirror ISBN 0-620-37453-5
* The Step Between You And The Cure ISBN 0-620-33247-6
* Daily Time With God ISBN 0-620-375752
* What The Future Holds ISBN 0-620-42843-9