Nigerian popular televangelist, Temitope Balogun Joshua a.k.a. T.B. Joshua, had the sign he was going to die soon, regaled a church member, “although he never expected it would be this soon”. The cleric, who died on Saturday June 5, 2021, exactly one week to his 58th birthday, the source told Global Excellence magazine, spoke literally about succession during his last service late June 4.
Since T.B. Joshua’s sudden passing, apart from the controversy created around his funeral between his family and the church, the next hot issue is about who succeeds the famous cleric who was known for his charitable giving. Thus far, the source claimed, the church has won in the burial plan tussle.
The initial plans were that Joshua would be buried in his home town, Arigidi-Akoko in Ondo State, as demanded by the traditional ruler of the town. The source said that certain persons within the Joshua family who had regularly benefitted from his generosity actually sought the assistance of the Arigidi-Akoko monarch to prevail on the church’s not to have their son buried in Lagos, considered as a strange land.
However, the church elders with some elders in the cleric’s family intervened and forced the issue that he be buried in Lagos. “They said the reason to have Papa buried in his church in Lagos was spiritual, that is why the family agreed with them,” the church source stated.
Meanwhile, T.B. Joshua’s wife of 25 years, Evelyn, would be leading the SCOAN congregation in the interim, another inside source has revealed. Late June 4 when he conducted his last service, the source said the prophet spoke about love and giving, two regular features in his weekly sermons.
But strangely, the source said, he hammered on life hereafter. “He spoke prominently about death and encouraged his followers to look for wife children of their helpers for a payback,” the source said, assuming the prophet was speaking literally about his imminent exit and what he expected of his followers and those he had helped in their trying times.
Although, there was no succession plan, as T.B. Joshua reportedly trained none of his church members to take after him, including his wife, Mrs. Joshua was unanimously considered suitable to take on the leadership role at the Synagogue Church of All Nations in the meantime.
Before Prophet Joshua died, the source said that he gave no sign of any difficult ailment and that more church programmes as well as other activities were already lined up for him.
He was billed to travel to India for evangelism, the source revealed, where he was billed to pray for the country to overcome the frustrating second variant of the pandemic.