Prophet Temitope Joshua, popularly known as T.B. Joshua, the founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, (SCOAN) has been buried on Friday amid an ocean of tears and tributes from around the world and tens of thousands of mourners who were physically present at the funeral.
The renowned televangelist who had died on Saturday, June 5, 2021 after conducting a service in his church located in Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos, was laid to rest at the church-Synagogue’s premises
Joshua, a global philanthropist of repute passed on few days to his 58th birthday anniversary.
He ran the Christian television station Emmanuel TV and often toured different countries in Africa, the US, the UK and South America.
SCOAN had at a news conference on June 29 said that July 5 to July 11 would be dedicated for a series of Joshua’s ‘laying to rest’ activities tagged: ‘Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Prophet Joshua (1963 to 2021)’.
Though other popular Nigerian mega-pastors were missing from the week-long memorials, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) sent a representative to the burial on Friday. CAN had previously issued a belated statement to condole with the family and the church after the Prophet’s death.
Joshua, a charismatic preacher, who rose to prominence in the late 1990s, was not accepted by Nigeria’s larger Christian faith group into their fold while he was alive as some questioned his style, despite his exploits and mammoth following in several countries of the world.
However, people including top dignitaries from different races, cultures and countries gathered to give final respect to the late prophet. Before the interment of the late clergy, his burial service was held with the reading of Bible passages.
The first Bible reading, taken from 1 Corinthians 15: 51 – 57, was read by the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, after which Bishop Stephen Ogedengbe of the Wisdom of Chapel Ministry explained the passage.
The cleric urged Christians to emulate the exemplary life of love lived by the late founder of SCOAN.
Ogedengbe said: “The character of a true believer is to find refuge in our Lord Jesus. That is why children of God are not afraid of reaching the final destination – death.
“Heaven is our home, our dwelling place.”
According to him, Joshua had always mentioned that those from above longed to be there.
Minister Ayoub Kara from Israel took the second Bible reading from Revelation 21: 1- 7, while Pastor Robert Acosta from Argentina preached a sermon from it.
Acosta said that Christians should follow Christ “because outside Jesus, there is no reality.”
He said that Joshua did so many miracles and showed much love to many people.
After the sermon, Akeredolu and the representative of the governor of Lagos State delivered speeches.
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was represented by the state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr Olarewaju Elegushi.
Sanwo-Olu told the congregation that the late prophet fulfilled his destiny on earth by living for others.
He encouraged Christians to long for the spirit of dedication shown by the SCOAN founder.
“His life should encourage us to renew our hope in Christ. Unity, peace, progress and love should be our watchword as Christians,” he said.
In his speech, Akeredolu described the death of Joshua as a huge loss to the people of Ondo State, Nigeria and the world at large.
Akeredolu said that Joshua contributed immensely to the emancipation of the downtrodden, orphans, widows and other less privileged people. He said that the late prophet touched the lives of many people economically and spiritually.
“He was not born with a silver spoon but from what I heard, he was a special child because he performed miracles even from primary school.
“He was born with a special gift, and his love was not only for the less-privileged. Even those of us who are privileged benefitted from his love,” Akeredolu said.