T. B. Joshua (June 12, 1963 – June 5, 2021) was a Nigerian pastor, television evangelist, author, and philanthropist predominantly known as the founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, a Christian megachurch headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. He had an estimated net worth of $150 million at the time of his death.
TB Joshua was a renowned Nigerian televangelist and pastor. He was also a self-proclaimed prophet, and as such, his services always attract many people. He was not just one of the most popular, controversial, and “enigmatic” religious leaders in the country but also one of the richest pastors in the world. At the time of his death, Prophet T.B Joshua’s net worth was estimated at $150 million.
While so much has been said about this man of God, quite a lot is not known about him, which leaves many people to have diverse opinions about him. But who is this man Prophet TB Joshua? Well, here are things you didn’t know about TB Joshua and his Synagogue Church of All Nations Ministry.
TB Joshua Hails from Akoko, in Ondo State
Born on June 12, 1963, Temitope Balogun Joshua, popularly known as TB Joshua, was the son of a Yoruba man who’s an indigene of Arigidi in Akoko local government in Ondo State, Nigeria. He was born into a humble Christian family, and though details of his parents are not available, we know of his elder brother, who goes by the name Sunday Balogun. Joshua also revealed during an interview that while growing up, he never knew who his father was. This was because his father passed away while he was still tender and was left to be raised by his mother, who later sent him to his relative, who was a core Muslim.
Talking about Joshua’s childhood, the prophet, before his death, claimed to have had an unusual childhood starting from his birth. He claimed he was born 15 months after his mother conceived him. He also claimed to have narrowly escaped death when he was three days old, a large boulder crashed through the roof of their house, missing him by a few inches. After the horrific incident, his mother named him ‘Temitope,’ meaning ‘What God has done for me is worthy of thanks.’
Temitope Joshua Was A Secondary School Drop-out
Although he was born into a poor family, Temitope Joshua did have some level of formal education. He had his primary education at St. Stephen Anglican primary school, Agbaluku, Ondo State, after which he proceeded to high school in their village but unfortunately had only one year of secondary education before he left to work on a poultry farm. While in school, TB Joshua was known as a ‘small pastor’ because of his love for the scriptures and gift to predict things that would happen in his community.
As several reports and witnesses will have it, strange things happened to the young prophet that indicated he the call of God in his life. When he left his secondary school, he did some menial jobs like disposing and recycling chicken waste for farming purposes. Not being in school also allowed him to engage in Christian activities like organizing Bible studies for children. He, however, enrolled in evening school later on.
It was a matter of fate for the man of God whose efforts to venture into the contemporary life failed several times. One of these occasions was when his aspirations to join the military were flawed by a mysterious engine breakdown on his way to an interview at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.
How TB Joshua Began His Ministerial Journey
For someone who was already known and called a small pastor in his community, finding TB Joshua toeing the ministerial path won’t be a surprise. Joshua grew up teaching people the Bible, which he claimed learned under the tutelage of God Himself. He said he was always taught the scriptures in his dreams. As a member of the Anglican Church in his village, Joshua participated actively in many Church activities and was even called on several occasions to chair the children’s Harvest/thanksgiving ceremony in his church.
He was even a leader of the Student Christian Fellowship back then in school. However, when it comes to his call to start up a ministry, Joshua had a different story to tell. He said he had a personal encounter with God in 1987 when in a three days trance, he saw a hand that pointed a Bible to his heart, and the Bible entered his heart and was immersed in his heart immediately.
He also said he saw the Apostles and Prophets of old with someone he believed to be Jesus Christ. Joshua claimed to have heard God giving him a “divine commission to go and carry out the work of the Heavenly Father.” Since then, he said, he had continuously received messages from God Himself through the Holy Spirit. The foundation of the Synagogue Church of All Nation (SCOAN) started shortly afterward with a handful of members but soon became one of Nigeria’s most influential churches, attracting over 50,000 people.
At 24, He Founded SCOAN Ministry in 1987
When TB Joshua started his ministry named The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), in 1987, he was just 24 years of age. He began operating from a dilapidated house in the Agodo-Egbe neighborhood in Lagos. As stories of his miraculous healing and prophecies spread wider across the country, more people visited the new ministry. The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, later relocated to the Lagos city outskirts to accommodate many congregants.
Graciously, the ministry became one of Nigeria’s most influential churches, with millions trooping into the country to tour and attend the church’s weekly Sunday services at the headquarters in Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos. Pastor TB Joshua enjoys massive followership worldwide with his ministry, The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), having branches in Nigeria, Ghana, London, Greece, and many other parts of the world.
The popularity of this church is largely attributed to the large population of Nigerians and Ghanaians worldwide. Through his vibrant ministry, TB Joshua attracted high-profile fans worldwide. He enjoyed a cordial relationship with some of the well-known leaders in the world who pay him courtesy calls quite often. This list includes Ghana’s ex-president, John Atta Mills, Nigeria’s first lady, Patience Goodluck Jonathan, former Zimbabwean, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Winnie Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s former wife, has also visited the church. One unique factor that differentiated TB Joshua’s ministry from other ministers in Nigeria is that he did not establish church branches on every street corner of the country like his peers have; instead, he maintained a single large auditorium managed by himself alone with a few men working under him.
Mr. Joshua also kept his family in the background – his wife rarely appeared alongside him, and none of his children was known to the public. Neither were they publicly part of his ministerial business. The church was him, and he was the church until his death on Saturday, June 5, 2021, and the cause of his death has not been made public.
TB Joshua’s Emmanuel TV Station
The SCOAN Ministry had a television station. The pastor runs a TV station headquartered in Lagos – Emmanuel TV, which is a Christian station that operates twenty-four hours. The station focuses primarily on the charitable works of the pastor and his SCOAN ministry and their programmes.
When TB Joshua started his ministry on television in the mid-90s, he was everything many would call crude- no glistering hair, his shoes were not shiny, and to cap it all up, he did not have an American twang – he spoke with a Yoruba accent and a mixture of English and Pidgin. Despite his seemingly unpolished appearance, his followers found him charismatic and down-to-earth, and his message spread worldwide.
Mr. Joshua refined himself as he became wealthy, adding a fleet of cars and a private jet to look the part. Through his televangelism, TB Joshua significantly transformed African Pentecostalism into a transnational global movement with branches in countries like Austria, Ghana, the UK, South Africa, Gabon, and Greece.
How TB Joshua’s Net Worth Accrued Through His Ministry
T. B Joshua amassed massive wealth. According to reports released in 2012 by BBC, Joshua was believed to be worth somewhere between $10-15 million, making him one of the richest pastors in the world. The same figures were also quoted by Forbes when the organization was compiling the list of wealthiest Nigerian pastors.
His fortune increased over the years as his ministry expanded further, reaching a whopping $150 million as of the year of his death in 2021. While other sources of his wealth are not well documented, it is believed that much of it has come from the sale of products through his SCOAN ministry.
Although he seldom preaches about tithes and donations, the Minister also receives from his followers, including presidents and celebrities from far and wide. Other areas the televangelist possibly grew his wealth are listed below.
His Social Media Presence
TB Joshua was known for his ubiquity across Africa and his online presence with over 2,000,000 fans on Facebook and more than 400,000 YouTube subscribers. Portrayed as the “Oprah of evangelism” and “YouTube’s most mainstream Pastor,” Emmanuel TV was Africa’s biggest Christian broadcasting company. Hence, it is believed that a portion of his income was calculated from the media.
SCOAN is a Profitable Centre for Tourism
The SCOAN is known as the ministerial home of the popular televangelist and a tourist attraction center for many people who travel from different countries of the world to take a view of the magnificent building. The Nigerian Immigration Service depicts the Synagogue Church as “Nigeria’s greatest vacation spot” and “the most visited location by strict travelers in West Africa,” with many outsiders running to go to the congregation’s week after week benefits.
The Immigration service also notes that the church attracts more weekly attendees than the combined number of visitors to Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. The church site is surrounded by water that provides a scenic, calming effect; the various exotic trees surrounding the environment also provide adequate shade for the prayers. There is also a section of the site with an area for children and a zoo with dogs and a couple of exotic birds.
Also found on the site is a bakery, a medical section, a gym, and accommodation which is sectioned into regular and VIP for important guests like celebrities, ministers, and even presidents. The church also has its printing press where it publishes its pamphlets and books, among many other things.
Profits from His Anointing Water and Stickers
Mr. Joshua was believed to have earned so much from the sale of his most-sought anointing water and stickers. The anointing water is what holds the SCOAN family together, literally speaking. According to the Church’s faithful, the water has powers to cure a myriad of diseases and ailments – from spiritual to physical. Of late, the pastor claims that the anointing water is ‘The Blood Of Jesus Christ’ in a bottle.
These healing claim has further boosted the popularity of the water, causing a mad rush for it during church programmes. TB Joshua’s anointing water costs around N5000 for a 30ml. Considering that the church records over 40,000 members at every one of its church programmes, this results in huge income as all the attendees are often encouraged to purchase the water for open doors, healing among many other things. The ministry is also believed to generate more income from the sale of special water across various countries of the world.
TB Joshua’s stickers are also another major source of income for the Minister and his ministry. The stickers, which are listed among his ministry’s ‘faith tool,” is sold to followers and interested persons all over the world who believe it helps to wade off evil, increase business sale and even cure illnesses.
Sales from TB Joshua’s Books
Prophet TB Joshua was also an author of religious publications available for purchase by his followers from all walks of life. Some of his famous works include:
- The Mirror (2006).
- What The Future Holds (2009).
- Astounding Miracles of God: At the Synagogue (2017).
- The Wicked Ordinances (2019).
- 450 Fire For Fire Prayers For Difficult Situations (2020).
- FERVENT Praying Dangerous Prayers Against Stubborn CASE (2020)
- Daily Time With God: A Time with Jesus Christ is a Time Well Spent (2020).
- How to Cast Out Demons and Evil Spirit (2020).
- Deliverance From Marine Spirit Influence & Spirit Spouse & Children (2020).
- Demon Possession Evil Spirit Altar & Marine Attacks With Powerful Prayer Points (2020).
- The Eyes Of Darkness 2 (2020).
A Larger Portion Of TB Joshua’s Net Worth Goes to Charity
The Nigerian preacher Joshua was mostly known for his philanthropic nature, especially when helping the needy and sponsoring persons. Before his death, he contributed socially and economically both home and abroad in the course of carrying out his ministry. Forbes in 2011 noted that the Minister spent over $20 million to causes in education, healthcare, and rehabilitation programs for former Niger Delta militants, sex workers, and repentant armed robbers, among others, who come to his church for deliverance and possible assistance.
One of the persons who claimed to have benefited from the preacher’s humanitarian activities was the WBO International Light Middleweight boxing champion King Davidson Emenogu, who, according to him, T.B. Joshua financially supported him throughout his career. The cleric’s football club, My People FC is another platform he used to help the youth. Two of the club’s members, including the professional football striker Sani Emmanuel, were among Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets in the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Even his hometown, the ancient town of Arigidi Akoko, also speaks of how the religious leader provided electrical transformers and paid off their electricity bills worth over N26 million. Joshua also made headlines in 2012 for sponsoring a Nigerian student doing a Ph.D. in Oxford University with a whopping sum of £100,000 and giving a scholarship to a young Motswana to study at Harvard Law School in America.
Providing Disaster Relief Victims of Haiti Earthquake
In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake that saw over 3 million people were affected, the cleric spent over $3 million to charter two cargo planes with relief materials and sent a team of doctors, nurses, engineers, and workers to Haiti to help the victims of the devastating earthquake. He also established a field hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, called “Clinique Emmanuel,” and mentioned his plans to adopt 500 orphans in the country largely marked as one of the world’s poorest. Other similar help he rendered include
- 2014 – He donated over $100,000 to the National Metropolitan Police Force in Colombia, and $50,000 was given to Ebola victims in Sierra Leone
- 2015 – He donated $40,000 plus food and essential supplies to victims of severe flooding and fire in Accra, Ghana; he donated N10 million plus Medical Ambulance to the Boko Haram internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Kuchingoro area of Abuja, Nigeria
- 2016, 2017, 2019 – He chartered a cargo plane to carry tonnes of relief aid to the victims of the earthquake in Ecuador, Mexico, and Albania, respectively.
- 2020 – He donated N30 million to the Lagos State Government for COVID relief, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars to numerous people worldwide who suffered from the economic fallout of the lockdowns.
Other Ways the Cleric Spent His Money
Aside from his philanthropic activities, Joshua also spent portions of his fortune on luxury rides. The pastor, in 2015, reportedly bought a private jet worth over $60 Million. The nearly brand-new Gulfstream G550 aircraft registered as “Synagogue Of Nations,” is said to be the most expensive of the four jets owned by Nigerian pastors — Pastor David Oyedepo‘s Bombardier Challenger 604, Pastor Enoch Adeboye‘s Gulfstream GIV, and Ayo Oritsejafor’s Bombardier Challenger 601. Added to his private jet is a fleet of cars that include a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG and a Range Rover.
Controversies and Scandals Involving the Synagogue Prophet TB Joshua
Like many influential men, TB Joshua was not without controversies. The preacher was one of the most controversial people in Nigeria, with most of his controversies being linked to his involvement in sensitive socio-political and health issues and partly due to his “unorthodox” ways of worship.
His controversial Prophesies
Joshua was popularly regarded as a self-claimed prophet who predicted such events as Michael Jackson’s death, the attack during the Boston marathon in America, and the outcome of two African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final matches. Two of his prophecies that earned him massive public recommendation were his prediction of the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH370 several months before the incident and his prediction of the impending death of a popular president of Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in 2012, aged 78.
However, he would be remembered for being involved in some widely publicized controversies, some of which include:
His “misleading” narrative behind the SCOAN building collapse
On September 12, 2014, a guesthouse collapsed in the SCOAN’s premises in Lagos, killing no fewer than 115 people. While many accused him of being occultic, his handling of the tragedy drew him more criticism. The pastor initially claimed that the building’s collapse was caused by a “strange aircraft.” Leaked audio recordings later suggested that he bribed reporters to alter the narrative about the building’s collapse. It turned out that the building was poorly constructed and did not meet basic safety requirements.
His Prediction about Clinton’s 2016 Election Win
In November 2016, Temitope Joshua predicted that the Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would “narrowly” win the 2016 presidential election against the Republican Party frontrunner, Donald Trump. Speaking during his church sermon on that Sunday, Joshua said that he saw the new President of America with a narrow win and that he precisely saw a woman.
After the prophecy failed with Donald Trump winning the election, Joshua withdrew his statement claiming that he was only referring to Clinton’s win in the popular vote and that people’s misinterpretation of his prophecy was due to a lack of “spiritual understanding.”
His COVID-19 Claims
Various social media platforms went ablaze after Prophet TB Joshua claimed that COVID-19 would disappear globally on March 27, 2020. His prophecy gave many of his followers hope that the pandemic would end in no time. However, people’s hopes were dashed out when months after his prophecy, the pandemic kept the world economically and socially down. This brought him more criticism, with many referring to him as fake.
As the pandemic lingered, the preacher got himself into yet another controversy when he reportedly released a brand new version of anointing water and stickers as a tool that would help fight the deadly virus. This got him in trouble with Nigerians, co-preachers, and various health bodies in the world.
Despite the wide criticisms, the pastor also enjoyed massive followership within the entertainment industry. For example, Nigerian actress Tontoh Dikeh claimed that SCOAN Ministry helped her break a 14-year-old smoking habit. Another Nollywood actress also claimed that she got liberated thanks to the ministry. A popular Ghanaian musician called Denise Williams also credits Joshua and his church for freeing him from satanic possession. Jim Iyke and several others are among those that have visited the Synagogue at some point in their career.
TB Joshua’s Death Greatly Affected The Synagogue Church
On June 5, 2021, the world was greeted with the sad news of TB Joshua. According to the church, which broke the news to millions of its followers on Facebook, the popular preacher and televangelist reportedly died shortly after conducting a live broadcast. Still, the cause of his death has not been made public. However, it was reported that the televangelist battled with a stroke two months before his passing.
TB Joshua died just a week before his 57th birthday, and he left behind his beautiful wife, Evelyn Joshua, a Delta State indigene who have been supportive of his ministry since they got married in 1990. The couple had three children whose names and identities have been well kept away from the public.
Joshua’s burial on July 9, 2021, left many of his followers with questions about the future of their church, especially as the cleric’s wife Evelyn, who was rarely physically active in church activities while her husband was alive, took over the leadership of the church. Evelyn took over from her husband amid several controversial issues that mostly centered on succession and property possession issues.
However, despite the family-related rift that almost tore the church apart, Evelyn has managed to put the church back to its usual activities, with most of the services mostly centering on the preacher’s past teachings.