TB Joshua was a controversial self-acclaimed prophet. Many had called for him to be held accountable after the collapse of his church, Synagogue of All Nations, when more than hundreds died. In July 2015, a coroner’s inquest found the collapse was a result of negligence. Some of the families accepted cash payments in compensation while others lodged lawsuits.
Most recently had his YouTube account shut down after he claimed to “cure” gay congregants of their homosexuality during one of his sermons.
In 2020, Joshua falsely claimed he could “flush out” Covid-19.
B Joshua was born on 12th June 1963 in Nigeria in Ondo State which is some 260 kilometers from Lagos. TB Joshua is a Yoruba born and his full names are Temitope Balogun Joshua. His father kolawole Balogun was an educated man who worked as a translator for the British in Nigeria translating Yoruba to English.
TB Joshua attended an Anglican primary school. After school, his father and mother took him to live at the house of an Anglican Priest which was at the back of the school.
Growing up he used to read the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation every 2 months.
“Every two months, I would have read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It was the only subject that I believed so much in. It was as if Bible was the only subject that interested me in primary school. In exams, I scored 99 percent consistently whereas I performed woefully in other subjects. By excelling in Bible knowledge, the other subjects where I performed poorly.”
Growing up TB Joshua lived well until his father died when he was still at the St Andrews Anglican primary school. After his father’s death, the family started to struggle financially. TB Joshua was then given to his uncle (his mother’s brother) who was a strict Muslim.
After primary school, his uncle took TB Joshua to a strict Muslim secondary school. There at the Muslim school, he was not allowed to read the Bible. That was bitter medicine for him. But during school breaks, he will often hide under a mango tree to read the Bible. And because of these difficulties, he could not finish secondary schooling.
“So I left school. I left because my life was in danger. I could sense that since I was doing this thing secretly one day something is going to happen to me.”
He left Ondo State for the city of Lagos and got himself a job as a poultry attendant. His job description was to scrub chicken droppings with his hands and put them in bags for use as manure.
Using the little money from his job he went back to school. It was at this time that things changed for him.
Legend claims that one day, as a class was on a madman came in the classroom and all students and the teacher fled. And the classroom was empty except himself and the madman. People having fled outside were concerned about him because the madman was known to be violent. But he prayed and the madman was calm. From then on people in the school and around called him a small pastor.
And during school assemblies, the school principal will call him to open the school’s activities with few scriptures and a word of prayer afterward.
“This is where the awareness of God’s presence on me started,” he says.
The news spread around and people came to him to be prayed. From these humble beginnings came the establishment of the Synagogue Church of All Nations and the Emmanuel TV one of Africa’s largest Christian television networks
Joshua met his wife Evelyn back in 1989, and how he got her to agree to marry him on the spot “the same day—the same hour—they met and remain married to her for well over twenty years
Evelyn was born on December 17, 1968, and originally a native of Okala Okpuno in Oshimili North local government area of Delta state.
She completed her primary education at Orile primary school in Oshodi, Lagos where she also had her secondary education.
Evelyn met her husband at the age of 22 where it was made known that she got proposed to within forty-five minutes of their first meeting.
In an interview, she revealed;
“I heard about this prophet and they were saying a lot of good things about him. I was thrilled. At the end of the whole thing, I called a sister outside and asked whether she could take me to the prophet. I didn’t ask to go there out of curiosity. I actually needed a guide at that point in time.”
She went on,
“No, we were just looking at each other until he, at a time, wrote my name on the piece of paper. So, we started talking. He told me a lot of things about myself, both things that I knew, and those that I never knew.
I was shocked. He told me about my family, about my past, my present, and my future. Altogether, we spent about 45 minutes. At the end of the whole thing, he spoke to me in Yoruba and said: Joo ma binu o.
Ma ro pe bi mo se nba gbogbo eniyan ti o ba wa s’odo mi soro ni eleyi o. Mi o ni ale, mi o dee fee ni ale. Sugbon, se oo fe mi? (Transliterated, this means: Please, don’t be annoyed. Don’t think this is how I talk to everyone that comes to me. I don’t have a concubine, and I don’t want to have a concubine. But can you marry me?)
Just like that. It was strange, but that gives us an insight into what the Scripture says that the Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. I think that was it. That was how I met him. Some months later, I asked him why he thought it was right seeing a lady for the first time and going on to propose to her. He said he had seen me four days before that very day.”
Evelyn and T.B Joshua got married in 1990 and their union is blessed with 3 children.
Their first child and first daughter, Sarah, studied law at the London School of Economics and was called to bar in December 2015 and their second child, Promise, is studying International Relations and Politics at the London School of Economics