LATTER day pastors and prophets in Nigeria are as revered as much as they are reviled by their followers. But move over the swelling disdain for these men of God perceived as greedy and egocentric, there’s this altruist one doing charitably unimaginable deeds. He is Prophet Temitope Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, whose ministry not only spread the words to the world, but more importantly the wealth to the sick and the have-nots.
In these last days when majority of churches dazzle their congregation with messages of prosperity and healing, at the expense of sermons about holiness and eternity, a lone voice stands out without fear of losing membership.
Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations stands firm in his resolve not only to heal the body physically and spiritually but also preaches holiness to his flocks.
No wonder, the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, has become a Mecca to thousands of worshippers both from within Nigeria and outside the country, flocking to the place in search of spiritual fulfillment.
Despite malicious campaigns of calumny founded on unsubstantiated information about the church and its founder, Prophet T.B Joshua has continued with his good works, not looking back, or even wasting precious times to bandy words with his persecutors.
Prophet T.B Joshua’s SCOAN has over the years positioned Nigeria among list of top religious destinations in the world, attracting an estimated 200,000 foreign tourists every year, and generating about $12 million into Nigeria’s economy.
Those who visited Nigeria as religious tourists, will in return pass to their various countries the good news emanating from Nigeria, while those who could not visit the country to experience all these, are every Sunday watching the church live services as broadcast to millions around the globe through Emmanuel TV to see the ‘Man of God’, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, perform miracles of healing, deliverance and preaches the message of salvation.
As great as the SCOAN’s healing ministry is attested to by thousands of people who have come under the healing power of the Prophet T.B Joshua, his charitable works also speak volume of this great General in the Lord’s vineyard.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been touched by this compassionate unassuming man of God. Through its media arm, Emmanuel T.V, his messages of love, peace has reached millions, bringing religious tourists to Nigeria in their droves.
Since travelling to sacred destinations for religious experience and journey is regarded as religious tourism, then it would not be out of place to say that with the influx of foreigners to visit SCOAN, the Church is actually placing Nigeria on that list of world tourism destinations.
A report has it that Statistics from the Nigerian Immigration Service [NIS] revealed that out of every 10 foreign travelers coming into Nigeria; six are bound for the SCOAN.
It is on record that notable dignitaries including heads of countries had at one time or the other paid visits to the Church, seeking for one spiritual solution or the other.
On list, one could find the likes of former Zimbabwean Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai ; Winnie Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s former wife; King Godwill Zwelithini of the Zulus, South Africa with his daughter, Princess Sibusile Zulu, who was suffering from partial epilepsy ; Ghana’s president, John Atta Mills; King Moloto Solomon of the Limpopo Kingdom, South Africa; President Omar Bongo of Gabon ; Professor Pasal Lissouba, and one time president of Congo Brazzaville.
There are also Justice Ralph Beisner from New York; Prince Yormie Johnson, Liberia former warlord and South African Rugby player, Jacob Westhurzen. The list is endless as Europe, Asia, The Americas and others have stories to tell about the Church.
With these caliber of people visiting SCOAN, who then dare say Nigeria cannot be reckoned with when it comes to religious tourism worldwide.
It then depends on the government of Nigeria to tap into this money spinning sector to boost the GDP of the country, especially now that it is looking for alternative to oil as revenue earner following the continuous fall of oil price in the international market.
It is not enough to honoured the founder, T.B. Joshua by the late President Yar A’dua for his contributions with the Officer of the Federal Republic [OFR] award, rather government should take advantage of the tourism potentials of the Synagogue to deepen Nigeria’s involvement in religious tourism.
Without doubt, there are several mega churches across Nigeria, the fact remains that none of them come close to SCOAN in attracting foreign visitors to Nigeria; the dream of every destination around the world.
Emmanuel TV dramatizes T.B. Joshua’s message of Christ’s forgiveness at Christmas
Prophet T.B. Joshua Synagogue Church of All Nations has urged Christians to let God release them during the Christmas even though the world maybe trying to hold them back.
In a stirring drama staged by the church media group Emmanuel TV during the Christmas Carol on December 23, Prophet Joshua said forgiveness builds bridges to God’s blessings.
The drama, entitled the Adulterous WomanLet God Release You, is a stage performance of John 8 where Jesus Christ released a woman caught pants down in adultery, and was about to be stoned to death, according to Mosaic laws.
In the adaptation laced with emotions and inspiring dialogues, the woman, defenceless, is almost sentenced to death in a highly charged courtroom where lawyers, the judge, the media, her husband, and the entire audience insist justicedeathmust be done.
In the climax, the jury, however, disperses when Jesus comes in as the woman’s advocate who emphasises forgiveness and mercyinstead of judgementby revealing how everybody present in the courtroom has committed sins similar to or worse than adultery.
Her disappointed husband, in the dramatic resolution, obtains grace to forgive and reunite with her, making that the most inspiring part of the performance.
“So much to learn,” says Ifeanyi Madusonibe, a viewer from Lagos. “God’s love, mercy and grace, not minding how filthy we may look, still abound.”
A Zimbabwean, Ranga Msekeni, says drama has taught her not to run from God ni matter what people may think or say about her or the sin she has committed. “I should ask for forgiveness to God because he is my defender and he still loves me,” she added.
One of the two hosts, Chris, also emphasises to the audience the need, according to the prophet, to let go of negative vibes stored up over the years this season of Jesus birth so that God will forgive and heal the believers.
The soap-length drama boasts a cast of SCOAN’s evangelists from across the world. They converge on the church international headquarters at Ikotun Egbe, Lagos, to celebrate Christ birth.
How Emmanuel TV mediates between God and a lost world
With a suite of media platforms ranging from cable television to social media and web 2.0 platforms, the Emmanuel Tv of the Synagogue Church of All Nations has taken on a media mission that stacks up with the world’s big news corps like CNN and Fox.
The millions of eyeballs the SCOAN media group gets across the platforms confirm the world has found a message of God’s love. Last month alone, a video clip of Prophet T.B. Joshua’s “A prayer to restore your relationship”a brief YouTube intercession for troubled marriages around the world has garnered 182,517 views up to date.
On YouTube alone, the SCOAN media arm, in about 10 years, has over 400,000 subscribers the world’s largest as far as Christian media organisations go. And the online video channel has ramped up well over 170 million views so far, and still counting. By Google love, the YouTube channel is the most viewed in Nigeria.
As for the messages of hope and love the Africa’s largest Christian media group waftsto people around the world, South Americans and South East Asians top the channel’s viewership. This accounts for the translation of the programs of the channel into Spanish and Mandarin. This posits that that the two languages most spoken in world are on offer to the channel’s audience.
International visitors take their visit to ‘The Synagogue’ as religious tourism. They make boarding arrangements that covers the duration of their stay in Lagos. The church provides accommodation and feeding for these visitors.
Emmanuel Tv is not only reaching the ends of the earth with Prophet Joshua’s ( executive producer) message to meet spiritual needs; it also caters to the bodily needs of the viewers around the world.
It is not uncommon to watch the Emmanuel Tv crew sending relief materials to prison inmates in Iceland, or children in orphanages in Mexico. The media arm and its partners have been most forth-coming in responding to the physical needs of the poor, the sick, the aged in many unreached places in Nigeria, on the continent of Africa, and around the world.
The crew is staffed with talents and committed Christians from around the world.
…a church like no other
The Synagogue, Church of All Nations has maintained a rare reputation for helping individuals, institutions and nations overcome their spiritual, political as well as socio-economic challenges.
Uncountable number of people both Nigerians and foreigners have continued to benefit from his ministry’s milk of human kindness.
Through the ministry’s evangelic arms, particularly Emmanuel TV, millions of lives, nations and destinies have been changed across the world.
For instance, within and outside Nigeria’s shores, TB Joshua’s humanitarian work includes a rehabilitation programme for militants from the volatile Niger Delta region where he was said to have sunk millions of dollars, setting up an NGO in Ghana called Passion for the Needy, establishing a field hospital called ‘Clinique Emmanuel’ in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake there, amongst similar such work elsewhere.
In recognition of these works, the man of God has received both national and international recognitions for his exemplary service to mankind.
As a result of the recognition of his towering humanitarian gestures, he was awarded a National Honour by the Nigerian Government in 2008 as well as received a letter of appreciation from the United Nations.
He was further honoured as an Ambassador of Peace by the Arewa Youth Forum, a predominantly Muslim organisation, in appreciation of his humanitarian endeavours.
The man of God in propagating the gospel has held foreign crusades in many parts of the world from South Africa to Zimbabwe in Africa to Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and Colombia, Mexico and many others.
His ‘Miracle Crusade’ in Cali, Colombia in July 2014 was allegedly attended by over 100,000 people and was held in the Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero, while that of Estadio Azteca in Mexico was said to have been attended by over 200,000 people over two days in May 2015.
His work concerning using ‘Anointing Water’ as cure for the rampaging deadly disease, Ebola, also made the headlines. He had sent 4,000 bottles of the water alongside a cash gift of $50,000 to the Ebola-stricken nation of Sierra Leone. This came after Lagos State Health officials visited Joshua, requesting him to publicly discourage Ebola victims from visiting his church for prayers. However, a Sierra Leonean politician later claimed the water helped stop the spread of the disease and cured several Ebola victims. Also of mention are healings of demon-possessed and others suffering other debilitating diseases and illnesses
Following deep research, an American-based research organisation www.Ranker.com – ranked him amongst the most famous prophets in the history of mankind.
According to the organisation, the ranking was based on votes from over 250 million people worldwide to in answer to popularly asked questions such as, “Who are the most famous prophets ever?” and how are they ranked.
The publication parades a total of 71 prophets, with T.B. Joshua being ranked the number 13 in the world and 1st in Africa, followed by late Joseph Ayo Babalola who occupies number 32 in the world and 2nd in Africa. Only these two prophets are named from Africa. The list includes great biblical figures like Abraham, Moses, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Elisha, Micah and Paul the Apostle, amongst others.
“From reputable, prominent, and well known prophets to the lesser known prophets of today, these are some of the best professionals in the prophet field,” the publication stated on its website. It further declared thus about Prophet T.B. Joshua, “Temitope Balogun Joshua, commonly referred to as T.B. Joshua, is a Nigerian preacher…He has been awarded various accolades, notably receiving the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by the Nigerian government in 2008 and being voted the Yoruba man of the decade by Pan-Yoruba media outlet, Irohin Odua. He was recognized as one of Africa’s 50 most influential people by Pan-African magazines, The Africa Report and New African Magazine and also listed among world’s most famous prophets.”
As to the massive work being done in the Lord\s vineyard, the man of God’s defence is simply that true love always searches for those to help whenever and wherever it is in a position to do so. His humility and self-effacing lifestyle amongst other virtues, are among the reasons his large followership and admirers just can’t keep loving and following after him.