Cape Town – Nigerian pastor and televangelist TB Joshua, who died on Saturday at the age of 57, was a generous and wise man who did a lot to those in need.
“He was a wonderful, kind, generous, wise& loving man who was undoubtedly one of God's 'end-time' Generals & who did so much for those in need & the Body of Christ,” former Nigeria aviation minister Femi Fani-Kayode said in a Twitter thread.
“My family & I shall miss him dearly as he soars to the stars& takes his place amongst the angels & saints in Heaven.”
The passing of my brother TB Joshua saddens me deeply. At 3.00am this morning I was told by one of his daughters that this was fake news & I tweeted as much. Sadly I was misled. 5 minutes ago the same person called me & confirmed the story. @GazetteNGR was right & I am in pain. pic.twitter.com/g6C1XhPKLB— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) June 6, 2021
Details of his death have not been disclosed.
In a statement TB Joshua Ministries said: “God has taken His servant Prophet TB Joshua home – as it should be by divine will. His last moments on Earth were spent in the service of God. This is what he was born for, lived for and died for.”
Tributes for the evangelist poured in on Twitter on Sunday night as people across the world paid tribute to him.
The EFF called for calm in a statement.
“Millions across the world and in Nigeria particularly, will always remember him for the spiritual and pastoral care he ministered to the nation and the world with vigour and selfless commitment to the Word of God,” the party said in a statement.
“We call for calm and discipline within all communities and particularly within the church leadership, congregants and authorities, as we mourn and celebrate the departed mortal soul of a loved one. May his soul find peace with the Lord.”
EFF Statement On The Passing Of Prophet TB Joshua pic.twitter.com/9vgwTYeCcB— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) June 6, 2021
Other social media users remembered him and the impact he had in the lives of other people.
TB Joshua may not have been your typical pastor, but he:— First Doctor (@firstdoctorr) June 6, 2021
-fed the poor
-helped thousands of refugees
-employed youths in his football club
-spent over $20m on humanitarian works
He's a great loss. May his soul rest in peace.🕯️🙏 pic.twitter.com/9lk6QqAzA5
I never had any personal interaction with T.B. Joshua but I have been touched by the testimonies of those who knew him personally. I can’t judge the man’s Christianity but I have spent evenings at the airport and seen filled buses upon buses of pilgrims to his church. Big impact!— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) June 6, 2021
Details of his death were not clear. In the statement the church requested a time of privacy.
“TB Joshua leaves a legacy of service and sacrifice to God’s Kingdom that is living for generations yet unborn,” the statement read.
“The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations and Emmanuel TV Family appreciate your love, prayers and concern at this time and request a time of privacy for the family.”
According to Africa Fact Zone, Joshua's church once attracted six out of every 10 travellers visiting Nigeria, reportedly attracting over two million visitors annually before the Covid-19 pandemic.
TB Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations once attracted 6 out of every 10 travellers coming into Nigeria.— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) June 6, 2021
This was talked about in Zimbabwe's Parliament, while discussing the Economic Potentials of Religious Tourism.
2 million tourists visit the church annually.
Joshua rose to prominence in the late 1990s and was known for his megachurch in Nigeria which attracts around 15 000 people per service.
The “Prophet” as he is known as by his followers, also ran Christian television station Emmanuel TV, that airs on DStv.
Also often in the news for controversy, in April this year, online video-streaming platform YouTube suspended the popular Nigerian TV evangelist’s account, over allegations of hate speech.
According to a BBC report, a rights body filed a complaint after reviewing at least seven videos showing the preacher conducting prayers to “cure” gay people.
In March last year, Joshua “predicted” that the coronavirus would disappear on March 27.
In 2014, at least 116 people, including South Africans were killed, when one of his churches in Lagos collapsed.
According to reports at the time, a coroner in a Lagos court said "the church was culpable because of criminal negligence", but Joshua was never charged.