Temitope Balogun Joshua popularly referred to as T. B. Joshua needs no introduction. The renowned preacher traveled all over the world and recorded many successes yet had his share of struggles and battles.

He was no stranger to controversies and condemnations all through his life.

For some, the charismatic preacher, who claimed to have healing powers from God, is controversial and fake while many also regard him as a true prophet of God.

He started his battle for survival right from his mother’s womb.

Joshua revealed that he spent 15 months in his mother’s womb.

He said his mother gave birth to him after she was transferred to a hospital at Egbe in Kogi State, where she met a pastor who prayed for her.

He also miraculously escaped death 7 days after his birth after a big stone coming from a drilling machine almost crushed him to death.

T.B Joshua‘s father’s name is Kolawole Balogun while his mum’s name is Adesiji.

His father died when he was a boy which made his mother the sole caretaker of the family.

Shortly after his father’s death, his mother became handicapped financially and couldn’t fund the school fees for Joshua and his brothers.

Joshua said his mother told him: “You this boy, I cannot finance your education. You would have to wait until your brothers finished their university education. They would be the ones to sponsor your education.”

This made him attend Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School for his secondary school education but he abandoned the school and left for Lagos due to the “religious intolerance at the school.”

He came to Lagos by traveling with some farmers who came from his village in Ondo to deliver cassava in Lagos.

He was dropped at Mile 12 and had to fight poverty on his own. He did all sort of jobs which include working as a cleaner at a poultry farm.

He used the money earned to proceed in different schools. He would attend one school for two months, only to be sent away because of school fees.

He attended New State High School, Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Isolo, and another school called Metropolitan.

Under one year, he attended 15 schools in Lagos but couldn’t finish a year.

He later started his ministry at St. Stevens Primary School after he collected a cutlass from a mad man using the name of Jesus.

His ministry began to spread but encountered many troubles, especially from other pastors.

According to Wikipedia, The Christian Association of Nigeria and Pentecostal Fellowship Of Nigeria both acknowledged Joshua is not a member of either organization and denounced him as an “impostor.”

in 2014, Ayo Oritsejafor, pastor of Word of Life Bible Church in Warri and former President of Christian Association of God, CAN, said: “It is puzzling why Americans are drawn to him (T.B Joshua),”

“Where and when did he get saved? Who is his pastor? That is what I would like to know.”

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, headed by Bishop Mike Okonkwo, also denounced Joshua.

In a statement, he said the PFN had for years warned of “the dangers of infiltrators who have modernized cultism by injecting the name of Jesus Christ into their largely unbiblical practices. It is necessary that we reiterate this position that the Synagogue (of All Nations) falls into this category.”

In 2017, Pastor Chris Okotie accused Joshua of “shamanist practices.” He alleged that his miracles were fake and described him as an impostor.

In 2011, several media houses in UK reported at least three people in London with HIV died after they stopped taking life-saving drugs on the advice of their pastors.

The HIV prevention charity African Health Policy Network (AHPN) believed that The SCOAN “may” be one of those involved in such practices although the three in question have no demonstrable link to the SCOAN.

The BBC quoted The SCOAN as saying “No, we do not ask people to stop taking their medication”

TB Joshua church collapse:

In 2014, a hotel within the premises of his church collapsed.

115 people died including 84 South Africans.

The worshippers were attending a gathering by the prophet when the incident happened.

However. T.B. Joshua referred to reports surrounding the incident as “persecution” and “propaganda”.

Rescue workers have said the building may have collapsed as a result of the construction of additional storeys without reinforcing the foundations.

However, Joshua blamed the incident on a small plane that had been circling over the building before it came crashing down on Friday 12 September and suggested it was an attempt on his life.

Emmanuel TV

T.B Joshua launched Emmanuel TV in 2006 after the Nigerian government banned the advertisement of ‘unverifiable’ miracle healing on television.

According to T.B Joshua, the ban by the Nigerian government was targeted at him.

However, In April 2021, YouTube also suspended the Emmanuel TV channel from its platform.

T.B Joshua was accused of hate speech after his church posted one deliverance video where he claimed to have delivered a man from gay spirit.

Later Facebook also removed all the videos where he claimed to have delivered some persons from ‘gay spirit’.

Moreover, despite the challenges T.B Joshua is still regarded as the “Oprah of Evangelism” and “YouTube’s most popular Pastor.”

He was known for his popularity across Africa and Latin America.

He has over 3,500,000 fans on Facebook and his YouTube channel, Emmanuel TV, had over 1,000,000 YouTube subscribers and was the world’s most viewed Christian ministry on the platform before it was suspended.

As of 2011, according to Forbes, Joshua was Nigeria’s third-richest pastor. Although he denied it.

T.B. Joshua was also known for his philotrophical acts.

He donated over N26m towards restoring electricity and putting an end to over two years of power outage in four councils in Akoko area of Ondo State.

The cleric has additionally made several large donations to the police force in Nigeria, Ghana and Colombia.

After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Joshua sent a team of medical personnel and humanitarian workers to the affected area, establishing a field hospital called ‘Clinique Emmanuel’.

He additionally sent support to nations such as Philippines, India and Ghana in the wake of varying natural disasters.

The ‘Emmanuel TV Team’ also assisted victims of the earthquake that struck the nation of Ecuador in April 2016, providing over $500,000 worth of humanitarian aid.

Joshua funded the building and running of a school in Lahore, Pakistan named ‘Emmanuel School’. He also rebuilt a school in a rural area destroyed by the 2016 Ecuador earthquake, travelling to Ecuador for the opening of the school in June 2017

In 2009, Joshua started a football club, My People FC, as part of efforts to help the youth.

His life was impactful, meeting the needs of millions of people worldwide.

By Benson Michael