Hundreds of members of the Synagogue Church of All Nations on Sunday mourned the passing of the church’s General Overseer, Prophet Temitope Joshua, aka TB Joshua.
TB Joshua died on Saturday after holding a service with members of the church.
Joshua, who was born on June 12, 1963, died on June 5 at the age of 57, a week to his 58th birthday.
Many of the members were inconsolable on Sunday, as they shed tears and shared how the cleric impacted their lives.
Widows, residents and business owners in the Ikotun area of Lagos, where the church is based, gazed into space in disbelief.
Our correspondents observed as some of the members wept on the church’s premises; the main church building was sealed by officials and manned by the police from the Ikotun division.
A woman, who did not disclose her name, said she came from Ilorin, Kwara State, adding that she was barren for many years before Joshua prayed for her.
“I am carrying my second child as I speak. So, how can such a man of God die like that? It is not possible and I don’t believe it,” she said as she fought back tears.
Another woman said, “My brother in the US and some relatives in Cameroon called me that he died. I told them to take the news back to whoever gave them because it was a lie. The devil has failed because the man of God that I know cannot die. He is not dead,” she said.
A widow and church member, who identified herself simply as Adelani, told The newsmen that her only hope was gone.
“The prophet prayed for us, gave me food and even ate with us. Many children are on scholarship because of the prophet.
“I am a widow. How will I survive? Who will help us again? Who will help Nigerian widows? He cannot die now. He is not dead. He will come out to talk to us soon. My prophet cannot die like that,” she added.
An aged woman, who identified herself as Iya Mary, wept bitterly on the premises, as she recounted TB Joshua’s last word to the church.
She said, “He just returned from the mountain yesterday (Saturday). He asked us to keep praying and that there’s no time. Who will help us now?”
Another church member, Kunle Biyi, described the death as a big blow to the community, saying he wished he died with cleric.
He said, “Why will he die alone? He must go along with all of us. Ikotun is dead. Who will revive it? My prophet cannot go like this.”
The PUNCH observed that all national flags in the church were flown at half-mast.
A resident, Oluwafemi Regina, said she believed the good works of TB Joshua would continue to speak for him.
Another resident, Tajudeen Ajani, said the community had lost a big leader.
He said, “The man of God was the life of this community. He paid the power bills of many houses and put students in schools free-of-charge. The presence of his church has significantly contributed to the economic activities of this community. Every weekend, many hotels and guest houses rent out their rooms to those who will worship at Synagogue on Sunday.”
“This is the only church you’ll enter and see that everybody is equal. Whether you’re from Gabon, Ghana, or anywhere in the world, you are equal before God. Emmanuel TV is one of the most-watched channels in the whole world. Who will care for the masses?” a church member simply identified as Sunday, told newsmen
While the cause of TB Joshua’s death remained unknown, the SCOAN, in a statement, said his last moments were in the service of God.
It reads partly, “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.
“As Prophet TB Joshua says, ‘The greatest way to use life is to spend it on something that will outlive it.’”