Family members of Nigerian clergyman and televangelist, TB Joshua, says that they will make an announcement on preparations for his burial in due course.
The family and ministry of popular Nigerian televangelist, Temitope Balogun Joshua, simply known to his legions of followers as TB Joshua, have also asked for privacy as they deal with his passing.
The 57-year-old preacher died on Saturday, reportedly after conducting a live broadcast. The cause of death has not been disclosed.
Joshua, who was one of Africa’s most influential evangelists, was the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations. He gained popularity over his so-called predictions of world events, politics and prosperity teachings.
Joshua also ran the Christian channel, Emmanuel TV, and often toured Africa, the US and the UK.
www.CelebGossip.co.za has learnt that TB Joshua’s wife, Evrelyn said her husband never showed any sign of illness or worry and that his main concern was about the prayer line they offered to Indians against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evelyn said: “Afterward, he came up to shower and I left him to have some time to prepare for service as worship had started. Few minutes later, he stepped out for ministration. While ministering, he spoke about a time to come and time to leave.”
She said she waited for some minutes and thereafter decided to check on her husband, adding that she met him sitting on the chair like someone reflecting but unconscious.
Evelyn also noted that she quickly beckoned on the disciples of her late husband who came and tried to revive him to no avail.
Tributes from the religious fraternity have poured in for the preacher, widely referred to as Prophet TB Joshua.
Hundreds of residents and church members gathered at the church premises to mourn the death of Joshua, Local reports in Nigeria indicate that flags adorning the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos were at half-mast as dozens of mourners thronged the church compound upon learning the death of Joshua, many still in shock and disbelief.
There was no service on Sunday morning as it has been routine as church security blocked the mourners from accessing the centre.
TB Joshua was popular in many African countries, and in South America where he had held many religious crusades.
The preacher was noted for making predictions and for his claims to cure various ailments and to make people prosper through miracles.
The Nigerian Senate chief whip said:“He will be remembered as a notable spiritual leader with a passion for empowering the poor and vulnerable in the society,”
Several world leaders led by the Nigerian President Buhari mourned the preacher on Sunday.
The South African National Christian Forum’s Bishop Marothi Mashashane said that Joshua’s teachings would always be remembered.
“To us, he has been an outstanding Christian leader, a prophet, a father, even an icon in the Christian sector,” Mashashane said.
But these teachings and practices were also controversial.
In April this year, YouTube suspended TB Joshua’s account after complaints of hate speech from a rights group.
This was after videos showing the preacher conducting prayers to “cure” gay people were loaded on the content sharing channel.
Facebook also removed at least one video showing a woman being slapped while Joshua said that he was casting out a “demonic spirit”.
In 2014, one of his buildings collapsed, killing at least 84 south Africans who had travelled to Lagos to attend his church services.
A report attributed the disaster to structural failures and found that the building did not have planning approval from the authorities.