Sympathisers and mourners at the Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN) have described the late Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua as a great father and their helper who would be missed.
Joshua, who died on Saturday night, few days to his 58th birthday which is June 12, was born in 1963, in Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State.
Following the news of his death, church members and sympathisers thronged the church looking dejected and in tears to either confirm the news of his demise or to come and express their grief and sadness.
Speaking to PM NEWS in separate interviews at the Church located at Ikotun, Lagos State, many said the death of the founder and leader of SCOAN, was “unbelievable and shocking”. Some also described the clergyman as an epitome of humility, a true man of God, a philanthropist, amongst others.
They said that Joshua would be greatly missed by his followers and those seeking miracles for their challenges from all over the world.
Mrs. Mary Inyang, who is an elder in the church, described him as a man filled with the Holy Spirit. She said that God has only called him home to rest and that she would not cry; but celebrate his life.
“The man is resting at the bosom of Abraham”, she said.
On who takes over as the leader of the church, she said: “God has enough people to do his work. Nobody knows who that will be, but time will tell.”
Mr. Lucky Inaba, another member of the church said he was perplexed and dumbfounded when he heard the news of the prophet’s passing, and that the void he has left behind would be very difficult to fill by another person.
“The man of God was a philanthropist and a great man. Whatever business you see people doing around this environment is because of the input of the man of God. He made this community not to feel the impact of COVID-19 by providing for everyone to the best of his ability. He also maintained decorum and respected the government’s directives while doing so.
“We are very sad as a church and as a community. We didn’t see this coming. But if it is the will of God to take him from us, we have no choice but to accept our fate. We have lost a great man. Not just the Bolorunpelu community, Alimosho local government, or Lagos; people all over the world are in great pains from this huge loss”, he said.
Jesus of Alimosho is gone – Bolorunpelu resident
Ahmed Sikiru who is an indigene of Bolorunpelu the host community of SCOAN compared him to Jesus, saying “Jesus of Alimosho is gone”.
He said: “I can replace him in death if I have the opportunity. I love him that much, because he has done so many things for me and my community.
“When our electric transformer blew up due to too much load on it, he got two brand new ones for us the next day without asking for anything in return.
“When we went to appreciate his kind gesture, he gave us four trailer loads of rice and N500,000. He fed us well during COVID-19 and gave us money so that we won’t go hungry. ‘Jesus of Alimosho’ is gone. President and Governors in Nigeria cannot do half of what he did for us single handedly.
“When the Baale of Bolorunpelu community died, he donated one million for his burial this month. He was a great human being and a man of the people. We love him, but God loves him most. So we will take solace in that.”
Another sympathiser, Jackson Ovie-Johnson, described the late Joshua as ‘a practical Jesus’.
He said: “The late prophet was my mentor and spiritual father. He knows my face spiritually and physically. It was he who reconciled me with my wife when my marriage collapsed after 21 years.
“My father has gone to heaven, just like Elijah, and I am not surprised because he always preached in parables. Just yesterday, I was watching him perform miracles and then he said there is time for everything but people didn’t understand him.
“I just want to hear his voice. He is an example, a practical Jesus Christ in the physical for my generation.”
Mrs. Abraham Victoria said of the prophet: “During Christian and Islamic festivals, he gives us money and trailer loads of bags of rice to celebrate. He once healed my brother of appendix. He was a true man of God.
“I came from Abuja for the burial of my father, the Otun of Bolorunpelu which we did last week. Pastor TB Joshua contributed immensely to that. He helped the widows and needy in this community tremendously; and to a great extent, Nigeria as a whole.
“Our community is in pains. We have lost an irreplaceable gem. We will miss his charitable works and help to our community.
Mr. Vincent Uche, a resident in the community said that TB Joshua has completed his work on earth and is gone, leaving behind a good legacy.
“He has left a big shoe to fill. Other men of God in the country need to step up. My worry now is that there are a lot of widows who rely on him for survival. What will happen to them? Though I am not a full member of the church, but I have been living around here since 1994, and I observe and see things happen. What will happen to all these people he has been helping?” He asked.
Mr. Ibrahim Jimoh, an indigene of the community described the prophet as a cheerful giver.
”He gives us money anytime his car passes. When we heard of the news yesterday, we didn’t believe initially and said it was a rumour; not until people started gathering and the flags were flown at half-mast. We have been out since 3 am mourning his demise.
“He was an easy going person who was always willing to help others. He was a strong pillar in this community and we will miss him terribly. He can never be replaced. There will never be another like him.”
Fatima Badru, who resides and owns a shop in the area, described the deceased as generous man of God.
She said: “The late prophet did well to everyone around. We enjoyed great security of our goods and property because of him. Whenever you meet him, you are sure of getting something tangible.
“We can feed for about four months without buying anything with our money because of the late prophet. We will miss him and pray God to raise another helper for us in his stead.”
A resident speaking to journalists at SCOAN
He is not dead, he is resting – Sympathisers
Some members are however still in denial of his death. They said they believe he is not dead, but only resting.
Mrs Bola Adeniran, a resident of the area, who had yet to come to terms with the reality of the situation, said that the pastor could not have died but was resting.
Adeniran listed so many things that the pastor had done for the benefit of the people.
She said the electricity transformer that served the area was given to the community by the late T.B Joshua.
“There were sets of less privileged persons that he gave money every week to sustain their wellbeing.
“We, all the people of the area, are in disbelief over the news, and we are praying for God to revive him to continue his good works,” she said.
He touched many lives – Residents
Mrs Caroline Neon, said that the late clergyman was such a great philanthropist that touched so many lives.
Neon said that so many people that lived around Ikotun axis could testify to his generousity and how they benefitted from him while alive.
Mr Anthony Ebele said that Joshua was a blessing to so many lives positively because he was giving scholarships to pupils from primary to tertiary levels.
Ebele said he really impacted and supported communities around his church.
“I don’t know how his beneficiaries will cope, his death will be a challenge to those impacted by him.
“My deep condolences to his family and church members,” Ebele said.