Mixed reactions have followed the demise of Temitope Balogun Joshua (TB Joshua) with many of his church members in shock and disbelief.
“My father is gone. Who will clothe me? Who will I brag about?” an unidentified woman said in tears.
Another church worshipper, who identified himself as Kunle Biyi, described Joshua’s death as a blow to the community, adding that he wished to have died with the prophet.
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.”
Except the staff of the church, no other person was allowed entrance and exit as of the time of filing this report.
Joshua, who is survived by children and a wife, hailed from Arigidi Akoko, in Ondo State.
He founded the Synagogue Church in 1987. The church which has its headquarters in Lagos State accommodates over 15,000 worshippers per gathering. The church currently has branches in Ghana, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Greece.
Joshua is one of the richest and philanthropic pastors in Nigeria. He was estimated to worth over $15m in 2011, by Forbes.
The cleric remained controversial for several years for his inexplicable powers to heal all sorts of incurable diseases, including HIV/AIDS and cancer.
Joshua’s healing powers had attracted thousands of people from all over the world to Nigeria.
In September 2014, a guest house in Joshua’s church in the Ikotun area of Lagos collapsed killing over 100 persons including scores of expatriates and religious tourists.
However, Joshua cannot be said to be in the good books of some top Nigerian Pastors. The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria had warned its members to distance themselves from him.
Joshua owned Emmanuel TV, a Christian television network, and is close friends with some world leaders including former Ghanaian President Atta Mills.
YouTube had recently suspended Joshua over allegations of hate speech and for conducting prayers to “cure” gay people.