Nigerian Megachurch Pastor TB Joshua Dies at 57

(Facebook/TB Joshua Ministries)

Nigerian televangelist, prophet, philanthropist and megachurch pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua has died one week shy of his 58th birthday, his ministry announced on Sunday. Born June 12, 1963, he died June 5, 2021, shortly after presiding over a program at The Synagogue Church of All Nations, the Lagos-based megachurch he founded.

"His last moments on earth were spent in the service of God. This is what he was born for, lived for and died for," the ministry's announcement read:

In Joshua's final message, "There is time for everything," he emphasized the need to understand that God has approved a season for all of life's occurrences, per the Nigerian Tribune, which also reported that the shock of his passing brought church members, friends and admirers to his ministry headquarters, wailing as they mourned his loss.

The father of three, referred to as both "T.B." and "Papa" by his adherents, was one of Africa's most influential preachers with millions of television and social media followers and an attendance of more than 15,000 at his Sunday services, reports aljazeera.com.

Joshua's popularity extended beyond Nigeria to other African countries as well as to Latin America, Asia and elsewhere. His ministry had more than 3.5 million Facebook fans, and his YouTube channel, shut down in April of this year for what administrators said was "hate speech" when he posted about casting out demons as a means of helping them renounce homosexual lifestyles, had over 1 million subscribers. In response to the ban, Joshua urged his followers to "pray for YouTube."

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The popular pastor was known for his generosity and for his contributions to various development causes within Nigeria, the Nigerian Tribune reports.. Forbes once estimated that he spent $20 million on education, health care and rehabilitation programs for the elderly. He donated toward causes including restoring electricity and putting an end to power outages; police forces in Nigeria, Ghana and Columbia; and, through his church, scholarships for thousands of students for education at various levels.

Joshua received multiple honors, including the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic by the Nigerian government in 2008. He also achieved international fame because of his crusades in places such as Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Paraguay. He held a miracle crusade in Cali, Colombia in July 2014 that was attended by 100,000 people, and a crusade in Paraguay in August 2017 that resulted in a media storm when the Paraguayan Parliament awarded him its National Order of Merit, the country's highest honor, generally reserved for its own citizens. The Senate of the Dominican Republic also conferred its highest award on Joshua in November 2017 at the close of a two-day crusade there. In June 2019, Joshua held a two-day event at the Ampitheatre of Mount Precipice in Nazareth, Israel, attended by an estimated 15,000 people.

Watch the video of his final message here, and join the Charisma News family in praying for all those touched by Joshua's life and death.

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