Tuesday, 6th July 2021 was the day of the Tribute Service for Prophet T.B. Joshua. During the service, people from all over the world used the platforms at their disposal to pay tribute to the man of God’s life and legacy. From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and video recordings, thousands testified about how the man of God had impacted their lives positively, most of them stressing his humaneness, humility and godly lifestyle. Many people also spoke live on Emmanuel TV as they stood on the rostrum specially constructed for the tribute service.
After opening prayer and welcome from Prophet Racine and a Bible reading from Solace from Sunday School, a short biography of Prophet T.B. Joshua was read by Mr Ebenezer First-Quao from Ghana and Pastor Jorge Arevalo from Honduras.
Leading the tributes session was Mrs Evelyn Joshua, followed by her children Serah, Promise and Heart, as well as son-in-law Brian. Mrs Joshua said: “I thank you for loving me. I thank you for caring for me. I thank you for nurturing me. I thank you for being a good father to our children, not only a father who merely provides but who wants the best and gives his best at all times.” On the man of God’s legacy she said: “In all, I thank you for using and spending your whole life on things that will outlive you.” She then added: “You have always made it clear that the work of your Father is what you were born for, would live for and would die for. This you did to your last moment on earth. Your passing was so peaceful.”
Serah thanked her father for instilling worthy values in her and for spending inspiring moments with her. She said: “I had the good fortune of having you as a father who sowed the seed of imperishable values of hard work, discipline, generosity and a host of other virtues too numerous to recount. I am in awe of your love and fear for God and it was always clear to me that you would give unstintingly your time and resources for the work of God.” Serah ended by noting thus: “If anyone lived a fulfilling and yet deliberately enigmatic life, it was you. I will truly miss your wisdom, knowledge, mystery, and humour. What a life you lived! Such a legend and exemplary shining light.”
On her part, Promise Joshua told of her father’s preparedness for transition to the afterlife, noting that he “essentially lived each day like it was his last, with most of his time spent at his prayer mountain, utterly focused on executing an assignment that only he seemed to be in the know of what the instructions were.” On the exceptional global impact of her father’s work, Promise expressed pride. She said: “Daddy, I want to say thank you for being such an exceptional role model. Your life is a living testimony of how God can raise a young boy from an underprivileged background with so much passion and zeal for God’s work and use him in extraordinary ways.”
Describing herself as “Daddy’s Girl”, Heart Joshua said she would forever miss his company and the immeasurable love he showered on her. Heart declared: “My father was the most important person in my life and I feel heartbroken to no longer have my father and spiritual figure with us. His memory will not only carry on in my heart but in the hearts of everyone lucky to have known such a delightful and astonishing man like my father, Prophet T.B. Joshua.”
Son-in-law Brian testified thus: “Prophet T.B. Joshua taught me to believe in my dream and stand firm and fearless in the sight of challenges and hindrances that can arise in life – to simply let love lead. Prophet T.B. Joshua was a trailblazer. His legacy still roars all over the world beyond tomorrow. He proved what he said, ‘One life for JESUS is all I have and one life for JESUS is so dear’.”
On their part, Prophet T.B. Joshua’s Disciples gave a collective tribute in poetic form: “Dear Daddy, your coming into this world was divine and it was divine destiny that brought us to you. This is the mystery of grace – that God takes unlikely people and puts them into His palace for eternity. We came from different nations, from different backgrounds, with different hearts – unlikely people. You taught us prayer; you taught us love; you taught us life. How does one describe someone so indescribable? How does one define someone so indefinable? Human and divine!”
They added: “You knew how to handle each and every one of us – with different characters, from different cultures – with such wisdom, maturity and grace. You were a living, breathing, walking encyclopaedia of God’s Word and Wisdom. Every human being was special to you, every piece of God’s creation was a miracle to you, every moment was an assignment from God to you. As you sat with us, ate with us, laughed with us, we could not quantify your simplicity yet you kept your mystery to the very end.”
Speaking further, they said: “How could we ever forget – those midnight meetings where we battled with sleep as you battled with our weaknesses, those impromptu sermons no pen can write but no heart can forget, those prophetic corrections the flesh fights yet the conscience confirms, those prayer mountain vigils with Holy Communion and joy unspeakable! We watched in awe as you continued to forgive – no matter the offence.”
The Disciples said yet more about their mentor: “You taught us the secret of God: that this journey needs joy; that we should not let pain remain in our heart; that every time is Good Morning! Now we understand what you always told us – that you were not fighting for our today but for our tomorrow. Despite betrayals and backstabbing, you poured your entire life into mentoring. You refused to give up on us.”
Still not done, they testified before the world: “On this entire journey you gave us your best – we will give you our best. You said you cannot afford to lose us; we cannot afford to fail you. You fought for God’s Kingdom – to the very end. We will fight that good fight – to the very end. We will preserve your legacy; we will defend your legacy.
Finally, The Disciples disclosed: “You told us when the Spirit would come to call you, you could not wait for us. With parables you prepared us for such a time as this but still it seemed too soon. One chapter in this remarkable journey may have drawn to an end. But it is not the end. Never the end. Prophet T.B. Joshua lives on.”
Among the countless number of people whose education was sponsored by Prophet T.B. Joshua were Mary-Jean and Dr Yinka Oduwole, both of whom spoke at the tribute service. Mary-Jean said: “Prophet T.B. Joshua took me in over 10 years ago and financed my university – undergraduate and postgraduate – studies at Harvard Law School and the University of Cambridge, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in my education. He taught me that his generosity towards me is not an end in itself but that the end is the salvation of my soul, and he was simply pointing me towards Jesus Christ. Prophet TB Joshua – a father, mentor and life coach. He continued to guide us and ensure that we have career success.”
Doctoral degree holder Yinka said, “I’m actually a doctor and I emphasise the title ‘Dr’ because I wouldn’t be a doctor without Prophet T.B. Joshua.” Yinka then told of how she had once shared a room with a daughter of God’s servant, who had urged his daughter thus: “Please allow this stranger in.” Yinka concluded: “Such was the extent of Prophet T.B. Joshua’s love. Prophet T.B. Joshua’s legacy, impact and life will forever live on. The beautiful seeds which he has sown and planted in my life and that of others will continue to live on.”
Other testifiers were His Royal Majesty King Willard Mswati Gomani from Malawi, Pastor Gerardo Montejano from Mexico, eminent Nigerian rights activist Dr Osagie Obayuwana, Dr Roussan Etienne Jnr. from the USA, Nigerian actor Femi Branch, members of My People Football Club (founded by Prophet T.B. Joshua), Prophet Ayual Deng Peter from South Sudan, as well as two Nigerian ex-deportees from Libya (Victory and Osaze) who spoke on behalf of a large number of fellow deportees who had received resettlement support from The SCOAN after their deportation.
Pastor Montejano spoke of how the man of God’s crusade in Mexico had filled the stadium venue to capacity for two straight days. He then recounted thus: “He came to Mexico to teach us love, mercy and obedience. He always wanted to give what God had given to Him and he prayed for 3000 pastors to receive the anointing that God had given to him. Prophet T.B. Joshua impacted the hearts of thousands of Christian people and pastors. Now the level of prayer in the servants of God in Latin America has increased, including myself. I thank God for the life of Prophet TB Joshua, his family and his team. God bless you.”
Dr Etienne stated emphatically that “Prophet T.B. Joshua was a special gift from God to humanity,” adding that the man of God “was a herald of the Gospel and an agent of transformation, economic empowerment and spiritual liberation.” Dr Etienne continued: “He is known in the Christian community here in the United States as a man of prayer, prophetic insight, thematic teaching – a philanthropist and humanitarian.” He then concluded thus: “We thank God for the thousands of lives that were delivered from spiritual, social and economic bondage through his ministry.”
HRM King Gomani began with how he had in 2012 received a prophecy at The SCOAN on his missing crown. Having just been coronated then, the king had come to seek God’s face on the matter of the missing crown. He said that, as the man of God had prophesied, the crown re-emerged when he got back home. King Gomani then concluded: “He made me to reach a level of understanding that humbleness, love, faith are important in our lives. Prophet T.B. Joshua has impacted so many people’s lives – not only my life.”
Of the two ex-deportees, Victory spoke first: “The man of God rescued thousands of us. When we arrived Nigeria and were stranded with no money to go back to our states, the man of God welcomed us here and provided us with food and gave us money to enable us go back to our states. I am a living testimony. There is no word we can use to describe him. Truly he is a hero, a legend. He has left a legacy for us to follow.” Osaze, the other ex-deportee, expressed his gratitude at his improved status in life courtesy of Prophet T.B. Joshua.
Dr Obayuwana of the Committee For The Defence Of Human Rights, said: “Prophet T.B. Joshua brought deeper meaning to our work through a show of love. Prophet T.B. Joshua repeatedly donated vehicles and funds to the CDHR to facilitate our movements in the discharge of our responsibilities. We are inspired by the records of service through giving by The SCOAN and the Emmanuel TV in many countries – Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.”
In a touching and profound tribute, Femi Fani Kayode, former Minister of Aviation in Nigeria, said: “It is an honour for me to have the privilege of standing before you to say a few words about a man who was not just my friend and brother but someone who brought me joy and that taught me so many things over the last five years of my life. This was a son of Nigeria that Nigerians are proud of. This was a man that every leader and every follower was inspired by – his humility, strength of character, his nobility – everything about him spoke of nothing but the very best. Most important of all – he was a great Ambassador of the Living God.”
Nigerian actor Femi Branch, flanked by fellow actors Ojo Arowosafe (aka ‘Fadeyi Oloro’), Ronke Ojo (aka ‘Ronke Oshodi Oke’) and Jumoke George, spoke eloquently about Prophet T.B. Joshua’s philanthropy: “Knowing a true Christian or a man of God is not rocket science – it’s not such a hard thing to do. I did not come here to mourn Pastor T.B. Joshua and I speak the mind of my colleagues as well. We are not here to mourn Pastor Joshua. We are here to mourn a nation who did not know the jewel she had within her grasp until she lost it!”
Branch continued: “I am not here to mourn Pastor TB Joshua. I am here to mourn the Church who could not see beyond their envy and beyond their spite to learn humaneness, humility, true Christianity and true service from this humble man of faith! Those are the people I am here to mourn! More importantly, I came here to celebrate and to thank everyone of you who are seated here. You guys don’t know how blessed, how privileged you are!”
There was equally a moving tribute from a woman named Bola, who had sought God’s face at The SCOAN after no fewer than eight unsuccessful surgeries on her daughter Morayo’s legs. She said the man of God had prophesied about her condition during the mass prayer session of a Sunday service sometime in 2017. “That was the encounter and that was the turnaround,” Bola recalled while displaying pictures of Morayo in the wheelchair. She said the man of God had assured her: “My God will do it!” Truly, her daughter was healed after his prayer. Bola also disclosed that Prophet T.B. Joshua paid her daughter’s school fees when she finally resumed her studies after two years of hospitalisation. “He is the father that she knows – no other father,” she declared. Morayo herself said: “Let it be known to the world that Prophet T.B. Joshua is the man owned by God. I love you; God loves you more.”
On behalf of My People FC, Leonard spoke thus: “This football club set up by our father is one of the numerous avenues through which he touched lives. He took us off the streets and kept us away from the path of crime. He made it possible for us to reach to the levels we wouldn’t have reached by ourselves. He helped us and our respective families. And most importantly, he drew us closer to God for the salvation of our souls. We are here today to express our condolences and our love for the man who showed us so much love and care.”
Prophet Peter started by noting that Prophet T.B. Joshua had prophesied that South Sudan would eventually be led out of Sudan by Mr Salva Kiir Mayardit, who had just then taken over the region’s struggle for independence. The nation, he said, had “stood by the grace of the man of God.” Regarding the visit of God’s servant to the country in 2019 to mediate in its internal crises, Prophet Peter narrated as follows: “And when he came to South Sudan he came humbly; he did everything on himself. We did not give him anything. Financially – he supported the journey by himself. I must give witness to that, for it is the work of the Holy Spirit.”
As a gesture of appreciation for the visit, Prophet Peter announced, President Mayardit sent down the key to the Republic of South Sudan to Prophet T.B. Joshua. He then observed thus: “Someone might say, ‘How can we give a key to Pastor T.B. Joshua and he is not here?’ Pastor T.B. Joshua is here more than ever before! And you will see…. You will see what will happen to South Sudan as we are handing this key to Pastor T.B. Joshua.”