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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has broken its silence on the death of Prophet TB Joshua, founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, after being questioned online by Nigerians.
Three days after Joshua’s death, the association, which had long considered him as an outsider due to his unconventional techniques, sent a sympathy note to his widow Evelyn Joshua.
CAN president Samson Ayokunle, in a terse message, described him as “one of the foremost Nigerian charismatic pastor, televangelist, and philanthropist who devoted his entire lifetime to the propagation of the gospel.”
He said, “The news of the demise of your darling husband, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, who was until his transition at the age of Fifty-Seven (57) was the leader and founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations came to us amidst great shock and sorrow.
“We are particularly sad because the deceased showed no trace of illness prior to his demise after an Evening Church Service on Saturday 5th June 2021. We commiserate with you, the children and the entire members of SCOAN on this irreparable loss.
“Prophet T.B Joshua was one of the foremost Nigerian charismatic pastor, televangelist, and philanthropist who devoted his entire lifetime to the propagation of the gospel and ministering to the needs of the downtrodden. He was renowned for his philosophical simplicity and humility. His death is not only a loss to the family and the church, but to Nigeria and the world at large.
“There are indeed no exact words of comfort at a moment like this, but we humbly enjoin you to take solace in the Will of the Almighty God, who works in us both to do and work according to his good purpose (Philippians 2:13).
“We know that Our Lord Jesus Christ in whom there is all-sufficiency, and whom you have been serving wholeheartedly will make all grace abound unto you at this trying moment (2 Corinthians 9:8).
“On behalf of all members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), we commiserate with you, and the entire family on this loss. It is our prayer that the Almighty God grant Prophet TB Joshua an eternal rest in his creator, and may God’s perpetual light continue to shine on his path (Amen). Once again, please accept our heartfelt condolence.”
For years, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) never accepted the late preacher and philanthropist into their fold.
In 2009, Ayo Oritsejafor, the then-PFN president and CAN chairman, notably said that the organisation would not accept Mr Joshua because they were not persuaded he was a child of God.
Mr. Oritsejafor was cited as stating, “Jesus did not say you will know them by their words; he said you will know them by their fruit.” If T.B. Joshua can show me his pastor, who pastored him before he claimed to be called to the ministry; if T.B. Joshua can tell me when and how he was converted, then we will consider him. Anyone who is a Christian is a Christian because he accepted Jesus Christ at some time in his life.
“I gather he said he was converted in his mother’s womb and I don’t see anybody like that in the Bible. It is a conscious decision you make and it doesn’t happen in your mother’s womb.”
He also said healing and miracles were not criteria for admitting anyone into the PFN fold or CAN.