Few days after a befitting burial was given to the late founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, clear indications have emerged that some female disciples of the demised Prophet have posed major obstacles to Mrs. Evelyn Joshua’s (widow) chances of succeeding her late husband as the next General Overseer of the SCOAN.
Sunday Telegraph investigation revealed that the women had been with the popular Prophet, televangelist and philanthropist since their youthful ages.
“Some of them, now in their sixties, fifties and forties therefore feel that they have put in a life-time service into the multi-billion Dollar ministry.
“They believe that, having sowed a better part of their youth into the growth of the mega ministry; they have equal chances if not better ground to take over the leadership of the church,” a reliable source in the SCOAN told our correspondent off the record.
According to the source, the women have sworn to give Mrs. Joshua a good fight for their contribution to ministry’s growth; and possibly stop her from succeeding her late husband.
“On that premise, the Joshua women disciples have flagrantly flouted the decisions of Mrs. Evelyn since her husband departed to the great beyond.
“The opposition, including some males, love power and don’t want to be held accountable for their decisions now that Prophet TB Joshua is gone. They are a group of people who don’t have regards for his family, and invariably don’t honour him by that disposition because he was a man who loved his family.
These people cut off the late Prophet’s siblings and extended family from his burial, as well as anyone they imagined did not belong to their clique,” another source apparently sympathetic to Mrs. Evelyn chipped in. Sunday Telegraph learnt that after the Prophet’, lying in state on Thursday July 8, Mrs. Joshua instructed that the remains of her husband be kept in one room in the church till the next day for internment.
But one of the ladies questioned why Mrs. Joshua should solely give the instruction that the body be kept in that particular room. Mr. Patrick Iwelunmor, a former Media Aide of Prophet T.B Joshua, while fielding questions from our reporter, observed that such treatment was undesirable.
Iwelunmor said: “This wonderful woman is still mourning her beloved husband and deserves all the peace she can find. If it is true that some people are opposed to her emergence as the new leader of the church, then, that should be a matter for the church to sort out.
I personally think she should be allowed to mourn her husband first before such politics will start. “I can only tell you about those who truly love her and look up to her as a mother. Mrs. Evelyn Joshua is an amiable and God-fearing woman, who treats everyone equally.
She does not listen to gossips. If you want to attract her anger, just go and run someone down before her. She detests eye service and would surely make a good leader. I do know that a couple of disciples love her so much but I cannot say if they are also rooting for her to become the leader of the church. Sister Shade and Sister Olamide are very close to her. I am also one of those who think she can make a great leader of the ministry.
But everything depends on the church,” he added. Another respondent currently in the service of the SCOAN, who simply introduced himself as Okomi, said: “Truth is she isn’t pushing for it.
But she wants the best for the Church and is cut out to ensure that is the case with the Church.” Okomi regretted that rebellion has its characteristics, adding that one is sure to find it when people embrace it. “We should expect it when people do not have the fear of God, but only pretend to do so,” he further observed.
He reminded those who may be opposed to Mrs. Joshua’s succession that God and man can actually appoint people into service. “But let’s not forget also that it is the choice of the individual to accept. It is only appropriate that a minister is rewarded by the one who appoints him or her. If the Lord commanded them to do so, they should expect their rewards from Him. If I were in their shoes, knowing full well that a chapter has closed,
I would go back to the Lord if He appointed me in the first instance, to know the next step to take. He might ask or command such an individual to even start a new ministry,” Okomi advised. Mr. Iwelunmor added: “While we commend those senior lady evangelists for their contributions to the ministry, I think it is time for some of them to move on with their lives.
Some of them are in their late forties and early fifties. Even though they claim to love the work of God, must they hit menopause in the church? Let them go and marry and raise families.
The church should find a way to honour them for their service to God and humanity. For me, it is strange for beautiful women to say they are married to Jesus.
The scenario is not even good for their mental health.” “If they are opposed to her emergence, then something must be wrong. How can they claim to love the late Prophet and now oppose his wife? The Evelyn Joshua I know is a harmless and easy-going woman who has a very large heart. If the church selects her to lead, everyone should cooperate with her.
Anyone opposing Mrs. Evelyn Joshua is being unwise. There’s no amount of opposition against her that can stop her from being the bonafide wife of the late Prophet. They either cooperate with her or face the consequences of their indiscretions,” Iwelunmor added.
Another prominent Church member, who spoke to Sunday Telegraph on condition of anonymity said: “Anyone flouting Mrs. Joshua’s orders is just being insensitive. If it is true, it means the person has no regards for her late husband because husband and wife are supposed to be one, according to the bible. In all of this, I advise everyone to come together and work things out for the sake of the progress of the ministry.
People must know that if they allow matters to get out of hand, the church could be drawn into a series of litigation that would eventually favour T.B Joshua’s family.”
How much will the church’s foreign partners and Elders likely to influence who will eventually take over leadership of the SCOAN following the demise of Prophet T.B Joshua?
Okomi said: “There is nothing like elders, foreign or local. Emmanuel TV is a legally separate entity from SCOAN and its part nership cuts across countries, including many thousands of Nigerians.
There are no foreign partners that bankroll its operations.” Iwelunmor, however, explained that there are foreign partners who are contributing their energies and resources in furtherance of the gospel of Christ through The SCOAN.
“They need to be treated well. They are also stakeholders who want the outpouring of God’s power to continue. They should have their preferences which I may not really know.”
According to Iwelunmor, the foreign partners are fundamental to the growth and progress of the ministry. “I cannot say whether or not they support the possibility of Mrs. Joshua’s emergence as the new leader of the church. But I do know that someone like Dr. Gary Tonge and his wife Fiona, wield a lot of influence and should be seen as major stakeholders in everything concerning the ministry.
Dr Gary is a fantastic gentleman who has demonstrated meekness in his goings. His wife, Fiona is also very accommodating. I believe they have the maturity both mentally and spiritually to make The SCOAN a better place.
Their children, Evangelist Ruth and Prophet Chris are very brilliant and charismatic people that I have worked with. I think that family should be, if not one of the strongest pillars of the church,” the ex-Media aide stated.
Asked whether or not the Tonge family could possibly be interested in succeeding Prophet T.B Joshua; Okomi said: “There is nothing wrong with people identifying with noble interests and concerns. For this family, that’s for them to tell the world because the world is watching.
Everyone who ever worked with the late Prophet, at best, had a ministerial relationship with him. His two children, Ruth and Chris, are part of the clique ‘upstairs’,” Okomi said.