The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed sadness over the death of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) founder, Temitope Joshua.
The death of the 57-year-old controversial televangelist came as a shock to many on Sunday as there was never a report of the deceased battling any underlying illness or sickness that may lead to such a devastating outcome.
Mr Joshua was confirmed dead by his family last Saturday.
CAN, in a letter signed by its president, Samson Ayokunle, extolled Mr Joshua’s vibrant Bible teachings and humility of service to God and humanity while alive.
“Prophet T.B Joshua was one of the foremost Nigerian charismatic pastors, televangelists, and philanthropists who devoted his entire lifetime to the propagation of the gospel and ministering to the needs of the downtrodden,” CAN said.
“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.”
The letter commiserating with Mr Joshua’s family, dated June 6, was shared by the CAN’s spokesperson, Bright Oladeji, on his Facebook account on June 8.
PREMIUM TIMES could not ascertain the reason for this gap at the time of filing this report nor did Mr Oladeji answer his call in respect to the lacuna.
The Christian body, in the letter, encouraged the family and the church to take solace in the will of God and pray for eternal rest for the deceased.
“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 T.B Joshua an eternal rest in his creator, and may God’s perpetual light continue to shine on his path (Amen),” Mr Ayokunle said in the letter addressed to the SCOAN.
The CAN and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) had never acknowledged that Mr Joshua’s ministry was a member of either organisation. PFN, had in particular denounced him as an ‘impostor’. Many Nigerians have argued this may have accounted for why condolence messages did not come promptly from both Christian groups.
But CAN, in 2019, for instance, had said that nothing forbids Mr Joshua’s church from joining the association, “if it so wishes”.
The Secretary of Lagos State CAN, Israel Akinnadewo, had also disclosed in an interview that it was wrong for anyone to assume that “since the PFN had shut out the cleric and his church, he could not as well be a member of CAN”.
“Prophet T.B Joshua is not under obligation to join the PFN and so, nobody can say that because he is not in the PFN, he is not a member of CAN.
“To put the record straight, CAN does not deal with individual churches but with its five blocks, of which PFN is only half of a block.
“The CAN is made up of five blocks which are: Christian Council of Nigeria, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, the Pentecostal Fellowship/Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, the Organisation of African Instituted Churches, and the Evangelical Fellowship of West Africa.
”It is not mandatory for T.B Joshua’s church to join PFN to become a member of the CAN. In fact, the Synagogue Church of All Nations has any opportunity to join any other block of the CAN,” ThisDay had quoted him as saying.
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