The wife and children of the late T.B Joshua alongside other personalities on Tuesday paid their last respects to the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nation (SCOAN) in a service held in his honour on Tuesday.
The service was part of the weeklong funeral ceremony in honour of the late televangelist.
The ceremony was nearly marred by a fire incident on Monday night after a candlelight procession was held in his honour.
The event, which commenced at about 11 a.m. at the church premises, was attended by a representative of President Salva Kiir of South Sudan; Gani Adams, the former leader of the O’odua Peoples Congress; Femi Fani-Kayode, former minister of aviation; Osagie Obayuwana, president of Committee for Defence Human Rights; Willard Mswati Gomani, a Malawian traditional ruler; Nollywood actors and other international dignitaries.
Security agencies including the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps (LSNSC), Lagos State Traffic Management (LASTMA) were stationed at the main entrance of the church and barricaded the entry and exit points.
PREMIUM TIMES observed that many commuters had to trek long distances to get commercial buses.
Many sympathisers besieged the church premises but were denied entry as only a few were allowed entry, in compliance with the COVID-19 protocol.
Family pays tribute
In her tribute, Evelyn Joshua, wife of the late preacher, described her husband as a man who was dedicated to his divine call.
“The lion himself, I have spent 31 years with my husband, T.B.J, the man in the synagogue, that is the name I fondly call him. Our lives were not without trials and tests and as a Christian, I know trials and tests cannot break the one who relies on God’s strength.
“You taught me to know that tests and trials are the soil on which our feet flourishes. Your vision remains more clearer to me with time and without distractions.
“As I watch, see you labour with passion with dedication, hard work to grow from an eight-membership assembly sitting on a mat to wooden chairs and to the level which we are today unto the glory of God.”
She expressed appreciation to him for “shielding me from those who came to our home with ulterior motives and because you did not give in to their guilt desires, they are bent on soiling your noble name yet you were undeterred.”
His three children, Serah, Promise, and Heart said he would be missed by the church, world, and family.
In Serah’s tribute to her late father, she said, “I will truly miss your wisdom, knowledge, your mystery and your humour. You have lived a life of unwavering commitment to passion and service. I have no reservations to say that my dad has the biggest heart that I know of and he was a true humanitarian to this nation. What a feat you have left for all of us to live up to.”
Promise, the second daughter of the late preacher, said his death was a piece of sad news.
“Growing up as a biological daughter of prophet T.B. Joshua, my dad made me understand that he is on to this world. For him, life on Earth was spiritual warfare and not a place to get too comfortable like it was home.
“He spent each day like it was his last with most of his time spent at his prayer mountain focusing on executing an assignment only he seems to be in the know of what the instructions were.”
“Since I became more socially aware and more inquisitive about my dad’s life I realised that the implications of such lifestyle was that once he was done accomplishing what he was sent for he would be called back home to the one who sent him,” she said.
In Heart’s tribute to her father, the youngest daughter stated that he showed her immeasurable love.
Mr Adams, while addressing the press at the church, noted that the country has lost one of the greatest men in Africa.
“I believe we have lost one of the greatest Nigerians in Africa. He is a pastor to be reckoned with globally. It is very sad that we lost him at an early age but we love him, his centre love him. I am using this opportunity to console his wife, Evelyn I told her while leaving that I will be in touch with the family no matter the situation,” he said.
Peter Aueai, Mr Kiir’s representative, said he has “handed over the key to the Republic of South Sudan to the family of the late prophet for his contribution to fostering peace in the region”.
He said Mr Joshua’s visit to South Sudan “restored peace to the country since 2013.”
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