T.B. Joshua’s widow, Evelyn scales major hurdle –

T.B. Joshua’s widow, Evelyn scales major hurdle

It is observed that succession is rarely discussed at most Nigerian Pentecostal churches. In most cases, it’s often passed on uncontested to the spouse of the deceased founder as noted in the recent past. But when Nigeria’s enigmatic prophet, Temitope Balogun Joshua, the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, fondly called T.B Joshua unexpectedly passed on last year June 5 at age 57, who carries on with the leadership of the ministry believed to have been built around the charisma of its founder became an immediate issue.

Evelyn Onyisi Joshua, T.B Joshua’s widow, who is an ordained pastor but not visibly active in the evangelical activities of the church, faced competition simply because she was not a member of the church’s board of trustees while her husband was alive. Unlike other wives of Nigeria’s mega pastors, she mostly stayed in the background during their three-decade marriage. For months, the 53-year-old widow faced succession challenges unleashed by late T.B Joshua’s influential ‘wise men’ —a group of close disciples he groomed from among whom many believed his successor would sprout. But Evelyn took them on and left no-one in doubt as to who is in charge as she successfully led the first SCOAN service on 7 November since her husband’s death. And she reportedly lost no time in stamping her authority as the head of one of Africa’s most influential evangelical churches. Yet, many were still skeptical of how she’s going to handle the challenge of maintaining her late husband’s legacy. Well, Evelyn scaled that major hurdle on Sunday June 5 when she successfully hosted dignitaries from around the world at the first commemorative service in celebration of the life and legacy of her late husband at the church headquarters in Ikotun, Lagos and broadcast live to over five million followers of the deceased across the world.

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On that day, Evelyn was confirmed as the new SCOAN leader as she was surrounded by more than a dozen preachers from across the globe who prayed for her on the journey ahead. At the well-organised ceremony compered by Nigeria’s comedy icon, Ali Baba and MC Frank Brown, it was an admixture of music, comedy, ministration, and exhortation. Evelyn, a twin and the first of seven children, is from Okala Okpuno, Delta State, assured everyone of her determination to sustain the legacy of her late husband and father of their three daughters whom she described as a ‘Prophet for Generations,’ and with whom she shared many wonderful moments.

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