Embattled Nigerian ‘Prophet’ T.B. Joshua declared in his church service today that he will be visiting South Africa once in a month ‘in memory of the martyrs of faith’.
Joshua relayed the message in his church service on Sunday 21st August 2014 following the tragic building collapse at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) that left 84 South Africans dead and hundreds more injured.
“Those who are affected in one way or another and those who passed onto glory, their greatest desire is to see that the work of salvation they died and suffered for continues and reaches unreachable places,” Joshua declared, a message subsequently relayed via his official social media portals on Facebook and Twitter.
“For that, what they are coming here for should be taken to meet them in their country,” he stated to applause from foreigners but a muted response from Nigerian congregants.
“Once in a month, I will be travelling to South Africa to meet people from South Africa and other nations who find South Africa easier to visit, in memory of martyrs of faith,” the controversial cleric stated in a broadcast transmitted live on Emmanuel TV, one of Africa’s most popular television stations.
Joshua quickly countered any insinuation that his visitations will be to challenge other South African churches. “My ministration in South Africa will not be on Sunday so that people will have the opportunity to attend their respective churches,” he explained.
“This kind of faith expressed by South Africans deserves this kind of blessing from God,” he added.
Joshua thanked people for the messages of condolence and encouragement The SCOAN had received from supporters around the world. “I have been your pastor, preaching to you. Now, it is your turn that you are preaching to me. It is your turn that you are giving back what you have received in terms of preaching, teaching and counselling,” he said.
Referring to the biblical principle in Ecclesiastes 3, Joshua continued, “There is a time to give and a time to receive. There is a time to laugh and a time to cry. There is a time to be born and a time to die. Thank you for understanding the time that I am in.
”The cleric acknowledged that the decision would have some adverse effects on Nigeria but insisted it was a ‘revelation from God’ that he must obey.
He further called on the South African government to be involved in organising the monthly meetings, knowing that ‘mammoth crowds’ would attend.
Taking a trip down memory lane, the embattled pastor played a clip of a man he claimed was the first South African to visit The SCOAN 15 years ago. The Emmanuel TV archive clip showed a pastor named Francois Van Zyl telling the congregation that ‘persecution’ would soon cause T.B. Joshua to travel worldwide.
Strangely, the broadcast on Emmanuel TV was intermittently disrupted due to technical problems before Joshua arrived to deliver the message.
Ihechukwu Njoku – freelance Nigerian journalist