Founder of the Synagogue Church of all Nations, Prophet Temitope Joshua, has said that the 84 South Africans and other people lost in the church’s building collapse died “for the work of salvation.”
Hailing the 84 South Africans who died in the tragedy as martyrs, the popular televangelist stated that he would be establishing close ties with the country.
A statement on SCOAN’s official Facebook page on Sunday, quoted TB Joshua as saying that he would now be taking his ministration to South Africa every month following the huge number of citizens from the country that besiege his Lagos church.
Stating that he had finalised plans to begin the interdenominational service in South Africa, TB Joshua stated that the monthly programme would not be fixed on Sundays.
The clergyman who recalled that his first South African follower walked into his church “over 15 years ago,” said the “kind of faith” expressed by the country’s citizens in his ministry deserved “God’s blessing.”
“Those who are affected in one way or another and those who passed on to glory, their greatest desire is to see that the work of salvation they died and suffered for continues and to reach unreachable places.
“For that, what they are coming here for should be taken to meet them in their country. 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.
“My ministration in South Africa will not be on Sundays so that people would have the opportunity to attend their respective churches. This kind of faith expressed by South Africans deserves this kind of blessing from God – Satan is a liar,” TB Joshua said.
Noting that he would also love to die like a martyr, the clergyman stated that he observed a one-minute silence in memory of the deceased during the church’s service on Sunday, adding that he also prayed that God bless their souls.
TB Joshua claimed that many of his followers from different parts of the world have been very understanding and sympathetic following the “time I am in.”
According to him, he had received solidarity messages in form of electronic mails and SMS from his followers in different parts of the world.
“I have received so many emails full of preaching, teaching, counselling. Thank you very much! I have been your pastor, preaching to you. Now, it is your turn that you are preaching to me. Thank you. It is your turn that you are giving back what you have received in terms of preaching, teaching and counselling. 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,” TB Joshua added.
Meanwhile, some South Africans have threatened to move against the SCOAN founder, whenever he decides to step his feet on the country.
A South African, Mathi Dube, while calling for the criminal prosecution of TB Joshua, tweeted, “God for sale? The gospel is a tradable commodity and a money spinner. It is a sad state of the Christian faith in Africa. He (TB Joshua) had better remained in Nigeria or we shall arrest him and impound his jet.”
A music producer based in Cape Town, South Africa, Roscoe Palm, stated that it was scandalous for the Nigerian authorities to only “condole” and “accommodate” TB Joshua without trying him in the courts.
Describing the tragedy as a “mass murder”, Palm wrote on Twitter that were TB Joshua a businessman, he would have been promptly arrested by the Nigerian security agencies for prosecution.
Palm carpeted President Goodluck Jonathan for allegedly “striding arm-in-arm” with TB Joshua during his Friday visit to the scene of the incident, instead of prosecuting him.
“President Goodluck Jonathan must act. Where’s the commission of inquiry? If my shoddy construction leads to hundreds of deaths, I won’t go to heaven. I will go to jail. What has Goodluck Jonathan and/or the authorities done? Nothing except accommodate SCOAN.
“Were TB Joshua a businessman, he would have been arrested. Just because he claims to speak for God doesn’t mean he’s above the law. It is important to note that we can’t bring back the dead that TB Joshua’s church-cum-business has killed.
“TB Joshua even has the audacity to call the dead martyrs? God has nothing to do with this. It’s about greed and shoddy workmanship that leads to the deaths and TB Joshua should be responsible for the deaths. In this case, arrest and charge TB Joshua to court,” Palm wrote in a series of tweets.