Temitope Balogun Joshua, a well-known but controversial Nigerian evangelical pastor, died of an unidentified cause, his church announced on Facebook. He was 57 years old at the time.
TB Joshua, a Nigerian preacher, created The Synagogue Church of All Nations, a Christian megachurch in Lagos.
With millions of television and social media followers, the father of three was one of Africa’s most powerful preachers. His Sunday services attract around 15,000 individuals from Nigeria and around the world.
“God has taken home his servant Prophet TB Joshua… His final hours on earth were spent in the service of God,” the church stated on Facebook on Sunday, without providing any other information.
Olalekan Ojo, one of the pastor’s lawyers, also confirmed his death.
“I confirm that the man of God, pastor TB Joshua passed away on Saturday after his evening programme,” Ojo told AFP news agency.
The preacher was one of the most respected pastors in Africa’s most populous country, according to Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
“He rose to prominence in the 1990s at a time when there was an explosion of televangelism in Nigeria and many parts of Africa. He was one of the most followed preachers in Nigeria and [across] Africa,” Idris said.
He was particularly well-liked in South America, where he held numerous religious crusades.
TB Joshua was noted for his prophecies and claims to be able to cure numerous illnesses and make people wealthy through miracles. Critics, on the other hand, questioned his assertions and claimed he profited from individuals seeking optimism.
He was thought to have a fortune of several million dollars, according to Forbes.
His church has hosted several African presidents, prominent government officials, international football stars, musicians, and other high-profile dignitaries.
The church’s guest home collapsed in September 2014, killing over 100 people, the majority of them were foreigners in Nigeria for his services.
While authorities claim the building collapsed due to structural flaws, TB Joshua claims the structure was blown up by a small plane that passed over it shortly before it collapsed.
The pastor’s YouTube channel, which has over 1.8 million subscribers and 600 million views, was taken down in April after charges of hate speech against LGBTQ individuals.
A woman is seen being beaten forcefully to “cure” her of her sexuality in one of his videos, which has been viewed over 1.5 million times.
In Africa’s most populous country, homosexuality is prohibited, and “homosexual conduct” can result in a 14-year prison sentence.
For his anti-LGBTQ statements, Facebook removed many videos from Joshua’s page, which has over 5.7 million followers.