There was a man I knew who helped a former Head of State’s wife gain access to her husband whilst the latter was in detention and when his life was in danger, even though he had never met him. There was a man I knew who gave $100,000 USD to a leading traditional ruler who was in need and wanted to go on a trip to America with his delegation, even though he had never met him.
There was a man I knew who bought a beautiful jeep for a former Nigerian/British football star who spent much of the time in his Church. There was a man I knew who stood by the family of a leading SAN when the latter was kidnapped even though they had never met.
There was a man I knew who stood by the family of a former Minister of Aviation when the latter was in detention even though they had never met. There was a man I knew who fed more poor people and paid the school fees of more young people than all the other men of God in Nigeria put together.
There was a man I knew who read about how the entire family of a young boy from Delta state was wiped out by assassins whilst the boy himself was left for dead with a cut throat but who took the boy into his Church, treated him in hospital, counselled him, sent him to school, took care of all his needs and raised him as his own son.
There was a man I knew who gave shelter to the homeless, food to the hungry, clothes to the naked, and spiritual and physical succour to the needy more than any other. There was a man I knew who counselled and led millions of people all over the world to give their lives to Christ and become born again. There was a man I knew who filled football stadiums in South America, the Far East, Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and indeed all over the world with his remarkable soul-winning and earth-shaking crusades.
There was a man I knew who gave scholarships to thousands of young people to study all over the world and who took care of thousands of widows and orphans. There was a man I knew who footed the bills of many cancer patients and those that suffered from other terminal illnesses.
There was a man I knew who hated injustice and persecution with a passion and who helped and supported the vulnerable, the weak, the persecuted, the oppressed, and the misrepresented and maligned more than any other. There was a man I knew who set up the most popular and powerful satellite television station on the African continent to propagate the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and to display His glorious and remarkable healing and loving power.
There was a man I knew who was a real patriot, who loved his country Nigeria, who loved his continent Africa and who loved the Church more than any other. There was a man I knew who flew more refugees from foreign lands back home to Nigeria and fed and gave them jobs more than any other. There was a man I knew who never responded to his detractors and critics and who preached nothing but love and forgiveness. There was a man I knew who was gifted in the prophetic, who worked many miracles in the name of the Lord, and who always gave God the glory.
There was a man I knew whose Church attracted 6 out of every 10 foreigners that come to Nigeria. There was a man I knew who was better known and more loved and respected than any other Nigerian living or dead in the nations of the world. There was a man I knew who prayed into power and counselled many world leaders and Presidents than any other.
There was a man I knew who was more comfortable in the company of the poor than he was in the company of the rich.
There was a man I knew who suffered more persecution and tragedy than any other man of God in Nigeria without ever complaining. There was a man I knew who derived more joy in giving than receiving and whose charitable works and humility were second to none. There was a man I knew who preferred to build prayer retreats with beautiful trees, beautiful animals, and beautiful flowers than private universities.
There was a man I knew who inspired more than any other, who always made time for those in despair, pain, and anguish, who always allayed the fears of those he counseled, and who offered the best advice that anyone could ever hope for. There was a man I knew who believed that kindness to even the cruel and loving even the unlovable was the duty of every follower of Christ.
There was a man I knew who never forgot his roots and who took pleasure in telling others about his humble beginnings. There was a man I knew who never judged others, who prayed for his enemies, who loved those that hated him, and who helped as many Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists as he did Christians. There was a man I knew who was closer to being an angel than any other person that I have ever met before in my entire life.
That man’s name was Temitope Balogun Joshua the founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations.
He was a great Prophet of the Living God whose remarkable ministry and extraordinary works shook the entire world and brought solace and hope to several generations. He passed on a few days ago and we God glory for his life. Until the end of time, he shall be remembered and celebrated for being the kind-hearted, loving, caring, and generous soul that he was. He was one of God’s ‘end-time’ Generals and his fruits and works speak for him.
Godspeed and fare thee well brother and please rest in peace. You ran your course, you fought a good fight, you did us proud and you earned your crown. We will never forget you and the impact you made in our respective lives. We shall meet again at the marriage feast of the Lamb and until then we shall hold on to your words and remember your counsel.
We shall be strong and bold in all things and at all times and we shall keep our flag of compassion, courage, honor, and faith flying. This is not the end but only the beginning of our journey into eternity. O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy power? For even in the grave, Jesus is Lord! I close with David’s famous words when he learnt apart the passing of King Saul and his friend Jonathan.
He said, “Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph…How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. How are the mighty fallen and the weapons of war perished!”- 2 Samuel 1: 20, 25-27. I weep at your passing my brother TB. Adieu and shalom great Prophet of the Living God and great son of Nigeria.
Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He tweets from@realFFK.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author