What I Noticed About TB Joshua When I Worked With Him – RCCG Pastor Speaks Out
A pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Debo Akinyemi has shared his experience with the late founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Pastor Temitope Joshua, popularly known as TB Joshua.
Recall that there has been mixed reactions following the controversial documentary by the BBC on Joshua.
Speaking on the scandal via a write-up published by ChurchTimes, the pastor spoke on what he experienced as a journalist working in a weekly newspaper owned by the deceased.
Akinyemi explained that it is difficult to call the late pastor a good or bad man but noted that his ways were questionable.
He said that the clergyman was a man of the night, and would often call the editorial team to the church premises for meaningless meetings.
According to him, “Having related closely, though for a short time, with TB Joshua as a journalist, I feel a compelling need to weigh in on the controversy trailing the recent expose released on him by BBC.
“The argument in favour and against the BBC documentary shows that opinion is divided as to whether he was a genuine man of God or not.
“Let me submit that from my personal view he was neither here nor there. It was difficult to place him because of his almost perfect outward posturing and inner suspicious conduct. Those who judged TB by his looks and humility fail to draw from the biblical saying that outward appearance could be deceptive.
“I first set my eyes on him in the late 90s when he was still an itinerant white garment prophet. He used to visit Today’s Choice, the soft-sell magazine where I worked as the Sports Editor.
“His points men then were our editor Osa Irabor and News Editor, Jide Oshokoya. The purpose of his frequent visits then was to curry publicity for the small things he was doing then as an upcoming church owner.
“But later our paths crossed again. And this time he had become a big brand, even if controversial. One of my friends had informed me of a vacancy in The Exclusive, a quaint weekly Newspaper he was publishing. Initially, I didn’t know TB Joshua had anything to do with the paper because his name never appeared in the list of management and board members.
“But when I discovered that he not only owned the paper but also had almost a choke hold on the management of the paper, I became scared and wanted to turn down the appointment given to me as the deputy editor of the paper.
“I had to go and seek counsel from my provincial pastor who encouraged me to take up the appointment and do my job with as much professional detachment as possible. It did not take long after joining the paper when I began to notice very disturbing developments.
“First and foremost, I noticed TB Joshua was a man of the night. He would summon us the senior editorial staff to his church for meetings fixed for 5 or 6 pm but would never show up until 12 or 1 am the following morning. And when he eventually showed up the matter for which he called us could be very mundane. And the meeting itself hardly lasted longer than 10 minutes.
“But while keeping us waiting he would feed the team to bursting with sumptuous meals, many times, jollof or fried rice heaped to the skies with huge chunks of chicken.
“Being a spiritually sensitive person I never tasted the food, though it was always highly attractive. I was always remembering Daniel and the King’s portion in the bible. My colleagues who could have much more than normal usually would eat my portion.
“The next thing would be a directive from the prophet for us to go and pass the night in places prepared for us on the premises of the church. Again I avoided joining others to sleep there. I found it funny that our publisher would deliberately invite us for a meeting and ensure we were not able to go back to our houses.“So I would insist on going home. In fairness to him, he never stopped me or any other member of the team from leaving. He once directed the driver of his security backup vehicle to drop me in front of my house in Ota, Ogun State by 3 am. So those who stayed back chose to do so out of their own volition or probably in excessive deference to the man.”