Evelyn Joshua has become the head of one of Africa’s most influential evangelical churches, but the 52-year-old is faced with the challenge of maintaining her late husband’s legacy.
TB Joshua’s unexpected death in June at the age of 57 unleashed a succession battle that took months to resolve.
But the giant gates at his Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Nigeria’s biggest city have swung open again to welcome worshippers for the first time in five months.
He was famous for his prophecies and self-proclaimed miracles, attracting tens of thousands from across Succession is rarely discussed at Nigerian Pentecostal churches and often passes on uncontested to the spouse of the deceased founder.
But at SCOAN, Mrs Joshua, who is an ordained pastor, faced competition as she was not a member of the church’s board of trustees.
This was taken by her opponents as an indication that her husband did not consider her his successor, the world to Lagos, including top politicians from Africa and Latin America.
Unlike other wives of Nigeria’s mega pastors, she mostly stayed in the background during their three-decade marriage.
TB Joshua, known by SCOAN members as “the prophet”, worked with a group of close disciples he called the “wise men” – one of whom it was believed was being groomed to succeed him.
But after his death, those loyal to Mrs Joshua obtained a court order making her a member of the board and so smoothing the path for her to assume control.
The church has since...
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