Africa

IS THAT TB JOSHUA?! EARLY MINISTRY FOOTAGE RELEASED

4Nigerian Pastor T.B. Joshua, whose status and influence across Africa continues to ascend to giddy heights, has released a series of videos via his channel on the popular media-sharing site YouTube, showing him in action many years ago. He is almost unrecognizable.

In a scene reminiscent of the biblical story where a crippled man begging for alms was healed by Apostles Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate, a man, Ajayi Ogunleye, is seen in the clip painfully dragging himself along the ground in clear distress, as the narrator describes his crippling condition that had lasted 10 years and resulted in him begging on the streets as a means of survival.

Joshua, who looks much younger, uncannily slimmer and far less groomed than now, is then seen walking in the midst of an excited crowd before stopping next to the man, praying for him and instructing him to rise up, in Jesus’ name. As the man slowly rises up and takes his first steps, Joshua quickly exits the scene. Although not clarifying the exact year that the miracle is said to have occurred, it is clearly more than a decade ago and long before the emergence of Emmanuel TV in 2006.

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Joshua, whose online popularity is currently soaring with nearly 500,000 followers on Facebook and viral videos on YouTube that have attracted close to 6,000,000 hits, unveiled another clip showing a woman, Grace Okeke, whose entire arm was infested with a cancerous sore that literally oozed out toxic drops of rotting flesh. The woman is shown rushing towards Joshua, waylaying him as he strolled in the midst of a desperate crowd. Visibly moved upon seeing the terrible condition of the lady, Joshua is seen praying for her. Three weeks later, the lady returns to the church to show how the condition of her arm had completely transformed, the gaping wounds replaced with only scars.

A week before this, a video entitled ‘My Testimony’ which shows a biographical video of Joshua, interspersed with his preaching, was released. The extraordinary clip shows him cleaning toilets, riding motorbikes, joining labourers to build the church, as well as detailing how he was imprisoned on suspicion of running a drug business and how the elements destroyed three of his earlier church structures.

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The popular and controversial pastor, whose broadcasts on Emmanuel TV are followed by millions daily, is renowned for the miraculous activities that are said to take place in his sanctuary, The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations, as well as his extensive and laudable charitable projects. His YouTube videos have been viewed by millions, the clips often generating heated debate in the comment’s section about God’s relevance and reality.

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