Evelyn Joshua is the new name in town.
As the wife of the late founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Temitope Joshua, she has been nominated by the church’s council to replace him as General Overseer of the church.
But wait o, who is Evelyn Joshua?
First off, she’s pleasant on the eye; looks like someone relatable; like someone’s aunty. She is reported to have been married to TB for some 31 years and had three children with him. In all of these years, she has been a silent partner, a behind the curtain encourager; the one who sees and knows TB at his lowest points, especially the years of humble beginnings. When they had nothing but a vision. The kind of dream that for many turned out to be living nightmares.
What did she tell her husband when negative news reports filtered out?
Like when he was dubbed fake?
Like when some Christians chastised him for his scant knowledge of the bible to effectively call himself a man of God?
Like when they asked him to name his mentor in the Lord and he had no name to call?
Like when he was mocked for not being able to speak good grammar?
Like when the controversy over his relationship with Pastor Chris Oyakilome made the rounds and many people unfollowed Chris Oyakilome because of his liaison with TB…
Like when he went on a hiatus and emerged with a brand new look; had brushed up on his grammar and equipped his church with sophisticated media apparatus, even when he was banned by Youtube, he came back even bigger, so big at one time, only foreigners were seen to be in charge of his media.
His Facebook videos have some of the most views on that platform and his church blew!
Then the world sat up and paid attention to TB Joshua.; they knew he had something they wanted.
To my mind, Evelyn didn’t feature, at least not in the eye of the public. Was she in the “War Room?” Was she fasting and praying and hoping skeptics, like me, would eventually open our eyes and see TB for the real man of God his followers say he is?
Because the rest of the world know little about her, I think it’s a blessing in disguise; its difficult to paint her with the same brush TB was tarred with. The world is still kind to her, she’s a mother, a wife who just lost her husband.
Was she an ardent supporter of TB’s mystique?
I may never know.
I do know one thing for sure. For Evelyn Joshua, the road is about to get rough. The journey is about to take a turn and it might not be for the better. It will take a lot to recreate TB’s mystique; someone who over the years deliberately crafted a persona for himself. One who thrived on controversy, one who knew mysticism is part of the role religion plays on us Africans. Add a dash of Spiritism or an appearance of one and a mix of traditional belief system and you have people falling over themselves proclaiming him Emmanuel!
I’m not sure Evelyn has all of these tricks up her sleeve. While she may have learned a thing or two from her husband about how stuff like these work, she still has to carve out a position for herself.
If she is cast in the same mould as her husband, she may keep the huge following of the church or make it even bigger. If she isn’t, she may have the church’s council to deal with or people who feel she isn’t running the church the way her husband would have wanted. There will be days of squabbles, days of power tussle…because you see, Evelyn is sitting on a pile of one of the biggest shit, pardon my Egba, in Africa and maybe the entire world!
Some ambitious Joshua adherent in that same Synagogue might steal the show; he might pull out of church and start his own. He might mimic TB Joshua’s posturing and divide the church and you know what? He might get away with it.
Madam Idahosa also had that struggle to keep the church in the eye and mind of the public after the fiery Pastor Benson Idahosa passed on. His presence, his persona was what made the church popular at that time and after he passed, the wife struggled to keep the fire going but she is no Benson. Soon all manner of talk emerged about her conduct; soon, the name of the church fizzled out, today the church is a shadow of its Benson Idahosa days.
Same thing happened when Pastor Bimbo Odukoya passed on, her Singles and Married fellowship fizzled out. The mammoth youthful crowd that besieged the church for weekly meetings all dried up. There was something phenomenal about the woman that kept the youth going to the church.
There’s was something about TB that made people throng his church from all over the world…I hope Evelyn has that thing. Or maybe she has a better version of it, maybe the fact that we have never met her, to form an opinion, could be her saving grace. That way, she can invent herself right before us and carve a persona all her own.
We will know in the following months or even years if Evelyn Joshua deserves our attention or not.