Synagogue: The Attacks On Evelyn Joshua

Ever since the morning of 6 June, 2021 when the news of the demise of Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, the Prophet and General Overseer of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations who had passed in the evening of 5 June while holding a meeting with some members and partners of the Church, the Church and some of her major players have had to do with frontline mentions in the global news space.

A few weeks back, the news of the appointment of Mrs. Evelyn Joshua, the wife and ministry partner of the late founder, filtered into the news room. This followed a Federal High Court ruling in Lagos that granted the prayers of some members of the church who had approached it to uphold her appointment into the Church’s board of trustees as provided for in its constitution.

The news had hardly died down when a group of persons in Akure, Ondo State under the aegis of Global Congress of SCOAN Members (GCSM), a hitherto non-existent group led by one Adedeji Opeyemi and Brown Chimezie faulted her appointment on the ground that Mrs. Joshua was not spiritually qualified to assume the leadership of the church allegedly because 1). the late prophet never considered her ready for such an assignment, but rather had trained a team of successors, 2). she was never known to possess any pronounced ministry gift and as such was never known to have manifested any spiritual power in comparison to the immediate assistants to her late husband.

Let us make both biblical and logical considerations of the merits of the arguments that have been put forward against the appointment of Mrs. Evelyn Joshua.

The alleged leadership tussle was never in existence as Mrs. Joshua, before her appointment, had been dutifully coordinating the affairs of the church since the passing of the prophet. It is instructive to point out that the new leader of the church had been a key member of the departed prophet’s ministry, albeit covertly. She was a co-national coordinator with the late prophet, and indeed the only one with such status among the lot. These are facts well in the public sphere, but which some persons opted to flagrantly ignore for reasons best known to them in favour of living by the truths they present.

Another consideration bothers on the calling of an individual to a pastoral assignment. According to the Holy Bible in Ephesians 4:11, the pastor is called into one of the five ministerial offices which also include the apostle, prophet, evangelist and teacher. Though, this may be debatable, but it is equally interesting to state that the pastor is the only one of this lot saddled with the responsibility of church administration in addition to his shepherding duties. Mrs. Evelyn Joshua is a born again child of God and holds a Diploma in Theology from a theological school from which she graduated in the early 90s, years before these individuals joined the church. Just like every other christian baptized of the Holy Spirit, she has some ministry gifts and indeed could have more if she desires so, especially as the Lord may will. “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will,” I Corinthians 12:11. Moreover, it is sheer ignorance of Bible truths on the part of anyone to tie qualifications for a ministerial assignment to manifesting of ministry gifts solely even at the expense of such a foundational consideration like Christian character, as those pushing the discrediting narrative have attempted doing. The Bible is replete with accounts of men and women that led people for God without these gifts which though are very important for success in ministry, yet not the ultimate.

Another contentious, but not well-thought out case against Mrs. Joshua’s appointment was the purported commissioning by the late Prophet of some of his lieutenants to succeed him. This position, according to its campaigners, was contained in an exclusive interview granted a Nigerian daily towards the end of 2020 but strategically reproduced in the same medium on June 13, 2021. Being the last major interview by the Prophet before his demise, it is believed to be his last will. But questions must be asked, and validly too. Is a response to a probing question the same as a will? Would the Prophet’s view still be same, if he had granted another interview between the over six months window and his death? Or, better still, if he were to come back for just a quarter of a day, would he still hold same opinion about them given recent happenings?

Contemporary history confirms to us that even a will can be changed or updated, especially under certain conditions such as was on display among his ranking lieutenants since the passing of the prophet. It would do the church no good, whether in the short or long term, to build her new chapter on a foundation devoid of Christian character.

On several occasions in the Bible, the Lord God Almighty had had to discontinue with certain individuals because of breaches. The lineage of High Priest Eli was stripped of the priesthood, same with King Saul who was rejected and replaced when they were found wanting. The Book of Ezekiel 18:24a sums up this: “But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live?” The bottom line is that being commissioned by man, irrespective of his or her ranking with God, is not enough, hence not final. It requires serious proving, especially of strength of character.  

The Church commission is a divine mandate and not a distributorship as obtained in a secular human family estate. There can hardly be any argument against that, but it has been weaponized in the argument against the emergence of Mrs. Joshua. While it must be admitted that succession in church leadership is not a family affair, the truth must also be told that any member of the family of a founding leader can competently assume leadership of that organization under certain conditions. Mrs. Evelyn Joshua is deemed to have satisfied those conditions, hence her emergence as the new leader of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations. The much anyone can do is to come into the boat and help her sail through the times ahead.

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