The widow of Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua, popularly known as TB Joshua, has officially taken charge of his Lagos-based mega-church.
Ms Evelyn Joshua will now lead the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), founded by her late husband, after the Federal High Court in Nigeria approved her appointment as a trustee.
According to a statement issued by the church yesterday, Justice Tijjani Ringim of the High Court gave the judgment in Ikoyi.
The decision follows a petition filed by some church members after the death of the charismatic pastor and televangelist in June. The petitioners sought her appointment, arguing that the two surviving members of the Board of Trustees could not legally make the decision that could help the church move forward.
“In the circumstances, it became imperative for an additional trustee to be appointed to fill the vacancy created by the untimely death of the deceased founder,” they argued in court papers.
Since the pastor’s sudden death at 58, no successor was officially picked even though it was generally expected that Evelyn would assume leadership of the church.
With no objections from petition’s respondents, the court granted the approval, a move that is expected to provide further clarity on leadership succession in the mega-church.
“Someone must take charge immediately and give spiritual direction on the mode of service continuity. So much spiritual and financial effort went into building SCOAN and it cannot just waste away,” a top aide at SCOAN said.
“None of the pastors had been trained to succeed him,” he added.
The church recently released a statement dismissing rumours that there was a succession tussle between Evelyn and some evangelists.
“Rather than fan the embers of strife and animosity, she has remained focused on preserving the legacies of her late husband…Even when her husband was alive, she was not known to be an over-ambitious and domineering woman. Instead, she preferred to support her husband and the ministry from behind without exhibiting any selfish instincts even when she had all the powers to do so,” the statement said.
“What other proof do we need to know that she is a great leader who can manage people and situations?” it added.
Evelyn, 52, was married to TB Joshua for 31 years and had three children.