Tuesday 12thJune 2018 marks the 55th birthday of renowned Nigerian cleric, T.B. Joshua, who was born in 1963 to a “humble home” in Arigidi, Ondo State, Nigeria.
To celebrate the occasion, Joshua released exclusive, unseen footage of his early life and ministry, revealing the extent of his impoverished upbringing.
“Who are we celebrating? Don’t forget – he is not a superstar but a man of the people,”Joshua told congregants on Sunday 10thJune 2018, adding that people should see his birthday as an opportunity to help “those who need them”.
Equally strange circumstances surrounded his naming ceremony where the seven-day old baby was almost crushed by a rock which fell through the roof of his house from a nearby construction site.
“Miraculously, the baby was not touched but found saved on the other side of the net where he was lying,” Joshua explained, showing congregants the exact rock which had been remarkably preserved.
Guests who witnessed the miraculous occurrence gave a string of names to the baby, including ‘Temitope’ which was eventually adopted by the family.
“I found myself in a simple and humble family background. I mean, lacking basic means of life,”the cleric described of his upbringing, showing pictures of the tiny, dishevelled house he was brought up in.
“I was a baby before the death of my father. Consequently, I knew nothing about my late father and the entire family burden rested squarely on my mother’s shoulders,”he continued, the congregation listening with rapt attention.
He paid a special tribute to his late mother, “who always advised me to look into my love walk”.
The cleric added further details about the “epileptic fits” he encountered in his education. “I attended six different colleges in less than one year,”he recounted, mentioning the academic institutions by name.
“This record is not a way of saying I have arrived but to encourage the weak – those without fast legs or human help – that there is hope, and Jesus is the hope,” Joshua stressed, adding that further records of his early life would be released on subsequent birthday celebrations.
“Concentrate on your future. What you are going through is a preparation for your future, a bridge to your future,”he counselled the congregation, using his own life experience to stress the point.