Nigerian preacher TB Joshua, one of Africa’s most influential evangelists, has died at the age of 57.
A post on his Facebook page, which has more than five million followers, said: “God has taken His servant”.
Reports said he died on Saturday shortly after conducting a live broadcast, but the cause of his death has not been made public.
Tens of thousands would attend his services, with top politicians from across Africa among his followers.
But his teachings and practises were also controversial.
In April, YouTube suspended his account due to allegations of hate speech after a rights body filed a complaint over videos showing the preacher conducting prayers to “cure” gay people.
Facebook also removed at least one post showing a woman being slapped while TB Joshua said he was casting out a “demonic spirit”.
Tributes have been pouring in on social media for the preacher, widely referred to as Prophet TB Joshua by his followers.
The passing of my brother TB Joshua saddens me deeply. At 3.00am this morning I was told by one of his daughters that this was fake news & I tweeted as much. Sadly I was misled. 5 minutes ago the same person called me & confirmed the story. @GazetteNGR was right & I am in pain. pic.twitter.com/g6C1XhPKLB
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) June 6, 2021
TB Joshua was someone who actually touched the lives of many poor people.
Unlike many others, He was one pastor who actually reached out to poor people and always tried to help them.
It’s so sad to read TB Joshua is dead.
It’s actually quite sad.
He was only 57.
— #OurFavOnlineDoc 🩺🇳🇬🇬🇧💎 (@DrOlufunmilayo) June 6, 2021