Joshua, then known as Balogun Francis, attended St. Stephen's Anglican Primary School in Arigidi Akoko, Nigeria between 1971 and 1977, but failed to complete one year of secondary school education. In school, he was known as "small pastor" because of his love for the Bible. He worked in various Casual jobs after his schooling had ended, including carrying chicken waste at a poultry farm. He organised Bible studies for local children and attended evening school during this period. Joshua attempted to join the Nigerian military but was thwarted due to a train breakdown that left him stranded en route to the military academy.
Nigeria's Premium Times newspaper stated that Joshua incorporated a company called Chillon Consultancy Limited in the British Virgin Islands in June 2006, based on reports stemming from the Panama Papers leak. Joshua immediately denied his involvement, stating on Facebook, "I am not a businessman and have no Business whatsoever. What God has given me is more than enough."
In recognition of his humanitarian activities, he was awarded a National Honour by the Nigerian government in 2008 as well as receiving a letter of appreciation from the United Nations. He was further honoured as an Ambassador of Peace by the Arewa Youth Forum, a predominantly Muslim organisation, as well as being recognised with an 'award of excellence' by ZAKA, Israel's primary rescue and recovery voluntary Service.
Days after the late John Atta Mills became President of Ghana in 2009, his first port of call was Joshua’s church for a thanksgiving Service where he revealed the cleric had accurately ‘prophesied’ his ascension to power and specific details relating to his narrow victory over Nana Akufo-Addo. Joshua was a regular visitor to Ghana during Mill’s early presidency and allegedly organised prayer warriors to be praying in Osu Castle.
In 2011, several media houses in UK reported at least three people in London with HIV died after they stopped taking life saving drugs on the advice of their Pastors. The HIV prevention charity African Health Policy Network (AHPN) believed that The SCOAN "may" be one of those involved in such practices although the three in question have no demonstrable link to the SCOAN. The BBC quoted The SCOAN as saying "No, we do not ask people to stop taking their medication".
On 12 September 2014, a guesthouse collapsed in the SCOAN's premises in Lagos killing at least 115 people, 84 of them South Africans. Controversy has continued to swirl around the circumstances that led to the collapse, with the former Nigerian Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode alleging Nigeria’s intelligence agencies ‘blew up’ the building.
Joshua is married to Evelyn Joshua. They have three children. His eldest daughter Serah Joshua is a graduate from the London School of Economics, Department of Law. and was 'called to the bar' in Nigeria in December 2015. His second daughter, Promise Joshua, is studying Politics and International Relations at the London School of Economics.
In August 2017, Joshua held a Crusade in Paraguay at Estadio Defensores del Chaco. His visit caused a media storm when the Paraguayan parliament approved that the cleric be awarded with the ‘National Order of Merit’, the countries highest honour usually reserved only for its own citizens. Testimonies from those who alleged they were healed through Joshua's prayers at the crusade made headlines in local media.
Emmanuel TV's motto is 'Changing lives, changing nations, changing the world.' The station is also known for its catch-phrase, ‘Distance Is Not A Barrier’, encouraging viewers to ‘pray along’ with T.B. Joshua by ‘touching the screen’. There are several claims of people receiving miraculous 'healing' through these prayers, including popular Nollywood Actress Tonto Dikeh who said Joshua's prayers ended her 14-year smoking addiction.
Joshua was a key influence in former Liberian warlord Senator Prince Yormie Johnson’s decision to endorse the candidacy of George Weah for President in the 2017 Liberian elections. His endorsement came days after the two were spotted publicly together in The SCOAN, a visit that caused a media storm in Liberia. Weah's main opponent and current Vice President, Joseph Boakai, also allegedly requested to visit Joshua in lieu of the elections.