Oral Roberts Dead At 91

Story Comments Share

Updated: 12/15/2009 8:38 pm Published: 12/15/2009 2:16 pm

TULSA, OK --  Founder of ORU, Oral Roberts, has died at the age of 91 due to complications from pneumonia.  Below is the full text from the Press Release sent out.


Dr. Oral Roberts, a legendary evangelist who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century, died today in Newport Beach, Calif., due to complications from pneumonia. His son, Richard, and daughter, Roberta, were at his side. The founder of Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University was 91.
There will be a private family internment. Arrangements for a public memorial service in Tulsa are pending and will be announced soon.
“Oral Roberts was the greatest man of God I’ve ever known,” Richard Roberts said. “A modern-day apostle of the healing ministry, an author, educator, evangelist, prophet, and innovator, he was the only man of his generation to build a worldwide ministry, an accredited university, and a medical school.
“Beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he was not only my earthly father; he was my spiritual father and mentor. The last member of his generation in the Roberts family, he had a passion to bring healing to the sick.
“His name is synonymous with miracles. He came along when many in Christendom did not believe in the power of God and His goodness. Oral Roberts was known for sayings such as ‘God Is a Good God,’ ‘Expect a Miracle,’ ‘Release Your Faith,’ and ‘Plant Your Seed for a Harvest.’
“The Bible teaches that when a Christian dies, he or she is instantly transferred into the presence of God. The past few months, my father has talked about going home to be with the Lord on a daily basis. He has run his race and finished his course. Now he is in heaven, and we as Christians have the Bible promise that someday we will be reunited. My heart is sad, but my faith in God is soaring.”
Granville Oral Roberts was born into poverty in Bebee, Okla., on Jan. 24, 1918. He began stuttering as a young child and then, as a teenager, contracted a potentially deadly case of tuberculosis. Bedfast at 17, he was carried to a revival meeting by his older brother, where a healing evangelist was praying for the sick.
On the way, he clearly heard God speak to him, saying, “Son, I am going to heal you, and you are to take My healing power to your generation. You are to build Me a university based on My authority and on the Holy Spirit.”
Roberts was miraculously healed of tuberculosis and stuttering at the revival meeting. His healing ministry was born several years later. “If a former stuttering, tuberculosis-ridden young Indian boy in an obscure county in Oklahoma can see the invisible and do the impossible—and still do it—so can you!” Roberts once said.
 Roberts was a legendary and beloved figure in a segment of Christianity that emphasizes healing, speaking in tongues, and other gifts of the Holy Spirit, as described in the New Testament.  

Dr. Jack Hayford, president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, said of Roberts, “If God had not, in His sovereign will, raised up the ministry of Oral Roberts, the entire charismatic movement might not have occurred. Oral shook the landscape with the inescapable reality and practicality of Jesus’ whole ministry. His teaching and concepts were foundational to the renewal that swept through the whole church. He taught concepts that spread throughout the world and simplified and focused a spiritual lifestyle that is embraced by huge sectors of today’s church.”
After his healing at age 17, Roberts spent a dozen years pastoring churches in Oklahoma and Georgia, and preaching at revivals around the country, while also studying at Oklahoma Baptist University and Phillips (Okla.) University.
Then, in 1947, he founded Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association (OREA) and began conducting crusades across America and around the world, attracting crowds of thousands—many who were sick and dying, and in search of healing. Through the years, he conducted more than 300 crusades on six continents. OREA officials estimate that he personally laid hands in prayer on more than 2 million people. The ministry continues under the leadership of Roberts’ son, Richard, who has ministered in the U.S. and around the world for almost 30 years.
In 1954, Oral Roberts revolutionized evangelism by bringing television cameras into services, providing what he liked to call a “front-row seat to miracles” for millions of viewers. Years later, he began a television program, "Oral Roberts Presents." More than 50 years later, the ministry’s daily program, "The Place for Miracles," continues to minister to millions on over 100 television stations, multiple cable and satellite networks, and can be seen around the world via the Internet.
In 1958, Roberts founded the Abundant Life Prayer Group to address the around-the-clock needs of those suffering and requesting prayer. More than 50 years later, prayer partners continue to receive calls from around the world seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Over the years, they have received more than 23 million phone calls for prayer, along with astounding reports of miracles in answer to prayer.
Roberts answered God’s call to build an institute of higher learning in 1963, founding Oral Roberts University on 500 acres in Tulsa, Okla. Longtime friend Billy Graham officially dedicated ORU four years later. In the 1970s graduate schools, including Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Law, Education, and Theology, were added. Roberts served as school president until 1993, when he became chancellor.
In 1981, Roberts founded the City of Faith Medical and Research Center, merging the healing power of medicine and prayer. The facility closed after eight years, leaving a lasting impact on the understanding by many medical professionals of the importance of treating the whole person—body, mind and spirit.
Roberts wrote more than 130 books, including such classics as "If You Need Healing, Do These Things," and "The Fourth Man." His book "The Miracle of Seed Faith" has more than 8 million copies in circulation. This book’s key principles—God is your Source, sow your seed out of your need, and expect a miracle harvest—formed a fundamental part of Roberts’ ministry and legacy.
 “After I’m gone, others will have to judge how well I’ve obeyed God’s command not to be an echo but to be a voice like Jesus,” Roberts said. “As far as my own conviction is concerned, I’ve tried to be that voice with every fiber of my being, regardless of the cost.”
Roberts was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn, a daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca Ann and Marshall Nash; a son, Ronald David Roberts; a grandchild, Richard Oral Roberts; his mother and father; two sisters, Velma Roberts and Jewel Faust; and two brothers, Elmer and Vaden Roberts.
He is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Lindsay Roberts; a daughter and son-in-law, Roberta and Ronald Potts, all of Tulsa; as well as 12 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
 In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Oral Roberts Ministry Healing Missions Fund, as part of the ongoing goal of Oral Roberts Ministries to take the saving, healing, delivering message of the Gospel into all the world until Jesus returns. Gifts can be sent in care of  Oral Roberts Ministries, P.O. 2187, Tulsa, Okla. 74102, or online at www.OralRoberts.com.

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett released the following statement about Dr. Roberts:
“I am saddened by the passing of Oral Roberts, and my prayers are with his family,” said Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett. “Reverend Roberts was an important force in Tulsa for many decades. He was a trendsetter in business, education and religion, and Oral Roberts University was a great example of his vision. So many of our fellow Tulsans owe their success to the education they received at ORU. His spirit and legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of local citizenry.”

Rep. John Sullivan released the following:
“I am personally saddened by the death of Oral Roberts. Rev. Roberts was not only an Oklahoma icon, but an icon of the modern Christian movement in the United States.

Roberts and his ministry advanced the teachings of Christ in ways we will never fully understand. Rev. Roberts was a pioneer in Christian higher education and his namesake university has become an Oklahoma landmark.

I know that Oral Roberts University will persevere as it has in recent years, and take the life lessons of Oral Roberts to heart. While Oral Roberts leadership, wisdom and faith in God will be missed, they will live on everyday in the hearts and minds of countless ORU students, alumni and so many other Oklahomans.

May God Bless Oral Roberts, his family and the generations he has touched.”

State Sen. Dan Newberry (R-Tulsa) released the following:
 “Today the world mourns the passing of a great man, a great leader and a great mentor, who leaves behind an indelible legacy of ministry and service. His impact stretched beyond the boundaries of our state to every corner of the world.  Age never diminished his passion for the gospel.  He finished the race with zeal, and in a manner befitting a man of his tremendous character and unwavering faith. 

I was privileged to know Dr. Roberts personally and his words of wisdom will be with me forever.  He was always ready to give words of encouragement and direction.  Dr. Roberts took the time to hear from God and conveyed the message with passion, such as 'God is a good God,' 'Something good is going to happen to you,' and 'Expect a Miracle,' words that are still relevant today.  I can never adequately convey my gratitude for the legacy he leaves and he will be greatly missed."

Sen. Jim Inhofe released the following statement about Dr. Roberts:

“I first remember personally meeting Oral Roberts when my father’s company purchased a 3-story building from Roberts in 1965.  Since that first meeting, my family and I have had a close relationship with Oral and his family. Oral Roberts put Tulsa on the map with his televangelism. I can remember from my time in the Army whenever anyone heard I was from Tulsa they immediately recognized the city as the place where Oral Roberts was from.  Oral dedicated his life to ministry. He has meant so much not just to Oklahomans, but to many across this nation and world. He will be sorely missed and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Story Comments Share

8 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

barfbag - 12/17/2009 4:56 PM
0 Votes
they used to lock up the old whittier square porno store so oral could come in through the back door and shop without being seen. great guy.

Shorty81 - 12/16/2009 10:03 PM
0 Votes
he is where he always wanted to be... he is in heaven with his wife..... i never met him but i know he did good for tulsa..

barfbag - 12/16/2009 6:37 PM
0 Votes
doesn't anyone remember the fact that he ripped off little old ladies for their social security checks in the name of God?

AGdollfashions - 12/15/2009 9:40 PM
0 Votes
Oral was a pioneer when he started ORU. He definately left a legacy that all of us that got to watch his sermons know the man was touched by God and was obedient to what God has called him to do. I still to this day can feel the presence of the Lord when I get close to the Prayer Tower. Those of us that are Tulsans are fortunate to have one of a few Christian Universities left in the United States!

Lacrecia - 12/15/2009 7:44 PM
0 Votes
I am very sorry to the Roberts family. I will pray for you all. He was a great man. And a man if God. Mr. Roberts is at home now. Today is a day of rejoice for he has got his wings and his mansion in heaven.

Pauls74462 - 12/15/2009 5:31 PM
0 Votes
I pray for his families loss as a family member is hard to deal with. No matter how people fell about him, he did more for Tulsa than any other man including any president or other country leader!

mlweap - 12/15/2009 4:20 PM
0 Votes
I always wanted to meet him. Well, I will in Heaven. He was one of a kind. A Great Man of God ! Ed

sim35on - 12/15/2009 3:45 PM
0 Votes
I pray the Lord will bless and keep the Roberts Family. Keep the faith and let God lead you all. Much love to you all. Prophet Simon Moss
FOX23 Weather Center
Feels Like: 38°
High: 74° | Low: 41°
Partly Cloudy
Top Stories
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.