The Bible Belt: Oral Roberts' Influences on Modern Religion

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Updated: 12/17/2009 2:31 pm Published: 12/16/2009 5:36 pm

TULSA,OK -- Local ministers reflect on the life and legacy of Oral Roberts, amid his passing Tuesday at the age of 91.

"We all stand on those that have come before us, we see how Oral Roberts was such an influential leader," Life Church Pastor and former ORU basketball player Jay Henderson said.

The pioneer of charismatic Pentecostal based preachings influenced church growth and development across Oklahoma.

Approximately 500 churches exist in the Tulsa area and an estimated 1500 in the state of Oklahoma, all with influences of Oral Roberts.

Roberts' concept of evangelism (and televangelism) has influenced many churches to create innovative methods of preaching.

The Life Church, based in Edmond, OK, with satellite campuses across the state, offers a Christian Rock, Internet-based worship experience. The format allows ministers in Oklahoma to spread the word of Jesus Christ across Green Country and also attract millions of followers around the world.

"He was so intentional about going out to the people, Life Church has harnessed that same type of philosophy," Henderson expressed.

"We call it the buckle of the Bible belt, but the world doesn't see it that way," Dr. Thomson Mathew, ORU Dean of the School of Theology, said.  "The world sees it as a place where spirit filled people have an institution because of him."

Dr. Mathew, a preacher's kid from India, said he was influenced into ministry through Roberts' global teachings.

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

papdadi - 12/17/2009 11:17 AM
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Yeah I remember that--that was when they were building the city of faith towers. And he said he was going to die if he didn't get the 2 million dollars needed to complete the project--then he mysteriously got a donation.

dinghmm - 12/16/2009 11:05 PM
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To say "send me money or God will not allow me to live" is a wicked wicked thing.
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