Oral Roberts dies at age 91


Charismatic evangelist Oral Roberts, who founded Oral Roberts University, died December 15 at the age of 91. Roberts died of complications from pneumonia in Newport Beach, Calif.

Roberts was hospitalized after a fall on Saturday, Dec. 12. He had survived two heart attacks in the '90s and a broken hip.

"Chancellor Roberts was one of the brilliant spiritual lights of the 20th century and a giant of the Christian faith," said Dr. Mark Rutland, president of ORU. "At the core of his legacy is a great university that bears his name. Like millions worldwide, I am mourning his passing and am grateful for his visionary life and contributions."

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."

Roberts' charismatic faith grew out of having tuberculosis as a teenager, according to CBS News correspondent Don Teague. He said God cured him and gave him healing powers of his own.

In 1947, Roberts founded Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association (OREA) and began conducting crusades across America and around the world. Through the years, he conducted more than 300 crusades on six continents.

Roberts revolutionized evangelism by bringing television cameras into services and he began a television program, "Oral Roberts Presents." He carried his television ministry into the new century by co-hosting the program, "Miracles Now," with his son Richard.

He published dozens of books, including The Miracle of Seed-Faith, with nearly eight million copies in circulation. His most recent books include Still Doing the Impossible and Cashing In Your Receipt with God. He has also published several personal commentaries on the Bible.

The Oral Roberts University was chartered in 1963 and accepted its first students in 1965.  Oral Roberts was school president until 1993 and was a lifetime member of the ORU Board of Trustees.

Roberts was preceded in death by his wife Evelyn, daughter Rebecca Ann and son Ronald David 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.

A public memorial service has been scheduled for Monday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m. at the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University.

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