I’m extremely thankful for the life led and the faith expressed in the man who brought spirit-filled charismatic ministry to the mainstream and took his tent revivals to television.
In 1935, Roberts fell stricken with tuberculosis, a highly contagious bacterium. Roberts was bedridden, living on raw eggs and milk. His family brought him to a tent revival preached by the evangelist George W. Moncey. On the way to the revival, Oral had what he called his first personal encounter with God.
Clearly, distinctly, and unmistakably, God spoke to Roberts, “Son, I am going to heal you, and you are to take My healing power to your generation.” Roberts survived his brush with TB.
God spoke to Roberts, “Son, I am going to heal you, and you are to take My healing power to your generation.”
Oral married Evelyn Lutman in 1938; they would have four children, 13 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. She died in 2005. During the 1940s Roberts traveled broadly and published books. He also studied at Oklahoma Baptist and Phillips Universities.
Roberts resigned his pastorate in 1947 and purchased his own tent one year later. It began a ministry that would eventually include more than 300 crusades on 6 continents.
Oral Roberts University received its charter in 1963 and accepted students beginning in 1965. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools granted it full accreditation in 1971. By 2007 the campus had expanded to 22 major buildings, a retirement complex, and University Village.
How many people have been affected by this man? Innumerable. I’m thankful that he answered the call to ministry amidst trials, scandals, persecution, and mockery; he indeed answered the call to launch out into the deep. His legacy will not soon be forgotten.