Life, Ministry and Biography of Tommy Lee (T.L) Osborn
Tommy Lee Osborn popularly known as T.L Osborn (december23 1923-february 14 2013) was an American Pentecostal evangelist singer, author and teacher whose established ministry was based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. T.L Osborn was born on 23 December 1923 on the small family potato farm in Grady County, Oklahoma.
He was the seventh and youngest son of thirteen children born to Charles Richard Osborn and his wife Mary.
His father also being the seventh son was anon practicing traditional Baptist. His parents were musicians as well as his several of his brothers and sisters, Osborn also started making music at a very young age.
When Osborn was six his father moved the family to Skedee, Oklahoma, in search of another more profitable farm.
At a church in Sand Spring in Oklahoma, Osborn met televangelist oral Roberts, who became his lifelong friend for over 70 years until Roberts’ death in 2009.
Osborn frequently went with Roberts to help with evangelical meetings.
Roberts did most of the preaching, Osborn did everything else including playing the accordion and the piano for the musical part of the meetings. Osborn had experienced a Christian conversion in 1937, at the age of 13 when his older brother took him to a Pentecostal church in Mannford.
In 1939, Osborn was milking the cows when he began to cry. He fell on his knees, praying and asking God what was happening.
The Lord, he said called, called him to be an evangelist while he laughed and cried at the same time, overwhelmed by what was happening to him.
He dropped out of high school after completing 8TH grade and hit the road with E.M Dillard, a travelling evangelist.
Osborn was responsible for organizing evangelistic meetings and was also in charge of youth services in the evening. He travelled with Dillard through three states. The last one was California and he met Daisy Washburn in Los Banos, California at one of the meetings. It was 1941 and he was only 17 when he fell instantly in love.
On April 5, 1942, Osborn married graduating high school student and farmer’s girl, Daisy Wasburn Osborn (born September 23, 1924) in Merced California. He was 18 and she was 17. Shortly after they set out on a life of ministry and missionary travel, including a trip to India when Osborn was only 21 . In no time they carried the gospel of Christ to tens of millions of people all over the world declaring it with faith and confidence.
The early mission in India preaching at Lucknow, was not successful. Their ministry lasted less than a year in India, and they returned home because of critical family sickness.
In 1947 the Osborns had their only daughter, LaDonna Osborn born march 13 of that year; she was raised accompanying her parents on the platforms of global mass miracle evangelistic crusades.
The Osborns first gained public notice shortly after returning from India, as evangelists on the Big Tent Revival circuit in the United States and Canada. There they preached to audiences often numbering over 10,000, in open-air meetings and under large tents in settings such as fairgrounds and stadiums.
Other young contemporary evangelist, including Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, Jack coe, A.A Allen and R.W Schambach.
The Osborns emphasized the love of God and Compassion rather than the “fire” and “brimstone” commonly used by evangelists of the era. They also practiced supernatural healing in their meetings.
By early 1950s their emphasis began to shift more and more to international missions.
They held large crusades in latin America , Asia and Africa.
Crowds grew rapidly, at times exceeding 100,000. After Osborn’s crusades in Thailand and in 1955 and Uganda in 1957, pastor Fred Wantaate of Makerere full gospel church said that “after that crusade in Mombasa , the fountain of river of Pentecostalism spread in the heart of East Africa”. Around that same time he met another future televangelist; Marilyn hackney , 8 years Osborn’s junior with her new husband, Wallace.
The young couples traveled around conducting tent revival meetings in various towns. Osborn and hickey prayed together for the sick after which she became a guest speaker at his conferences.
Over the next 5 decades Osborn and his team traveled to more than 70 countries and reached out to millions of people.
They created many quantities of evangelistic and training materials some of which were translated into more than 80 languages.
Osborn wrote quite a number of spiritual books which include;
healing the sick,
God’s love plan,
The Good life,
The message that works,
The purpose of Pentecost,
How to enjoy plenty and Join the chariot.
Osborn’s wife of 53 years, Daisy died in Tulsa, Oklahoma on may 27 1995, at age 70.
Thereafter he continued to travel and conduct crusades around the world for another 15 years. Osborn died on February 14 2013 at the age of 89.
According to his daughter, Osborn has been in good health until his body began weakening just a few days before he stopped breathing.
He was buried next to his wife at the memorial park cemetery in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
LaDonna Osborn continues to operate the ministry founded by her parents