Granville Oral Robert was an American Methodist Pentecostal televangelist and a Christian charismatic born to the family of Ellis Melvin Robert and Claudius Priscilla Robert.
He founded oral Robert evangelistic association and oral Roberts university.
Oral Roberts was born on January 24 1918 in Ada, Oklahoma united states. He started at OKLAHOMA Baptist university.
Oral Roberts was married to Evelyn Roberts (m 1938-2005;her death).
Oral Roberts has 4 children; Richard Roberts, Roberta Potts, Rebecca Roberts and Donald Roberts.
As one of the best known and controversial American religious leaders of the 20th century, Roberts preaching emphasized seed-faith, his ministries reached millions of followers worldwide spanning a period of over six decades (six years).
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His healing ministry and bringing American Pentecostalism into the mainstream had the most impact, but he also pioneered TV evangelism and lead the foundation of the prosperity gospel and abundant life teaching. The style of his ministry which include his widely publicized funding appeals, made him a consistent subject of contention among critics and supporters.
Roberts began life in poverty and nearly died of tuberculosis at age 17. After finishing high school, Roberts studied for two years each at Oklahoma university and phillip university.
Roberts became a travelling faith healer after ending ending his college studies without a degree. In 1972, according to a time magazine profile, Roberts originally made a name for himself with a lare mobile tent that sit 3,000 on metal folding chairs where he shouted at petitioners who did not respond to his healing.
In 1945, Roberts resigned his pastorate in SHEWNEE , Oklahoma to hold revivals in the area and attended Oklahoma Baptist.
But in 1945, while preaching in a north California camp meeting Robert was asked by Robert .E Lee of TOCCOA Georgia to consider becoming pastor of his small eighty member church, Robert asked that he prays about it after which he accepted.
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By the end of the year, he resigned and moved back to Shawnee.
Apparently, the Georgia conference of the international Pentecostal holiness church frowned on having a minister from outside its conference as pastor. The TOCCOA detour has a lasting effect on Roberts and his family. It was there that their first daughter Rebecca then five years old firstly met her future husband Marshall.
There were also two instances of healing which Roberts will later look on back to as his first realization “that I was approaching my hour”.
1947 was a turning point but until that time, Roberts struggled as a part time preacher in oklahoma. At the age of 29, Roberts claimed he picked up his bible and it fell opened at the THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN verse two which read “I wish above all things that thou prosper and be in health even as thy soul prospereth”. The next day he said he bought a book and God appeared to him, directing him to heal the sick.
Roberts resigned his pastoral ministry with the Pentecostal holiness church to found Oral Roberts evangelistic association (OREA).
He conducted evangelistic and faith healing crusades across the united states and around the world claiming he could raise the dead. In November 1947 he started “living waters” a monthly magazine as a means to promote his meetings . thousands of people waited in the line to stand before oral Roberts so he could pray for them. He appeared as a guest speaker for hundreds of national and international meetings and conventions.
Through the years he conducted more than 300 crusades on six continents and personally had hands in prayers on more than two million people. He also ran direct mail campaigns of seed-faith which appealed to poor Americans, often from ethnic ministries.
At it’s peak in early 1980s Roberts was the leader of a $120- million a year organization employing 2,300 people. This did not only bring about a university but also brough about a medical school and hospital as well as buildings on 50 acres south of TULSA valued at $500 billion. Abundant life prayer group (ALPG) was found in 1958 under the oral Roberts evangelistic association.
In 1963, he founded oral Roberts university in Tulsa Oklahoma stating he was obeying a command from God.
The university was chartered during 1963 and received its first students in 1965 with students being required an honor code pledging not to drink, smoke or engage in pre-marital sexual activities. The prayer tower opened in 1967 is located at the center of the campus.
Robert began broadcasting by radio in 1947 and began broadcasting his revivals by TV in 1957 and quarterly prime time specials from 1969 through 1980.
In 1996, he founded Golden Eagle broadcasting. In march 17 1968 roberts and his wife were received as members of the Boston avenue united Methodist church in Tulsa/ Oklahoma by Dr Firris Crutch field then pastor.
The united Methodist church were more lenient in doctrinal and moral issues than the Pentecostalism, this granted Roberts some leeway as it was expected that the strictness of the Pentecostal tradition may have impeded rise in popularity.
Robert affected the American protestant community.
According to one authority in conservative protestant culture, his ministry’s influence was second only to Billy Graham.
His divine healing ministry called for prayer to heal the whole person- body, mind and spirit. Many labeled him a faith healer but he rejected it with the comment “GOD HEALS-I DON’T”.
In 1977, Roberts claimed to have had a vision from a 900 foot-tall Jesus who told him to build “city of faith medical and research center” and the hospital would be a success.
The city faith medical and research center opened in1981, it was among the largest health facilities of it kind in the world. The city of faith only operated for 8 years before closing in late 1989 but the importance of treating the whole person- spirit, mind and body was conveyed to many medical professionals.
The orthopedic hospital of Oklahoma still operates in its premises. In 1983 Roberts said Jesus appeared to him and commissioned him to find a cure for cancer.
Roberts fund raising was controversial in June 1987, during a fund raising drive Robert announced to a TV audience that unless he raised $8 million by that march God will call him home.
However the year before on Easter he had told a gathering at the Dallas convention center that God had instructed him to raise the money by the end of the year.
Some were fearful that he was referring to suicide, given the impassioned pleas and fears that accompanied his statement he raised $9.1 million. Later that year he announced that God had raised the dead through his ministry. In 1987, controversy was stirred up as it was reported that his son Richard Roberts claimed that he has seen his father raised a child from dead.
In 1988, it was said by Narry that the use of millions in endowment money to buy a Beverly Hills property to that oral Roberts would have a West Coast office and house in addition.
The lavish expenses led to Narry Mcnevins resignation from the boards home. In 1988 oral Roberts and his son Richard were sued for $15 million in federal court by patients at city of faith medical center claiming the two were frauds who did not visit or heal patients in the hospital.
In 1989 faith hospital was forced to close in 1989 after losing money. Robert was forced to respond with the sale of his homes in palm springs and Beverly Hills as well as three of his Mercedes cars.
Richard Roberts resigned from the presidency of ORU on November 23 2007after being named as a defendant in a law suit alleging improper use of university funds for political and personal purposes and improper use of university resources.
Oral Roberts continued in his role ORU chancellor helping in the leadership of ORU along with Billy Joe DAUGHERTY who was named as the executive regent to assume administrative responsibilities of the office of the president by the ORU chancellor until his death but in 2009 eleven months before his death handed over the leadership of ORU to it coming president Mark Rutland.
Oral Robert died on 15th of December 2009 at new port beach, California United States.