Evangelist Oral Roberts Dies at 91

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Thousands attended a public memorial service Monday for well-known evangelist and university founder Oral Roberts, who died Tuesday, Dec. 15.

The services were held at the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla. Roberts died Dec. 15 of complications from pneumonia, according to a spokesman. He was 91.

The prominent Christian leader was being treated in Newport Beach, Calif., after falling at his home, Dec. 12.  Doctors reported he was in stable condition even though he suffered broken bones and a slight case of pneumonia. His illness, however, soon took a turn for the worst.

Dr. Vinson Synan is a professor of church history at Regent University. He appeared on the Wednesday edition of the CBN Newschannel's Midday program to share more on Oral Roberts' legacy. Click play to watch the interview.

Earlier this year, The 700 Club's Scott Ross spoke with Oral Roberts. Click here to watch that interview.

Also, click here for reaction from ORU students on Roberts' death.

A statement from Roberts' ministry confirming his death said his son, Richard, and daughter, Roberta were by his side.

"I am grieved at the passing of my dear friend, Oral Roberts," CBN founder Pat Robertson said shortly after the news broke of Robert's passing. "He was a pioneer in healing evangelism and in Christian education. He inspired a generation of young people to follow his lead in the charismatic ministry. We were friends for over 50 years and I will miss him. My sympathies to those children who survive him."

Click here to watch the video Oral Roberts: Life and Legacy.

Richard Roberts called his father "the greatest man of God I've ever known."

"A modern-day apostle of the healing ministry, an author, educator, evangelist, prophet, and innovator," he said in a statement Tuesday. "He was the only man of his generation to build a worldwide ministry, an accredited university, and a medical school."

Roberts, a charismatic minister, founded Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla. in 1963. He said he opened the school after God called on him to "raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is dim, where My voice is heard small, and My healing power is not known, even to the uttermost bounds of the earth. Their work will exceed yours, and in this I am well pleased."

Click here to watch an interview with Oral Roberts conducted by CBN President Michael Little in 2002.

Roberts often shared his testimony of how God miraculously healed him during a revival as a teen from tuberculosis and stuttering-- eventually leading to the start of his ministry.

"If a former stuttering, tuberculosis-ridden young Indian boy in an obscure county in Oklahoma can see the invisible and do the impossible-and still do it-so can you," Roberts once said.

In his early days, Roberts prayed for thousands at weekly tent revival meetings. In 1954, he changed the face of evangelism by bringing television cameras into services.

Most recently, Roberts attended the inauguration of the ORU's third president, Mark Rutland. Rutland replaced Roberts' son, Richard, who resigned amid allegations of financial impropriety.

The university has since rebounded and surfaced from debt, thanks in part to the millions of dollars in donations from the Green family, owners of the retail chain Hobby Lobby.

Roberts is survived by his son , Richard, daughter, Roberta-- both of Tulsa--,12 grandchildren and and a host of great-grandchildren.

Sources: CBN News, Oral Roberts Ministries

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