RESIGNED AS PRESIDENT OF ORU
Oral Roberts University was birthed out of Oral Roberts’ healing evangelistic ministry in 1947. ORU was founded and built in 1963 after God told Oral Roberts, "Build Me a University. Build it on My authority, and on the Holy Spirit," and "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." The first students enrolled in 1965.
Richard Roberts, son of Oral Roberts, has led ORU since the early 1990s. And, over the past few months, Roberts, his family, and Oral Roberts University have been surrounded in controversy and media mayhem due to a lawsuit filed by three former ORU professors against Oral Roberts University. Roberts has since disputed recent allegations of overspending University funds, as well as using University money for personal gain.
“The lawsuit amounts to a personal character attack,” he says. “There are people in this world who are against ministries.”
Recently, Roberts took a leave of absence and then later stepped down as President of Oral Roberts University.
“I began to pray, asking the Lord what He wanted me to do,” he says. “I said I don’t want to do anything that will damage or harm a university that You raised up, so what do You want me to do, Lord?”
Roberts says that after he prayed, God told him to resign from his position as President of ORU, and to do it quickly.
“The Lord spoke to me clearly,” he says. “Nothing in me wanted to resign, but finally I said, ‘Lord, I want Your will and not mine.”
Roberts felt that it was in the best interest of the University to resign. He realized that the pending lawsuit was causing damage to the university, alumni, students, and their parents.
“After a while, it seemed to me that the University was being harmed. The case was being tried in the media, and the University attorneys were advising me not to respond or talk. I was taking it on the chin without having an opportunity to speak,” he says.
FAMILY TIES AND FORGIVENESS
“I want the very best for ORU. I believe that what I did [resigned as President] was a help and not a hurt. I want the very best for the University,” he says. “I know that God will take care of me, and I know that He will take care of my family.”
Roberts and his family are deeply hurt by the circumstances that have taken place, but he believes that God will get the glory nonetheless.
“We’ve been accused of a lot of things we have not done. It hurts. It hurts my wife and my children. I believe in due course, and it will come out all right.”
God has urged Roberts and his family to forgive those who have come against them.
“God told me that unforgiveness is like drinking poison. Unforgiveness will eat you up on the inside. It will destroy you,” he says. “God said, pray for your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you and despitefully use you. Pray for them, love them, and bless them.”
Roberts and his family made the decision to love and pray for people and not hate them.
“We’re going to go on with the call of God on our lives. God will deal with people and false accusations. All I can say is that it’s not true, and leave it at that,” he says. “God is the ultimate judge.”
A RETURN TO MINISTRY
Roberts will remain as the CEO of the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and as a ‘spiritual regent’ to Oral Roberts University. He will also return to full-time ministry.
“The healing ministry has always been my first love,” he says. “I am immersing myself fully back into the healing ministry, which was what I was doing before I became president of ORU.”
Roberts will continue the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Healing Ministry through television, books, cds and crusades around the world.
“I have eight different countries that are after me right now for healing crusades in their nation. I’m not stopping ministry in any shape or form,” he says. “I’m going full speed ahead, and I have a good attitude.”
Roberts is a man who is on fire for God. He has the anointing of God’s Spirit to preach and pray for the sick with mighty miracles, healings, and deliverance following. The driving force behind this dynamic evangelist is the compassion of Jesus Christ for sick and hurting people.
Roberts says, “Jesus was born to step into a world of trouble and bring healing and deliverance. That is the call of God upon my life – to step into the troubles and heartaches of people everywhere, to pray and believe God, and to bring a word of hope and resurrection.”
Everywhere he goes, Roberts brings a message of a healing, saving, and delivering Jesus. As he ministers, there is a tremendous move of the Spirit, resulting in decisions for Christ, healings, and deep commitments to serve God. Since 1980, he has conducted crusades on six continents.
ANSWERING THE CALL
Roberts has a deep love for ORU, which he says will never die.
“ORU changed my life,” he says. “The students and I have had a love affair for years. I love them, and they love me. The Roberts family stands for the healing power of Jesus Christ, and that will never change.”
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