Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was born in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma as Granville "Oral" Roberts.
He left high school and his further education consists of about two years of college study undertaken at Bible schools in Oklahoma on a part-time basis. In 1938, he married a preacher's daughter, Evelyn Lutman Fahnestock. They expanded his preaching in tents to preaching on radio, and eventually on television, with a vast viewership.
In 1980, Oral Roberts claimed that he had a vision of a 900-foot-tall Jesus, who encouraged him to continue the construction of his City of Faith Medical and Research Center, which opened in 1981. It included three skyscrapers, the tallest being Cityplex Tower which stands at 198 meters (648 feet) and 60 floors, the second tallest building in Oklahoma. The center later proved too costly to keep open and it closed in 1989. The center was later re-opened as CityPlex Towers and is currently utilized as office space. Cityplex West Tower, at 30 floors and 106 meters (348 feet) is still in use as a hospital, and is the eighth tallest hospital in the world, according to Emporis.com . (Were the main tower still in use as a hospital, it would be the tallest hospital in the world by a very large margin.)
In March 1986, Oral Roberts stated that he had heard from God, and was told "that his ministry on earth would be over" and he would be "called home" (or, die) if he was unable to raise $8 million by March 31, 1987 in order to send medical missionaries to Africa. After the deadline, having failed to die, he stated on April 1 that the money had been raised and his life had been spared. Roberts avoided death because a dog track owner in Florida gave him the final $1.5 million he lacked.
However, this was not the first time that Roberts had made the same claim. Eighteen months earlier, he had sent out a mailing that told the faithful that God would take his life unless $8 million was raised by July 1985.
In June, 1987 Oral Roberts announced that God had raised the dead through his ministry. His son, Richard Roberts, part of his ministry, stated that he had seen his father raise a child from the dead. "Time" magazine carried this article in their July 20, 1987 issue.
In October 1992, Roberts was the guest of TBN founder Paul Crouch when he claimed he had heart problems. Crouch 'laid hands' on Roberts and declared him healed. Ironically, Roberts then spent that night in the hospital because he had a minor heart attack.
In a 2004 television broadcast, the elder Roberts claimed to have experinced a vision in which "A dark cloud surrounded New York," purportedly a "wake up call" to tell people that Christ's return is soon.
External links and references
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