Oral Roberts (born January 24, 1918) is an American neo-Pentecostal Christian televangelist.
He can be considered to be a part of the Charismatic movement.
He was born in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma as Granville "Oral" Roberts, the fifth and youngest child of Rev. and Mrs. Ellis M. Roberts. His mother was 1/4 Cherokee.
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. Their marriage lasted 66 years until her death on May 4, 2005. During their life together, they expanded his ministry from preaching in tents to preaching on the radio. Roberts eventually made his way onto television and attracted a vast viewership. Further, he has written more than 120 books such as Expect a Miracle.
In 1947 Oral Roberts resigned his pastoral ministry to found Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association. He has conducted more than 300 evangelistic and healing crusades on six continents and has appeared as a guest speaker for hundreds of national and international meetings and conventions. He later founded Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1963, stating he was obeying a command from God. The University was chartered in 1963 and received its first students in 1965. Another part of the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association is the Abundant Life Prayer Group, which operates day and night. Mostly made up of students, the group receives thousands of calls for prayer daily from around the world.
In 1980, Oral Roberts said 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) with 60 floors. It is the second tallest building in Oklahoma. At the time, it was the largest health facility of its kind in the world and sought to merge prayer and medicine in the healing process.
The City of Faith was in operation for only eight years before closing in late 1989. The Orthopedic Hospital of Oklahoma still operates on these premises.
The CityPlex Towers 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 1987, during a fundraising drive, he announced that unless he raised $8 million by that March, God would "call him home" (a traditional Christian euphemism for death). Later that year, Roberts announced that God had raised the dead through his ministry. "Time" magazine carried this article in their July 13, 1987 issue including testimony by Richard Roberts, (part of his ministry) that he had seen his father raise a child from the dead.
In a 2004 television broadcast, the elder Roberts claimed to have experienced a vision in which "A dark cloud surrounded New York," purportedly a "wake up call" to tell people that Christ's return is soo