Charismatic Leader Oral Roberts Dies at Age 91

Charismatic Christian leader Dr. Oral Roberts died Tuesday at the age of 91 after slipping and falling in his house over the weekend.

After the fall on Saturday, Roberts was transported to a local hospital in Newport Beach, Calif., where he was treated for broken bones and a "slight case of pneumonia," according to a report by the ministry on Monday.

Roberts' PR agency, A. Larry Ross Communications, confirmed the next day that Roberts died Tuesday due to complications from pneumonia and that arrangements for a public memorial service in Tulsa, Okla., are pending and will be announced soon.

"There will be a private family internment," the agency added.

In a public announcement by the president of Oral Roberts University, which Roberts founded in 1963, Dr. Mark Rutland informed the ORU family that Roberts passed away Tuesday afternoon and asked everyone to join him in prayer for the Roberts family.

"Chancellor Roberts was one of the brilliant spiritual lights of the 20th century and a giant of the Christian faith," commented Rutland, who was installed earlier this year as ORU's third president. "At the core of his legacy is a great university that bears his name. Like millions worldwide, I am mourning his passing and am grateful for his visionary life and contributions."

Dr. Jack Hayford, president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, was also among the first to make a public statement, describing Roberts' teaching and concepts as "foundational to the renewal that swept through the whole church."

"If God had not, in His sovereign will, raised up the ministry of Oral Roberts, the entire charismatic movement might not have occurred," he stated. "Oral shook the landscape with the inescapable reality and practicality of Jesus' whole ministry."

Over the course of more than six decades, Roberts conducted more than 300 healing crusades in more than 35 countries, wrote more than 130 books, and founded a number of different organizations, including the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.

It's estimated that Roberts personally laid hands on more than two million people for healing prayer.

"He taught concepts that spread throughout the world and simplified and focused a spiritual lifestyle that is embraced by huge sectors of today"' church," Hayford added.

Roberts is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Lindsay Roberts; a daughter and son-in-law, Roberta and Ronald Potts, all of Tulsa; as well as 12 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

Roberts was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn, a daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca Ann and Marshall Nash; a son, Ronald David Roberts; a grandchild, Richard Oral Roberts; his mother and father; two sisters, Velma Roberts and Jewel Faust; and two brothers, Elmer and Vaden Roberts.

Roberts' son, Richard, and daughter, Roberta, were at the "semi-retired" televangelists' side at the time of his death.

In lieu of flowers, the Roberts family has requested that donations be made to the Oral Roberts Ministry Healing Missions Fund.

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