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Biography of Oral Roberts


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Oral Roberts Biography

Oral Roberts Biography – Granville Oral Roberts was born on January 24, 1918, and went to be with the Lord on December 15, 2009. He was an American Charismatic Christian televangelist and the first to spread Prosperity Gospel Theology. Oral Roberts was ordained in both the Pentecostal Holiness and United Methodist churches.

He was known as one of the heralds of the charismatic movement, and at the peak of his ministry, he was one of the most respected preachers in the United States. He is the founder of Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University.

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Early Life

He was born in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma. Oral Roberts was the fifth and the youngest child of Ellis Melvin Roberts and Claudius Priscilla Roberts. His father was a reverend. He started his life in poverty and slightly survived tuberculosis when he was age 17.

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Oral Roberts went to high school and after finishing, he proceeded to study for two years each at Oklahoma Baptist University and Philips University.

He became a traveling faith healer after ending his college studies without a degree. According to the report from a Time Magazine profile of 1972, Oral Roberts made a name for himself with a large mobile tent “that can contain 3,000 people on metal folding chairs”.

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Ministry and University

He resigned as a pastor in Shawnee, Oklahoma in 1945 to revivals in the area and attend Oklahoma Baptist. Later in the year 1945, while he was ministering in a North Carolina camp meeting, an offer came from Robert E. “Daddy” Lee of Toccoa, Georgia to pastor his small church. The church is an eight-member church. He asked for time to pray over it, and after he had prayed, he accepted the offer. Surprisingly, he resigned from the position by the end of the year and moved back to Shawnee.

His time at the church was brief but had an everlasting impact on Oral Roberts. It was there that his daughter who was five years old at the time, met her future husband for the first time.

Up until 1947, he struggled as a part-time preacher in Oklahoma. According to him, when he was age 29, he picked up his Bible and it fell open at the 3 John 2. This was what he needed to hear at the time. The following day, he bought a Buick and God appeared, instructing him to heal the sick.

He founded the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association after he resigned from being a pastor at the Pentecostal Holiness Church. He spread the word of healing through faith across the United States and around the world, making it known that he could raise the dead. He started promoting his meetings through a monthly magazine called Healing Waters in November 1947.

Oral Roberts was a guest speaker for hundreds of national and international meetings and conventions. Over the years, he held over 300 crusades in 6 continents across the world, and it was recorded that he laid hands personally in prayer on more than 2 million people.

He founded Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1963. According to him, it was a directive from God. The first students were received in 1965. Students were mandated to sign an honour code pledging not to drink, smoke, or engage in sexual activities.

Marital Status

He was married to Evelyn Lutman Fahnestock in 1938 and they were married for 66 years. The couple are blessed with children.


Oral Roberts died of complications from pneumonia on December 15, 2009, at the age of 91.

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