Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Televangelist Oral Roberts Dead at 91

(CBS/AP) Oral Roberts, a pioneer in televangelism who founded a multimillion-dollar ministry and a university that bears his name, died Tuesday. He was 91.

Roberts died of complications from pneumonia in Newport Beach, California, according to his spokesman, A. Larry Ross. The evangelist was hospitalized after a fall on Saturday. He had survived two heart attacks in the 1990s and a broken hip in 2006.

Roberts was a pioneer who broadcast his spirit-filled revivals on television, a new frontier for religion when he started in the 1950s. He was also a forerunner of the controversial "prosperity gospel" that has come to dominate televangelism. The evangelist's "Seed-Faith" theology held that those who give to God will get things in return.

"If God had not, in His sovereign will, raised up the ministry of Oral Roberts, the entire charismatic movement might not have occurred," said Jack Hayford, president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, in a statement.

Roberts' faith and philosophy grew out of a bout with tuberculosis as a teenager, reports CBS News correspondent Don Teague. He said God cured him and gave him healing powers of his own.

He said that it was then that he heard God tell him he should build a university based on the Lord's authority and the Holy Spirit.

Roberts rose from humble tent revivals to become one of America's most famous preachers.

Read full story at CBSNews
Source: CBSNews.com

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