Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Televangelist Oral Roberts Passes

God is merciful and good. Televangelist Oral Roberts died on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 from complications related to pneumonia and a fall he sustained in his home last weekend. He was 91 years old. When I first read that he'd passed this morning on Facebook, I started thinking about my personal memories of having met him.

I had the privilege and honor of meeting he and his wife in person in 2005, while on a speaking tour in Southern California along with Princess Zulu. We were introduced by a mutual friend, Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Orange County, CA.
Rev. Roberts honored us by saying he'd come to church that day to hear Princess Zulu speak and share her incredible story. He had a marvelous sense of humor and we took a picture with him.

I also recall visiting his namesake university in Tulsa, Okla., the first Pentecostal university in the world, ironically built by a man who never finished college. As I was driving down the road at nightime in Tulsa, I remember how frightened I was when I approached Oral Roberts University campus and the 60 foot bronze statue of praying hands lit up by a series of flood lights. I wasn't sure what they were at first, but I drove back during the daytime and was so awestruck by the structure's grandeur and the peaceful way I felt walking on the campus.

Rest in peace, Oral Roberts. You led a full life and touched many lives in the Name of Jesus.