- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oral Roberts, one of the world’s pre-eminent Pentecostal leaders and one of America’s top evangelists and educators, died Tuesday of complications from pneumonia. He was 91.

The evangelist’s son, Richard, and daughter, Roberta, were by his side at his Newport Beach, Calif., home.

“The past few months, my father has talked about going home to be with the Lord on a daily basis,” his son said in a statement. “He has run his race and finished his course. Now he is in heaven, and we as Christians have the Bible promise that someday we will be reunited. My heart is sad, but my faith in God is soaring.”

Besides leading a worldwide evangelistic ministry, Mr. Roberts founded a university, medical school, hospital and law school, all of which were clustered together on 500 acres in Tulsa, Okla.

Oral Roberts University, founded in 1963, still exists, with about 3,140 students. It is the world’s largest university affiliated with the charismatic movement, which along with pentecostalism believes in supernatural “gifts” of the Holy Spirit such as healing, prophecy and speaking in tongues.

“It’d be hard to overestimate Oral’s place in history,” said pentecostal historian Vinson Synan of Regent University. “He made pentecostalism a household world, and he rivaled Billy Graham in terms of the crowds he drew.”

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