“Like Father, Like Son,” the axiom speaks. And I suppose it’s a destined-to-fill prophecy in a televangelism empire based in Tulsa, Okla.
In 1986, Oral Roberts exclaimed to his TV audience (and any other schlep that would listen) the following about what God told him in a candid conversation:
“I want you to use the ORU medical school to put my medical presence in the earth. I want you to get this going in one year or I will call you home. It will cost $8 million, and I want you to believe you can raise it.”
Yeah, about that. In the following two years, Oral Roberts raised $9.1 million for the lovely titled “City of Faith.” So, Oral wouldn’t be going home. Good times.
Well, that was April 1987 and in October 1987, the medical city was closed down, medical scholarships were discontinued and Oral Roberts wasn’t afraid of God any longer. Well, hey, at least he was $9 million richer, so he could afford the insurance plan.
Fast forward to this recent story about his son, president of ORU and legacy of the televangelism empire. Evidently, Richard Roberts has a propensity for redecorating his house monthly at the student’s endowment behest and his bethrothed, Lindsay, is really a cougar on the prowl for co-eds via text messaging.
In short, the school is $50 million in the hole, professors are being fired, students are leaving the leering press was waiting. And wait they did for the school to do something… it did.
All this drama because of three scorned professors, and a former accountant at the university, Trent Huddleston, was fired for knowing too much, said something, canned and then called his lawyer. From there, God said it was time to send someone home.
“ORU appreciates the mission and spiritual heritage that we continue to maintain, which originated by the vision of Oral Roberts,” Ralph Fagin, ORU’s interim president, said in a statement Friday. “We value the years of investment Dr. Richard Roberts has made at ORU. We move forward with a heightened sense of duty and responsibility to the fruit of this great university — its students and alumni.”
This is PR-speak for “The jig is up for Mr. Sticky Fingers and his trollop wife. Now that he is out of here, let’s get back in the black, educate these kids and work on renaming this school to ‘Tulsa Jesus College’ later.”
Hey, stranger things have happened. Stay tuned, I’m sure this isn’t the last we will hear from ORU.