Posts Tagged ‘ORU’

A while back, the board at Oral Roberts University got together, booted out Richard Roberts and his cougar wife and brought in a pro to correct the ills brought against it.

What the entry to the prayer tower used to say

What the entry to the prayer tower used to say

Looks like Dr. Mark Rutland is bringing the shine back to Oral Roberts University, as noted in the Tulsa World.

The long tradition of prayer at Oral Roberts University will enter a new era Saturday with the rededication of the prayer room in the prayer tower at the center of campus.

It should be rededicated, and resanitized. Isn’t that where Oral Roberts isolated himself until God brought in $8 million? And who knows, maybe that’s where Richard hid all the college’s cash… and Lindsay hid the co-eds she texted during study hall.

But now, the hallowed and infamous prayer tower has been renovated and reinvigorated:

“We wanted to create a sacred space on the ORU campus,” said Clarence V. Boyd, Jr., dean of student development – campus ministries, “a quiet place where people can go to seek the Lord on an individual basis.”

I have plenty o’friends who attend ORU, and survived the Richard Roberts regime of slime.

I’m thrilled to say Mark Rutland is already making a difference. And bringing this school back to the basics – and back to its roots – is one giant step in the right direction.

What the famed prayer sculpture could look like now

What the famed prayer sculpture could look like now

Oral Roberts University has been going through the ringer lately. You know, having a president with a case of self-entitlement the size of this hair gel account and him bringing along a wife who has a hankering for cute co-eds and some text messaging will do that for a college. OMG!

Now, the lineage is gone (as is the endowment… allegedly), the frisky woman and her hot flashes have vanished, the debt is still an anchor around its academic neck and no leadership in sight… until now.

So, did they learn from their lesson, find a real academic and leave the TBN crowd behind? According to this story from the Tulsa World, um, kinda.

A pastor and missionary who turned a small Christian college into a recognized liberal arts university was named Wednesday as the candidate for president of Oral Roberts University... Mark Rutland is the author of 13 books and has a 30-minute syndicated daily radio program, “Herald of Joy.” He has also founded ministries in Ghana and Thailand.

So, we have a radio preacher here with a sterling reputation for hooking up megachurches to not pay its taxes?! Hrm.

ORU revealed in 2007 it was $55 million in debt, but a fundraising campaign has cut that amount to about $16 million.  A 2006 article in the Tampa Tribune referred to Rutland as a “turnaround man” based on his success in saving a megachurch in Florida that was $15 million in debt.

Multiply that kerfuffle by four and you have the trouble brewing at the Oral Roberts University. Rutland is an educator, but has been a missionary all his life. Trust me, this is a field to sow some seeds of accountability, deliverance, redemption and trust. Those are his lost children and the angst of public perception will be his persecution.

“I believe that the first thing that needs to happen is, at the wider constituencies at Oral Roberts, trust has to be restored,” he said. “The kind of balanced and thoughtful leadership has to happen there that can restore the goodwill of their constituencies and restore the confidence of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the world.”

Well, he’s off to a great start. He agrees with me. Good times and keep your eyes peeled, Wall Watchers.

The creed of the ORU Human Resources handbook?

The creed of the ORU Human Resources handbook?

Well, well. Looks like HiScrivener is flowing in the spirit of prophecy. Last we saw on the Wall about Oral Roberts University, namesakes were no longer in fashion as Richard Roberts got the peace sign.

And good thing too, because from what I can glean in this story from the Tulsa World, he took a piece of the payroll with him as at least 100 employees from the plagued school have become statistics and canned.

“These are tough economic times for us all,” Interim President Ralph Fagin said in a news release. “Like any business , a university cannot spend more revenue that in collects. We have a responsibility to the ORU family to be good stewards of our resources. You can’t spend more than you’re taking in,” continued Fagin. “This is the last choice you want to make because we have such great employees.”

Thanks, Ralph. The problem with that sentiment is these tough economic times aren’t about some endowment your sticky-fingered president swindled. This is about those 100 people kicked out on the street after the holidays.

Fortunate for your conscience, the dearly departed are probably T.A.s, janitors and other nameless faces around that campus, but to those that know them, they are people who deserve a heckuva lot better than the six-figure sendoff their former boss just received.

Now, for the record, ORU doesn’t blow. Just the son of the institution for which it is named. And now, so does this decision.

Those are God's hands but this ain't Allstate

Those are the hands of God but this is not Allstate

“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.

Thanks to this interesting story in The Oklahoman, ORU fired the once-suspended televangelist wunderkind, gave him the rest of his $223,000 salary and rid themselves of the university’s namesake.

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.

ron-burgundy-talks-haggardWell, it’s been a long time coming and Wall Watchers have waited for a triumphant return. Now, thanks largely to this story from ABC News, we have it.

Everyone, rejoice… here’s the Ron Burgundy picture covering fallen evangelical and pastor Ted Haggard.

Well, the picture and the fact Ted Haggard has broken his silence about his plight into “personal male massage therapists” and meth. Whichever one excites you more: Huzzah!

Now seriously, I encourage you to visit the ABC News link and watch the video. Riveting.

First, Haggard’s dad had a successful business and evidently one of pop’s cohorts thought a business fringe benefit was molesting his son at the age of seven. Horrifying.

Personally, I am glad he didn’t share that tidbit while he was bringing his entire family into the spotlight because it would have seemed like an excuse. Now, it’s just unfortunate insight.

If you study psychology, you know the propensity for an abuse victim to become an abuser is very high. However, as “Another Brick on the Wall” Ima Blogger points out, it still doesn’t explain his habitue for trailer park drugs. I suppose that was just collateral damage.

Anywhoo… so here’s Ted Haggard, a mere shell of the evangelical giant he used to be, ministering in a small Illinois church about what happened, why it happened and how we (the Church) should have responded:

“I believe that he [God] gives us opportunities every couple of years to communicate the gospel worldwide through secular media and we consistently blow it,” he said. “A congressman in trouble, that’s the time. A family member gets himself in horrible trouble, that’s the time. A preacher gets himself in awful trouble, that’s the time.

Once a preacher, always a preacher. Because despite the message and circumstance, there’s always some truth. In other words, he is right. The Church is inventive, novel and genius at finding new and innovative ways to eat its young, step on the fallen and bury its elderly.

Don’t get me wrong, what Teddy boy did was heinous and he deserved a swift boot out of the pulpit and the NEA. But he got there because there is no accountability in – or out of – the pulpit. Count the yes men that surround the Osteens, the Crouchs or even the sex-loving Youngs and you will see what I mean.

Ted was the man! President of one of the most influential Christian organizations on the planet, pastor of a megachurch, family man and guy with a GREAT grill. Who was going to tell him, “NO!” And that’s how these demagogues like it. No accountability, no refrain, no one to whom they should answer.

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 NIV)

times-running-outLook at the mighty, Wall Watchers: Oral and Richard Roberts. Robert Tilton. Jim Bakker. Pat Robertson. And so, so many more. And time is running out for us to make a difference on a world that already thinks to little of us… and these fools ain’t helping matters much.

These were giants of the Kingdom at one time or another and they all share one thing in common – each had an empire, answered “only to God”, kept their sin buried in the closet and fell flat. They have all made a comeback, and Ted will make his as well. What’s sad is that there are 1000s more like them corraling the sheep and using them to do nothing more than make cashmere sweaters to hang in their closets.

So don’t be surprised when Haggard gets pelted with blue pills, barraged with hate mail and asked if he wants to massage with Crisco. People – saved and lost alike – all have shark mentality in one faction or another. When the smell of blood is in the water, prepare to drown or swim like hell.

Ted Haggard, you now have your floaties. Swim on, soldier. Some of us are praying for you, and giggling a little bit as well.