ORU alumnus blogger on the changing of the guard

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Blogger Sterling Camden of Chip's Quips fesses up to being an ORU grad and although he's proud of the education he received, he's not proud of calling himself an ORU alumnus, and he reacts to the decision by Richard Roberts to resign as president:

No, what has embarrassed me about ORU ever since I was a sophomore is its hollow, camera-facing facade: the image portrayed to television viewers across the nation of a highly homogenous, straight-laced but happy population of brothers and sisters in Christ who all think that the Oral Roberts ministry is the best thing since the original Pentecost.

Despite his showmanship, I've always believed that Oral was basically sincere. I really do think he believes that what he preaches is the truth. I don't feel the same way about his son, Richard. Even back when he and his first wife, Patti, led the World Action Singers (we liked to call them the "Worldly Action Swingers") on stage, he has always impressed me as the central incarnation of the insincerity and hypocrisy that infected the Oral Roberts ministry and spread into the university. He was the spoiled child of a great father. Before he divorced his first wife, the official policy of the University and the Oral Roberts Evangelical Association was to terminate anyone who got divorced. Any guesses as to when that policy was modified?

UPDATE: Added the link to the entry, which I had inadvertently omitted.

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Pamela said:

I'm an ORU alum. It looks like this fellow was at ORU when I was there. Yes I remember well the Woldly Action Swingers term. I'm not ashamed at being an ORU alum. I think most people that know us see that we do not equate to the leadership. That is the case with any organization. A lof of people that I knew there probably feel the same way that he does about the sincerity of Oral. Many questioned Richard's sincerity as this fellow does. Others like myself feel that Richard was just not equipped to be an administrator. My guess is that Oral wanted Richard to lead the school because he trusted him more than others. It is evident that Oral had a lot of fear about ORU becoming secular. IMHO he put a person in a position that never should have been there, sincere or not.

It must be near impossible for children of great leaders to find their place because every move they make will be compared to their parents. That is unfair and wrong. Only God knows how Oral's children have fared being in the shadow of Oral Roberts. I do not excuse any wrong behavoir that may have been done by Richard. However I just wonder how well many of us would have handled things if we were under the shadow of a famous parent. They did not ask to be born into those families.

I'm glad that I went to ORU. It was one of the best experiences I had in my life. This is how I came to Tulsa in 1977.

This is a good post.

s said:

I don't see how Oral or Richard Roberts could have an effective leadership in the Oral Roberts Evangelistic both big spenders and getting an extremely low rating on how it is managed.

Harry McNevin said that in 1988 the ORU Regents board allowed the use of millions in Oral Roberts University endowment money to buy a Beverly Hills property so that Oral could have a west coast house when at the same time as a business runs there was no need for such a west coast house or using it as a joke as an office too.

Roberts eldest son Ronald committed suicide in June 1982 37 years old after getting a court order to get counseling (not through his dad Oral) at a drug treatment center. Rebecca Nash died in a plane accident. Richard - a world action "swinger" divorced his first wife Patti.

From the late 1980's th 1992 Roberts maintained a residence in the exclusive St. Andrews Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida. Oral Roberts would commute by private jet from Oklahoma to Boca Raton, Florida for his golf club retreat. Golfers can think up all kinds of ways to spend spend spend in where they want to play golf and doing so he spent at the cost to those donating to the ministry. Most of the other residents of St. Andrews were Jewish, so Oral Roberts supposedly used his real first name "Granville" when it visited Florida. Doesn't that seem odd if he was so proud of his ORU ministry at this time?

Oral Roberts had lived in very expensive Newport Beach, California -- Tulsa is cheaper to live but he has been a lavish spender and this is the type of example he has been to his son, Richard. Wanting to keep that tight fisted control, of course he would try to pick Richard the only son left to run parts of Oral Roberts ministry in some way to keep their hands in all those dollars they ask for in various ways.

Time magazine reported in 1987 that Richard Roberts "witnessed" Oral raised a child from the dead. He was not able to raise his wife Evelyn from the dead nor faith heal her when she complained of serious symptoms nor was Richard or Oral Roberts able to save the baby or Richard and Lindsey. His largely vacant City of Faith Medical Center has lost millions of dollars so he looked once again ridiculous to the nation by saying "God told him so". Oral Roberts or Richard Roberts could not save their own family member Oral's son from committing suicide

The Oral Roberts Board of Regents has been a poor example allowing Oral and Richard to waste "donors" money that sacrificially give on a tiny income while people like Oral and Richard Roberts and other questionable people on air like Paul Crouch and his wife who also waste tons of viewers money on their own lavish lifestyle. It's an embarrassment to have these people on air using the name of Jesus for their own lavish lifestyles.

Oral Roberts has lost millions and millions of donor money on the City of Faith building now I guess called Citiplex. It's as though they want to lavish themselves as some time of ego trip when Oral Roberts could have used the $88 million in money he received from donors to help all of the students that have come through ORU keep the cost way done so that thousands more could afford to come to ORU -- what was supposed to be a ministry Oral used for himself and his family and the wasteful spending over all these years has finally been revealed. They should publish the audit from the 70's through present to show the people around the world how they have spent donor money.

Oral Roberts claimed he was told by Jesus to build the City of Faith, but City of Faith stayed mostly unoccupied losing millions and he built it without a Certificate of Need which made him look like a joke to people that know what that means.

Divorce is not something that should be approved and Richard Roberts sure did not wait long to marry Lindsey Roberts. If they truly think they are called to healing ministries, why could Oral Roberts or Richard Roberts not heal the problems in Richard's first marriage?

s said:

Oral Roberts dropped out of college and does not have a degree he personally completed. He founded Oral Roberts University and students were required to sign an honor code pedging not to "drink" (do any of the Roberts drink?) "smoke"
"dance" "party" or engage in premarital sex.

In 1977 Oral Roberts claimed to have a vision from a 900 foot tall Jesus who told him to build the City of Faith Medical and Research Center and the hospital according to the 900 foot tall Jesus he saw claimed would be a success. But the hospital was never a success and was largely vacant and no one else ever saw the 900 foot tall Jesus as though Oral measured the 900 foot tall Jesus.

In 2004 television broadcast of Kenneth Copeland's (who is also being investigated as these guys learn from each other how to prey on viewers and people they send out direct mail's emotions to send donations. They never claim on air or in the direct mail how extravantly they live or have used donor money to spend outrageously on themselves. On the Believer's Voice of Victory it has been quoted that the elder Roberts claimed to have experienced a vision in which "smoke and vapor and blood appeared in the clouds in the skies" which hung there for quite some time (no one else that has telescopes ever saw this -- no news reporting team ever saw this above the skies in New York City and the east part of the United States -- just Oral Roberts had the "vision".

With all these "visions" and how he lived for years in inability to faith heal where there was documented proof of real medical doctors (not Richard who could be swayed by Oral) attesting to the real healing of a sick or dying person or "healers" or just to faith heal the obvious needs in his own personal family, or join extremely expensive country clubs and buy extremely expensive property and spend as though there was no end of money the Board of Regents just approved or that Richard Roberts goes on Larry King Live and says he just did not know what to make of it totally clueless, why would the ORU Board of Regents allow Richard to live in the huge house they currently live in.

It will be interesting to see how the new leadership will fix all the many problems Oral and Richard have been allowed to get away with all these years.

Pamela said:

We alumni will be watching ever nook and cranny of what they do. One of my good friends from ORU is on the alumni board. I was one that basically dropped out of site because of things I saw there even though I kept up with friends over the years. The alumni really kicked in when it was announced that they were going to redo the student center and after several years it was still a hole in the ground.

My sincere hope is that the contributor will keep his word and make sure that things are run well at ORU before contributing more. To me running well is NOT to say you are raising funds for one thing and using it for something else. Seeing how things have come out it is evident when they would get on the air and say that they were raising funds to help offset student expenses that those funds were used elsewhere. It is also evident that when they would have fund drives to make repairs at ORU that was not done either. Things can turn around for ORU. Remember that the BOR is also a defendant in the lawsuit.

I found it interesting that all the voting BOR members were present, except for the three that are being investigated by the Senate Finance Committee, at the press conference a week ago that concluded the 2-day BOR meeting. I wonder if the BOR told them not to be present. I also want to know if they are still on the board.

I'm convinced things will turn around if for no other reason that the law is watching every move the BOR makes. One thing I hope will happen is that they meet more than twice a year. Probably most of them need to be replaced because their objectivity was severely compromised over the years.

s said:

Paula and Randy White will be another example of a couple that some say used their tax exempt and ministry money for their own lavish lifestyle. Interesting both Paula and Randy White have been divorced not just once but now twice, Paula and Randy White's "greed" in the Without Walls --the Senate Finance Committee possibly will publish the findings on Benny Hinn, Copeland, Dollar, Paula and Randy White, Paul and Jan Crouch.

Marriage isn't just about love but also about commitment and praying daily that God will bless your marriage. Satan works daily to destroy marriages. Look at the divorce rate nationwide. It would be great to have our Christian television stations flooding the t.v. channel choices with family films that teach by example how to live and work as a family to stay together through struggles in life. Many nationwide are
frustrated there is nothing on t.v. worth watching. If there were enough Christian film makers that could produce quality t.v. shows and movies so teenagers. children, adults would not be seeing and listening to poor t.v. example choices on the air.
You don't have to give to someone on air for a blessing or a seed faith. Instead you can give to your neighbors, your community, the needy in your hometown. Many seniors have children that live far away and their children stop coming to see them. There are many ways to give and serve.

The song, In Christ Alone (by I think Brian Littrell -- played on 102.3FM radio) each word in that song is wonderful to hear let alone the superb voice of who sings it.
Christian leaders should be examples of how to work out problems in a family or marriage. God's blessing is to keep a marriage and to show by example your own children how to live a life honoring to God.

Oral Roberts University current teachers I am sure are committed to serving in a ministry that will uplift the students that come to their class each day. With Hobby Lobby donor and others that have excellent business ethics, I am sure the university will continue. The name of the university may need to change but the goal is the christian education not to honor Oral Roberts.

Thanks, Michael, for linking to my post.

s said:

Second Oral Roberts University Regent (Benny Hinn) (and Creflo Dollar) Refuses the Senate Finance Investigation for today's deadline for a Senate investigation into the salaries, perks and travel of televangelists.

The spending of Benny Hinn's ("ministry") is even more outrageous than Oral and Richard Roberts.

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