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I Remember Oral Roberts

 

The death of Oral Roberts early in 2010 was quickly followed by many articles and stories that were published in Christian and other periodicals. I knew Mr. Roberts only briefly, but during that short period, he taught me several things which are worth passing on.

Early FGBMFI meeting inside Clifton’s.

I heard of Roberts shortly after I was saved in 1961. I began to attend Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship meetings in 1962, and he was one of the personalities in the forefront of this organization. His prophecy at an early FGBMFI meeting on the second floor of Clifton’s restaurant in Los Angeles brought enthusiasm and a sense of destiny to that group. I later got to that restaurant, and ate in those rooms.

I lived in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1964, and drove to Hagerstown, Maryland to attend one of Roberts’ tent meetings that summer. I stood in the prayer line following the service, and Mr. Roberts laid his hands on me and prayed over me when my turn arrived. I do not remember what I was seeking at that moment.

I met him again after I had moved to California in 1979. I remember him at Church on the Way when he spoke to the staff, and one other occasion when we connected for an hour or so.

During the latter talk, Oral described an error that he had committed when he was a young minister and then later regretted. He was first credentialed by a Pentecostal Holiness denomination that emphasized how we were to react to fashion and in particular, how the ladies in those churches were to react and behave. There were all sorts of negative rules about makeup, using lipstick, the length of skirts and dresses, how one’s hair was to be done, and restrictions on wearing jewelry.

Oral told me that he strictly enforced those rules; that he insisted that his wife Evelyn was to set an example as were his daughters. Some years later, he read the passage in Ezekiel 16 where God took an abandoned naked female who had reached maturity and dressed her to be his bride. This Scripture describes the beautiful clothing and jewels that were part of God’s intended appearance for this woman.

Oral sought guidance from God about this scripture—I recall him saying he was particularly bothered by the nose ring, and then God spoke to Oral about Oral’s rules for the females in his life. Roberts told me that God told him that his wife wanted to be beautiful to and for her husband, and that God had put that desire into every female on the earth. Moreover, Roberts’ attempts to prevent his wife from fulfilling her God given nature were selfish and sinful.

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Category: Church History, Summer 2010

About the Author: H. Murray Hohns went home to be with Jesus on November 28, 2012. He was on staff at the largest church in Hawaii and served on his denomination's investment committee from 1999 until his death. Hohns held two degrees in Civil Engineering, an MA in Theology from Fuller Seminary, and served as an instructor at Foursquare's New Hope Christian College (formerly Pacific Rim Christian College) in Honolulu. He wrote six engineering books and hundreds of articles in every type of newspaper, magazine and journal.

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