When I was a kid in the 60’s I can remember watching Oral Roberts’ preaching and healing services on my grandparents’ black-and-white TV set. Always under a tent, he would be strutting up and down the platform, hands a waving, sweating like a politician with his shirt sleeves rolled up, and mopping his brow with a white handkercheif. That was pretty neat stuff for a kid of eight or nine.
Oral Roberts turned to building a univrsity in 1963 and a hospital in 1981, each here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pictured above is the prayer tower, located in the center of the Oral Roberts University campus, where it is told that in 1980, while up in the tower praying, Oral Roberts had a vision of a 900-foot Jesus who told him to build a hospital.
The City of Faith hospital lasted only eight years, basically proving too costly to run. Tulsa, with a population of around 200,000 at the time, already had four major hospitals. The City of Faith is now called the Cityplex Towers, with a few floors leased out to a small specialty orthopedic surgery center. Beside some other non-medical businesses leasing space, the facility remains largely unoccupied. The common joke around here in the 80’s was “Why would a faith healer need a hospital?”
All of the buildings on the ORU campus take on the futuristic architecture similar to the prayer tower and the Cityplex towers. It is an interesting campus, although I can’t vouch the academics. Kathie Lee Gifford is an alumni, if that is any indication.
Don’t forget to see all of the wonderful photos of all of those other “churchy” bloggers around at the Friday Photo Group. Y’all have a good weekend. When you go to church on Sunday, remember, it’s not about us, it’s all about giving glory to God and to the Lamb.