- Vinson Synan
Roberts, Oral (24 January 1918–15 December 2009), Pentecostal pastor and healing evangelist, was born Granville Oral Roberts in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, the fifth and youngest child of the Reverend Ellis Melvin Roberts and Claudius Priscilla Roberts (née Irwin), both ministers of the Pentecostal Holiness Church. He was raised in abject poverty. On his mother’s side he was descended from the Cherokee Indians and was proud to be a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Tall and slender, Roberts played basketball on his Ada, Oklahoma high school team and for a short time joined a local Methodist Church with his teammates. In 1935 at seventeen years of age, however, he contracted tuberculosis and was bedridden for five months. He was suddenly healed after his parents took him to a tent revival where the evangelist George W. Moncey laid hands on him and prayed a healing prayer. Roberts soon preached his first sermon and returned to the Pentecostal Holiness Church, where he was ordained in 1936. Two years later, on Christmas Day, he married Evelyn Lutman Fahnestock; the couple had four children....