The Who2 Blog

Oral Roberts and the 900-Foot Jesus

Oral Roberts, with a crew cut, raises his hand and holds a Bible

TV preacher Oral Roberts died one year ago today.

Oral Roberts spent decades as an evangelist and fund-raiser, but he may be best remembered for his spectacular conversation with a 900-foot Jesus.  It happened (said Roberts) in 1980, when the reverend was fretting over construction of his massive City of Faith hospital:

Roberts says he encountered Jesus at 7 p.m. as Roberts stood praying in front of the City of Faith in south Tulsa. He said it was the second time he had met him.

..."I felt an overwhelming holy presence all around me. When I opened my eyes, there He stood... some 900 feet tall, looking at me; His eyes... Oh! His eyes! He stood a full 300 feet taller than the 600 foot tall City of Faith."

[Roberts] told Jesus he had taken the City of Faith as far as he could.

Jesus' reply, according to Roberts, was: "I told you at the beginning that you would not be able to build it yourself. I told you that I would speak to your partners and, through them, I would build it!"

The Tulsa World has the whole story in its archives, along with comments from a less-than-credulous local doctor, C.T. Thompson.  (Dr. Thompson later told a biographer that whenever he spoke out against Roberts, he got "vitriolic mail" from "all the crazies.")

Judge for yourself at our Oral Roberts profile >>