Christian televangelist 'Oral' Roberts, so called because of the elegance of his elocution and his penchant for oral sex, was born of a virgin in the back seat of a Pontiac in Oklahoma, the first of three children. He had a brother named Anal and a sister named Vaginal. His mother was 1/4 Pontiac Indian.
After graduating mea culpa from high school, he attended a two-year Bible college, where, according to his professors, he did well in Old Testament studies of sin but struggled with the New Testament doctrine of repentance. He graduated nolo contendre from college anyhow. He wed a preacher's daughter named Eve, and they remained locked in holy matrimony until she died 66 years later, her chastity belt still securely in place (unfortunately, on her head). She served him both as his (ahem) "personal assistant" and his "Bible buddy," and, during their joint ministry, they went from preaching in circus tents, between acts, among clowns, elephants, and sideshow freaks, to broadcasting the word over the radio.
He met American Southern Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor, who memorialized him in her short story, “A Hard Man Is Good to Find,” and Roberts himself wrote two books during his early days: Miraculous Insemination and his autobiography, Expect a Miracle!
By 1947, 'Oral' had delivered 1000 demon-possessed sinners, 3000 sermons, and 10,000 babies, sowing his seed across half a dozen continents and exhausting 300 storks in doing so. He was ready for even bigger, bolder things. Founding the 'Oral' Roberts Universe in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he offered such courses in Christian conduct as Praying for the Riches of Religious Fervor, Opening the Treasuries of Heaven, Fundamentals of Tax-Free Faith, and The Use of LSD and Peyote to Incite Christian Visions. In 1980, Roberts was visited by a 900-foot-tall Smiling Jesus, who announced that he was “well pleased” with Roberts’ faithful works. Then, transforming himself into a 648-foot-tall, triune skyscraper, Jesus said, “Lo, I shall become the City of Faith Medical and Research Center, the largest health facility of my kind in the world and, in me, shall prayer merge with medicine in the healing process.” In 1981, the City of Faith was in operation!
In 1989, it closed its doors, Jesus, having changed his mind, deciding to transform the site into an office building.
Two years earlier, in raising funds to build the City of Faith Medical and Research Center, 'Oral' had found it necessary to threaten the faithful. If they weren’t willing to be fleeced for his sake, God might decide to take him “home,” to heaven. Although it is rumored that some among the members of Robert’s sheepfold prayed that God might take their minister up on his plea, should he actually make such a request, the majority cast their pearls into 'Oral'’s offering plates, hence the expression Giving Oral. The evangelist soon had accumulated not merely the paltry $8 million he’d demanded by March but $9.1 million! To thank them and to show them, perhaps, that he was invested with the power of God Almighty, storing the divine energy somewhere in the vicinity of his duodenum, 'Oral' raised a child from the dead, making sure that his own son, Richie Rich, witnessed this miraculous feat. Having done so, Richie duly reported the miracle to Time magazine, whose gullible journalists reported the incident under the heading, “Expect a Miracle!”
'Oral'’s threat to have God call him “home” was not the only unusual fund-raising method he used during his long and faithful ministry. Another was his famous prayer cloths. Whenever he prayed on behalf of someone--usually himself--Roberts had the foresight to be sure that he was holding a foot-square section of cloth, reasoning that, since, during prayer, he was in the presence of God, or, even better, he was one with God, the cloth must, of necessity, be filled with the power of God. As such, he could sell the cloths as a means of making sure that his paying customers made contact with God. Consequently, the faithful could be sure to Expect a Miracle!
In 1963, 'Oral' was named “Indian of the Year”; in 1974, he was named “Oklahoman of the Year”; and, it is believed by his faithful followers and his detractors alike that, someday, a 900-foot-tall or maybe even a mile-high Jesus may name him something else altogether, for eternity.
But for now...It's a gravesite named after him....