Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. sends prayers and condolences on behalf of the Liberty University community to the family of Oral Roberts, one of the world’s most recognized televangelists, who died Tuesday at age 91.
“Both my father [Dr. Jerry Falwell] and Oral Roberts were pioneers in the use of television to spread the gospel in the mid-1950s,” he said. “While they were not members of the same denomination, my father admired Rev. Roberts for his willingness to use modern technology and unorthodox techniques in his ministry despite criticism from the religious establishment.”
Falwell Jr. said he never met Roberts, but he recalls visiting Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., with his father in the 1960s.
“I remember my father admiring what were then considered state-of-the-art facilities for a Christian university,” he said. “For some reason, I especially remember the dining hall. It was beautiful and, to me, it appeared to be enormous. I believe that visit to ORU helped inspire Dad to move forward with his vision to start a new university in Lynchburg a few years later in 1971.”
Falwell said he is encouraged by other universities that have persevered in their mission to provide distinctly Christian education.
“I believe that both ORU and LU will continue the ministries of their respective founders for many generations to come, through the lives of thousands of Christian young people.”