Oral Roberts

About 15 years ago, Carlton Pearson had what you might call a revelation.

It occurred to him that ideas that had informed his entire adult life — about heaven and hell, and what it takes to avoid one and enter the other — were just not true. What was a big deal for his personal faith became a much bigger one in his professional life, because Carlton Pearson presided over one of the country's biggest Pentecostal congregations in Tulsa, Okla., and his rejection of that theology for what he calls the "gospel of inclusion" would cost him just about everything he had.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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ARI SHAPIRO, host:

Oral Roberts introduced a fiery Pentecostal style into mainstream Christianity. He tied his faith to his finances, creating a multimillion dollar empire. The 91-year-old Roberts died yesterday in Newport Beach, California of complications from pneumonia. He leaves behind a television legacy and a university that bears his name. NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty has this profile.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

I'm Robert Siegel.

And now, we mark the passing of a pioneering televangelist. Oral Roberts, who died today at age 91, was one of the first. He moved from revivals in the 1940s that packed thousands into the tent to a radio and television ministry that reached millions. And he founded Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

I'm Robert Siegel.

And we now mark the passing of a pioneering televangelist. Oral Roberts, who died today at age 91, was one of the first. He moved from revivals in the 1940s that packed thousands of people into the tent to a radio and television ministry that reached millions. And he founded Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.