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Scandal brewing at Oral Roberts U.

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  • w_w_c_l
    By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer TULSA, Okla. - Twenty years ago, televangelist Oral Roberts said he was reading a spy novel when God appeared
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 5, 2007
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      By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer



      TULSA, Okla. - Twenty years ago, televangelist Oral Roberts said he
      was reading a spy novel when God appeared to him and told him to
      raise $8 million for Roberts' university, or else he would be "called
      home."

      Now, his son, Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts, says
      God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a
      lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college
      in scandal.

      Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local
      political campaign and lavish spending at donors' expense, including
      numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university jet for his
      daughter's senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes convertible
      and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay.

      She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes,
      awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and
      sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to
      people described in the lawsuit as "underage males."

      At a chapel service this week on the 5,300-student campus known for
      its 60-foot-tall bronze sculpture of praying hands, Roberts said God
      told him: "We live in a litigious society. Anyone can get mad and
      file a lawsuit against another person whether they have a legitimate
      case or not. This lawsuit ... is about intimidation, blackmail and
      extortion."

      San Antonio televangelist John Hagee, a member of the ORU board of
      regents, said the university's executive board "is conducting a full
      and thorough investigation."

      Colleagues fear for the reputation of the university and the future
      of the Roberts' ministry, which grew from Southern tent revivals to
      one of the most successful evangelical empires in the country,
      hauling in tens of millions of dollars in contributions a year. The
      university reported nearly $76 million in revenue in 2005, according
      to the IRS.

      Oral Roberts is 89 and lives in California. He holds the title of
      chancellor, but the university describes him as semi-retired, and his
      son presides over day-to-day operations on the campus, which had a
      modern, space-age design when it was built in the early 1960s but now
      looks dated, like Disney's Tomorrowland.

      Cornell Cross II, a senior from Burlington, Vt., said he is looking
      to transfer to another school because the scandal has "severely
      devalued and hurt the reputation of my degree."

      "We have asked and asked and asked to see the finances of our school
      and what they're doing with our money, and we've been told no," said,
      Cross who is majoring in government. "Now we know why. As a student,
      I'm not going to stand for it any longer."

      The allegations are contained in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by three
      former professors. They sued ORU and Roberts, alleging they were
      wrongfully dismissed after reporting the school's involvement in a
      local political race.

      Richard Roberts, according to the suit, asked a professor in 2005 to
      use his students and university resources to aid a county
      commissioner's bid for Tulsa mayor. Such involvement would violate
      state and federal law because of the university's nonprofit status.
      Up to 50 students are alleged to have worked on the campaign.

      The professors also said their dismissals came after they turned over
      to the board of regents a copy of a report documenting moral and
      ethical lapses on the part of Roberts and his family. The internal
      document was prepared by Stephanie Cantese, Richard Roberts' sister-
      in-law, according to the lawsuit.

      An ORU student repairing Cantese's laptop discovered the document and
      later provided a copy to one of the professors.

      It details dozens of alleged instances of misconduct. Among them:

      • A longtime maintenance employee was fired so that an underage male
      friend of Mrs. Roberts could have his position.

      • Mrs. Roberts — who is a member of the board of regents and is
      referred to as ORU's "first lady" on the university's Web site —
      frequently had cell-phone bills of more than $800 per month, with
      hundreds of text messages sent between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. to "underage
      males who had been provided phones at university expense."

      • The university jet was used to take one daughter and several
      friends on a senior trip to Orlando, Fla., and the Bahamas. The
      $29,411 trip was billed to the ministry as an "evangelistic function
      of the president."

      • Mrs. Roberts spent more than $39,000 at one Chico's clothing store
      alone in less than a year, and had other accounts in Texas and
      California. She also repeatedly said, "As long as I wear it once on
      TV, we can charge it off." The document cites inconsistencies in
      clothing purchases and actual usage on TV.

      • Mrs. Roberts was given a white Lexus SUV and a red Mercedes
      convertible by ministry donors.

      • University and ministry employees are regularly summoned to the
      Roberts' home to do the daughters' homework.

      • The university and ministry maintain a stable of horses for
      exclusive use by the Roberts' children.

      • The Roberts' home has been remodeled 11 times in the past 14 years.

      Tim Brooker, one of the professors who sued, said he fears for the
      university's survival if certain changes aren't made.

      "All over that campus, there are signs up that say, `And God said,
      build me a university, build it on my authority, and build it on the
      Holy Spirit,'" Brooker said. "Unfortunately, ownership has shifted."
    • Robert Baty
      Rick, I would propose to you that ownership of the university hasn t changed. It s just being found out! It sounds so familiar. Sincerely, Robert Baty ... To:
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 5, 2007
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        Rick,

        I would propose to you that ownership of the university hasn't changed. It's just being found out!

        It sounds so familiar.

        Sincerely,
        Robert Baty


        ---------Original Message-----------

        To: Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com
        From: w_w_c_l
        Subject: [M & B] Scandal brewing at Oral Roberts U.
        Date: Friday, October 5, 2007 7:22 PM

        By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer

        TULSA, Okla. - Twenty years ago, televangelist Oral Roberts said he
        was reading a spy novel when God appeared to him and told him to
        raise $8 million for Roberts' university, or else he would be "called
        home."

        Now, his son, Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts, says
        God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a
        lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college
        in scandal.

        Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local
        political campaign and lavish spending at donors' expense, including
        numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university jet for his
        daughter's senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes convertible
        and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay.

        She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes,
        awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and
        sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to
        people described in the lawsuit as "underage males."

        At a chapel service this week on the 5,300-student campus known for
        its 60-foot-tall bronze sculpture of praying hands, Roberts said God
        told him: "We live in a litigious society. Anyone can get mad and
        file a lawsuit against another person whether they have a legitimate
        case or not. This lawsuit ... is about intimidation, blackmail and
        extortion."

        San Antonio televangelist John Hagee, a member of the ORU board of
        regents, said the university's executive board "is conducting a full
        and thorough investigation."

        Colleagues fear for the reputation of the university and the future
        of the Roberts' ministry, which grew from Southern tent revivals to
        one of the most successful evangelical empires in the country,
        hauling in tens of millions of dollars in contributions a year. The
        university reported nearly $76 million in revenue in 2005, according
        to the IRS.

        Oral Roberts is 89 and lives in California. He holds the title of
        chancellor, but the university describes him as semi-retired, and his
        son presides over day-to-day operations on the campus, which had a
        modern, space-age design when it was built in the early 1960s but now
        looks dated, like Disney's Tomorrowland.

        Cornell Cross II, a senior from Burlington, Vt., said he is looking
        to transfer to another school because the scandal has "severely
        devalued and hurt the reputation of my degree."

        "We have asked and asked and asked to see the finances of our school
        and what they're doing with our money, and we've been told no," said,
        Cross who is majoring in government. "Now we know why. As a student,
        I'm not going to stand for it any longer."

        The allegations are contained in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by three
        former professors. They sued ORU and Roberts, alleging they were
        wrongfully dismissed after reporting the school's involvement in a
        local political race.

        Richard Roberts, according to the suit, asked a professor in 2005 to
        use his students and university resources to aid a county
        commissioner's bid for Tulsa mayor. Such involvement would violate
        state and federal law because of the university's nonprofit status.
        Up to 50 students are alleged to have worked on the campaign.

        The professors also said their dismissals came after they turned over
        to the board of regents a copy of a report documenting moral and
        ethical lapses on the part of Roberts and his family. The internal
        document was prepared by Stephanie Cantese, Richard Roberts' sister-
        in-law, according to the lawsuit.

        An ORU student repairing Cantese's laptop discovered the document and
        later provided a copy to one of the professors.

        It details dozens of alleged instances of misconduct. Among them:

        • A longtime maintenance employee was fired so that an underage male
        friend of Mrs. Roberts could have his position.

        • Mrs. Roberts — who is a member of the board of regents and is
        referred to as ORU's "first lady" on the university's Web site —
        frequently had cell-phone bills of more than $800 per month, with
        hundreds of text messages sent between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. to "underage
        males who had been provided phones at university expense."

        • The university jet was used to take one daughter and several
        friends on a senior trip to Orlando, Fla., and the Bahamas. The
        $29,411 trip was billed to the ministry as an "evangelistic function
        of the president."

        • Mrs. Roberts spent more than $39,000 at one Chico's clothing store
        alone in less than a year, and had other accounts in Texas and
        California. She also repeatedly said, "As long as I wear it once on
        TV, we can charge it off." The document cites inconsistencies in
        clothing purchases and actual usage on TV.

        • Mrs. Roberts was given a white Lexus SUV and a red Mercedes
        convertible by ministry donors.

        • University and ministry employees are regularly summoned to the
        Roberts' home to do the daughters' homework.

        • The university and ministry maintain a stable of horses for
        exclusive use by the Roberts' children.

        • The Roberts' home has been remodeled 11 times in the past 14 years

        Tim Brooker, one of the professors who sued, said he fears for the
        university's survival if certain changes aren't made.

        "All over that campus, there are signs up that say, `And God said,
        build me a university, build it on my authority, and build it on the
        Holy Spirit,'" Brooker said.

        "Unfortunately, ownership has shifted."

        ------------------------
        ------------------------



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • w_w_c_l
        ... Hmmm. An astute observation. ... About 30 years ago I knew a lady in Atlanta -- single mom with about four kids -- who sent a good chunk of the money she
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 5, 2007
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          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          "Robert Baty" <rlbaty@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Rick,
          >
          > I would propose to you that ownership of the university
          > hasn't changed. It's just being found out!

          Hmmm. An astute observation.


          > It sounds so familiar.

          About 30 years ago I knew a lady in Atlanta --
          single mom with about four kids -- who sent a
          good chunk of the money she made waiting tables
          to Jim Bakker and PTL.

          Folks like that are the ones I feel sorry for
          (the lady, not the Bakkers).


          Rick
        • w_w_c_l
          Richard Roberts asks ORU board for leave By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 17, 2007
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            Richard Roberts asks ORU board for leave

            By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer


            TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts
            asked the school's board of regents for a leave of absence Wednesday
            amid accusations of lavish spending at donors' expense and illegal
            involvement in a political campaign.

            The 58-year-old son of the evangelist who founded the school said he
            would continue in his role as chairman and chief executive of Oral
            Roberts Ministries.

            "I don't know how long this leave of absence will last, but I fully
            trust the members of the Board of Regents," Roberts said in a
            statement released by the university. "I pray and believe that in
            God's timing, and when the Board feels that it is appropriate, I will
            be back at my post as president."

            An Oct. 2 lawsuit filed by three former ORU professors says they were
            wrongfully dismissed and accuses Roberts of misspending at donors'
            expense, including numerous home remodels and a senior trip to the
            Bahamas for one daughter on the ministry's dime.

            It also accuses Roberts of illegal involvement in a local political
            campaign, which would violate the university's nonprofit status.

            The professors say they were forced out after turning over this
            information to the board of regents.

            Their suit was amended last week to include new allegations that
            documents were shredded and destroyed days after the initial lawsuit
            was filed, and hours after ORU and Richard Roberts fired the school's
            comptroller.

            The amended complaint also included an internal ministry report,
            titled "Scandal Vulnerability Assessment," documenting allegations of
            misconduct by the university and the Roberts family. Only a partial
            report was included in the Oct. 2 lawsuit.

            The more detailed account alleges Richard Roberts' wife, Lindsay,
            spent the night in the ORU guest house with an underage male "on nine
            separate occasions," and was photographed 29 times with an underage
            male in her sports car, among other allegations.

            The internal report was prepared by Stephanie Cantees, Richard
            Roberts' sister-in-law. An ORU spokesman said Cantees would not
            comment on the report.

            An ORU student repairing Cantees' laptop discovered the document and
            later provided a copy to one of the dismissed professors.

            In a statement, Lindsay said she lived her life in "a morally upright
            manner" and had never engaged in any sexual behavior with any man
            outside of her marriage as the accusations imply.

            "The last three weeks have taken a serious toll on me and my family,"
            Richard Roberts said in a statement Wednesday. "The untrue
            allegations have struck a terrible blow in my heart. The untrue
            allegations of sexual misconduct by my wife have hurt the most."

            Gary Richardson, attorney for the dismissed professors, said his
            clients "stand ready and prepared at the appropriate time to prove
            the truth of those allegations, and also prove the truth of the fact
            they were fired after providing the information off Stephanie
            Cantees' computer to the board of regents.

            "I want to know why they fired these guys," Richardson said.

            Oral Roberts, 89, said last week that the allegations against his
            family had blindsided him, "but we have been through some tough
            experiences in building Oral Roberts University in the 1960s, and we
            have surprised them all and have built a university that we believe
            is for the glory of God."

            The Roberts family ministry grew from Southern tent revivals to one
            of the most successful evangelical empires in the country, hauling in
            tens of millions of dollars in contributions a year. The university
            reported nearly $76 million in revenue in 2005, according to the IRS.

            The elder Roberts founded the 5,300-student school, known for its 60-
            foot-tall bronze sculpture of praying hands, in 1963. He famously
            told viewers in 1987 that God told him to raise $8 million for the
            university or he would be "called home."

            The week the lawsuit was filed, Richard Roberts said at a chapel
            service that God told him to deny the allegations. He said God told
            him: "We live in a litigious society. Anyone can get mad and file a
            lawsuit against another person whether they have a legitimate case or
            not. This lawsuit ... is about intimidation, blackmail and extortion."
          • w_w_c_l
            Embattled Oral Roberts president resigns By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer November 23, 2007 TULSA, Okla. - The president of Oral Roberts
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 23, 2007
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              Embattled Oral Roberts president resigns

              By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer
              November 23, 2007


              TULSA, Okla. - The president of Oral Roberts University who is facing
              accusations he misspent university funds to support a lavish
              lifestyle resigned from his position, officials said Friday.

              Richard Roberts' resignation is effective immediately, according to a
              statement e-mailed from George Pearsons, chairman of the school's
              Board of Regents.

              Roberts and the university have come under fire since a lawsuit was
              filed by three former professors.

              The lawsuit includes allegations of a $39,000 shopping tab at one
              store for Richard Roberts' wife, Lindsay, a $29,411 Bahamas senior
              trip on the university jet for one of Roberts' daughters, and a
              stable of horses for the Roberts children.

              Roberts, son of school founder and televangelist Oral Roberts, had
              been on temporary leave from the evangelical university, fighting the
              accusations against him. In a recent interview, the couple denied
              wrongdoing.

              Roberts has said the lawsuit amounted to "intimidation, blackmail and
              extortion."

              On Friday, he said in the statement that he loved the university. He
              became president in 1993. "I love ORU with all my heart," Roberts
              said in the statement. "I love the students, faculty, staff and
              administration and I want to see God's best for all of them."

              The professors also alleged in their lawsuit that Richard Roberts
              required students in a government class to work on 2006 mayoral
              candidate Randi Miller's campaign.

              Roberts publicly endorsed Miller, but said then that he was doing so
              as a private citizen and not as an ORU representative. He has denied
              the lawsuit's claims that he ordered students to work on Miller's
              campaign.

              Professor Tim Brooker, one of the lawsuit plaintiffs, accused the
              school of forcing him to quit after he warned Roberts that requiring
              students to work on Miller's campaign jeopardized ORU's tax-exempt
              status.

              In the weeks since that lawsuit was filed, others have cropped up,
              including one from a former senior accountant who alleged that the
              Robertses ordered him to help them hide improper and illegal
              financial wrongdoing from the authorities and the public.

              Besides the legal issues, the school's provost, Mark Lewandowski,
              offered to quit, telling the regents he could not "in good conscience
              serve under (Roberts') leadership."

              Roberts received a vote of "no confidence" recently from the school's
              tenured faculty.

              The school's regents will meet Monday and Tuesday to determine action
              in the search process for a new president, Pearsons said in the
              statement.

              Executive Regent Billy Joe Daugherty will assume the president's
              administrative responsibilities, working with Oral Roberts until the
              regents' meeting, the statement said.



              --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Baty"
              <rlbaty@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Rick,
              >
              > I would propose to you that ownership of the university
              > hasn't changed. It's just being found out!
              >
              > It sounds so familiar.
              >
              > Sincerely,
              > Robert Baty
              >
              >
              > ---------Original Message-----------
              >
              > To: Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com
              > From: w_w_c_l
              > Subject: [M & B] Scandal brewing at Oral Roberts U.
              > Date: Friday, October 5, 2007 7:22 PM
              >
              > By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer
              >
              > TULSA, Okla. - Twenty years ago, televangelist Oral Roberts said he
              > was reading a spy novel when God appeared to him and told him to
              > raise $8 million for Roberts' university, or else he would
              be "called
              > home."
              >
              > Now, his son, Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts,
              says
              > God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a
              > lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt
              college
              > in scandal.
              >
              > Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local
              > political campaign and lavish spending at donors' expense,
              including
              > numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university jet for
              his
              > daughter's senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes
              convertible
              > and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay.
              >
              > She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes,
              > awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and
              > sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to
              > people described in the lawsuit as "underage males."
              >
              > At a chapel service this week on the 5,300-student campus known for
              > its 60-foot-tall bronze sculpture of praying hands, Roberts said
              God
              > told him: "We live in a litigious society. Anyone can get mad and
              > file a lawsuit against another person whether they have a
              legitimate
              > case or not. This lawsuit ... is about intimidation, blackmail and
              > extortion."
              >
              > San Antonio televangelist John Hagee, a member of the ORU board of
              > regents, said the university's executive board "is conducting a
              full
              > and thorough investigation."
              >
              > Colleagues fear for the reputation of the university and the future
              > of the Roberts' ministry, which grew from Southern tent revivals to
              > one of the most successful evangelical empires in the country,
              > hauling in tens of millions of dollars in contributions a year. The
              > university reported nearly $76 million in revenue in 2005,
              according
              > to the IRS.
              >
              > Oral Roberts is 89 and lives in California. He holds the title of
              > chancellor, but the university describes him as semi-retired, and
              his
              > son presides over day-to-day operations on the campus, which had a
              > modern, space-age design when it was built in the early 1960s but
              now
              > looks dated, like Disney's Tomorrowland.
              >
              > Cornell Cross II, a senior from Burlington, Vt., said he is looking
              > to transfer to another school because the scandal has "severely
              > devalued and hurt the reputation of my degree."
              >
              > "We have asked and asked and asked to see the finances of our
              school
              > and what they're doing with our money, and we've been told no,"
              said,
              > Cross who is majoring in government. "Now we know why. As a
              student,
              > I'm not going to stand for it any longer."
              >
              > The allegations are contained in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by three
              > former professors. They sued ORU and Roberts, alleging they were
              > wrongfully dismissed after reporting the school's involvement in a
              > local political race.
              >
              > Richard Roberts, according to the suit, asked a professor in 2005
              to
              > use his students and university resources to aid a county
              > commissioner's bid for Tulsa mayor. Such involvement would violate
              > state and federal law because of the university's nonprofit status.
              > Up to 50 students are alleged to have worked on the campaign.
              >
              > The professors also said their dismissals came after they turned
              over
              > to the board of regents a copy of a report documenting moral and
              > ethical lapses on the part of Roberts and his family. The internal
              > document was prepared by Stephanie Cantese, Richard Roberts' sister-
              > in-law, according to the lawsuit.
              >
              > An ORU student repairing Cantese's laptop discovered the document
              and
              > later provided a copy to one of the professors.
              >
              > It details dozens of alleged instances of misconduct. Among them:
              >
              > • A longtime maintenance employee was fired so that an underage
              male
              > friend of Mrs. Roberts could have his position.
              >
              > • Mrs. Roberts — who is a member of the board of regents and is
              > referred to as ORU's "first lady" on the university's Web site —
              > frequently had cell-phone bills of more than $800 per month, with
              > hundreds of text messages sent between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m.
              to "underage
              > males who had been provided phones at university expense."
              >
              > • The university jet was used to take one daughter and several
              > friends on a senior trip to Orlando, Fla., and the Bahamas. The
              > $29,411 trip was billed to the ministry as an "evangelistic
              function
              > of the president."
              >
              > • Mrs. Roberts spent more than $39,000 at one Chico's clothing
              store
              > alone in less than a year, and had other accounts in Texas and
              > California. She also repeatedly said, "As long as I wear it once on
              > TV, we can charge it off." The document cites inconsistencies in
              > clothing purchases and actual usage on TV.
              >
              > • Mrs. Roberts was given a white Lexus SUV and a red Mercedes
              > convertible by ministry donors.
              >
              > • University and ministry employees are regularly summoned to the
              > Roberts' home to do the daughters' homework.
              >
              > • The university and ministry maintain a stable of horses for
              > exclusive use by the Roberts' children.
              >
              > • The Roberts' home has been remodeled 11 times in the past 14
              years
              >
              > Tim Brooker, one of the professors who sued, said he fears for the
              > university's survival if certain changes aren't made.
              >
              > "All over that campus, there are signs up that say, `And God said,
              > build me a university, build it on my authority, and build it on
              the
              > Holy Spirit,'" Brooker said.
              >
              > "Unfortunately, ownership has shifted."
              >
              > ------------------------
              > ------------------------
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • w_w_c_l
              Roberts says God forced his resignation By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer November 27, 2007 TULSA, Okla. - Richard Roberts told students at Oral
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 5, 2007
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                Roberts says God forced his resignation
                By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer
                November 27, 2007



                TULSA, Okla. - Richard Roberts told students at Oral Roberts
                University Wednesday that he did not want to resign as president of
                the scandal-plagued evangelical school, but that he did so because
                God insisted.

                God told him on Thanksgiving that he should resign the next day,
                Roberts told students in the university's chapel.

                "Every ounce of my flesh said 'no'" to the idea, Roberts said, but he
                prayed over the decision with his wife and his father, Oral Roberts,
                and decided to step down.

                Roberts said he wanted to "strike out" against the people who were
                persecuting him, and considered countersuing, but "the Lord
                said, 'don't do that,'" he said.

                After submitting his resignation, he said, for "first time in 60 days
                peace came into my heart."

                Roberts spoke for only a few minutes and was applauded and cheered by
                students. He wiped away tears with a white handkerchief and his hands.

                "This has nearly destroyed my family, and it's nearly destroyed ORU,"
                Roberts said.

                A lawsuit accuses Roberts of lavish spending at a time when the
                university faced more than $50 million in debt, including taking
                shopping sprees, buying a stable of horses and paying for a daughter
                to travel to the Bahamas aboard the university jet.

                Roberts has previously said that God told him to deny the
                allegations. The week the lawsuit was filed, Richard Roberts said
                that God told him: "We live in a litigious society. Anyone can get
                mad and file a lawsuit against another person whether they have a
                legitimate case or not. This lawsuit ... is about intimidation,
                blackmail and extortion."

                On Wednesday, Roberts said God told him he would "do something
                supernatural for the university" if he stepped down from the job he
                held at the 5,700-student school since 1993.

                On Tuesday, the founder of a Christian office and education supply
                store chain pledged $70 million to help the university, provided it
                passed a 90-day review of the school's finances. Oklahoma City
                businessman Mart Green, founder of the Mardel chain, offered to
                donate $8 million immediately.

                Roberts said he would return to the full-time evangelistic healing
                ministry, "which is where my heart has always been," and told
                students and faculty that he will be praying for them every day of
                his life.

                "I believe with all my heart the best is yet to come for ORU," he
                said.

                Roberts walked out of the chapel through a side door to more cheers.
                Regents Chairman George Pearsons followed, telling students the ORU
                administration is "endeavoring to do the right thing" during a very
                difficult time.

                "This is a good university," Pearsons said. "ORU is a place where
                love is king."

                Gary Richardson, the attorney who filed the lawsuit accusing Roberts
                of lavish living, said Wednesday there was a possibility for
                settlement with the university, but held out little hope for settling
                with Richard Roberts after what he said was his failure to admit in
                chapel he did anything wrong.

                "You can't imagine the people who say to us, 'Don't let it be swept
                under the carpet,'" Richardson said.

                Richardson also said his firm filed a request with Roberts' attorneys
                for a copy of a report detailing an outside audit of the university's
                finances. Tuesday, Pearsons refused to provide details of the audit,
                citing the pending litigation.

                "We'll get it, as long as there's a lawsuit involved," Richardson
                said.

                Roberts remains the CEO of the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association
                and remains a "spiritual regent" who cannot vote on university
                matters.

                On Tuesday, Pearsons announced a plan to separate the finances and
                leadership of the university from the Oral Roberts Evangelistic
                Association, a move welcomed by many students and faculty members.

                The university has been under the ministry since its inception in
                1963, an arrangement that critics say led to co-mingling of funds and
                a blurring of leadership roles.

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