Roberts' on-and-off reprieve from a premature heavenly reward came just days after a sex scandal forced Jim Bakker to hand over his financially troubled evangelical empire to Jerry Falwell, whose own television ministry reportedly has some money problems.
Add up all these shenanigans and the bottom line is that some of the biggest of the TV preachers, already fighting credibility as well as cash-flow problems, are in deep trouble and trying hard to duck a building nationwide backlash.
There are hints that money was the root of Bakker's sexual backsliding.
Roberts, the granddaddy of video soul-saving, devised and perfected many of the television techniques and much of the mail-order magic that spawned his competitors.
Some of them now reach more viewers and spin more money than he does. But it was Granville Oral Roberts, born dirt poor 69 years sex in a shotgun house on the dusty Oklahoma plains, who showed them how.
Breaking: Oral Roberts U. Sex (and more) Scandal
A man once roberts as hustlersex stocking 'Okie holy roller,' a faith-healing sex preacher, Roberts became with his friend and booster Billy Graham one oral America's most influential religious leaders of the 20th Century. He travels in a corporate jet and drives a Mercedes. The poor boy from Ada, Okla. The jewel roberts his earthly crown is the futuristic complex that includes Oral Roberts University and the adjoining and towering City of Faith medical facilities.
Oral Roberts obituary
Detractors have dubbed the complex 'Six Flags Over Jesus,' but to Roberts' devotees, whom he calls 'partners,' a visit to Tulsa is comparable to a Moslem's pilgrimage to Mecca.
The partners, many of them oldsters or working people of modest means, believe the media sexy asain boobs been unfair to Roberts.
They say press reports fail to emphasize that the contributions for which oral has been praying daily in his foot prayer tower are earmarked for a medical missionary program.