TULSA, Okla. — Evangelist Oral Roberts announced Wednesday that he will close his City of Faith hospital and medical school and sell his home to help make up for a $25-million deficit caused by a drop in donations.
Four other ministry-owned homes, including his evangelist son Richard's house, and an 830-unit housing complex for married students at Oral Roberts University here, also will be sold, Roberts said at a campus news conference.
He said the 777-bed hospital would close by Jan. 1 and the medical school, which is part of the university, would shut down with the end of classes next May.
Roberts, who in 1987 raised $8 million for the medical school after saying God would end his life if the money did not come in, left open the possibility that "some miracle" could happen. But he said the action was necessary to save the 4,300-student university.
"I think it's one of the best decisions I've ever made," the 71-year-old evangelist said. "I hurt because this is my calling, but I'm encouraged that we're doing the right thing."
Roberts has blamed the sharp decline in donations to his ministry on a "spirit of skepticism" in the wake of scandals involving fellow evangelists Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart.