There was a time when Oral Roberts was world famous, and he and his son Richard regularly hobnobbed with the likes of Elvis Presley. What has happened to the Roberts empire since the glory days of the 1980s?
Oral Roberts died in 2009, while son Richard still presides over what is left of the massive empire built by his father (Oral Roberts Ministries). Long since forcibly removed from control of the university his father founded in Tulsa (ORU), an older, paunchy Richard Roberts is still on television, but now languishes in televangelist obscurity on small, late-night cable channels.
Here's the whole sad story of the decline of the Roberts family empire--an object lesson about the long-term consequences of the prosperity gospel, and family-run "ministries," which are actually tributes to their founder, and an unbearable burden to their less-capable children.
The Sad Decline of Oral and Richard Roberts. The essay is a good read, and reminds us of the fading glory of those monuments built to ourselves out of pure self-interest.