By RAEGAN DOUGHARTY
EVANGELISM LEGACY: Oral Roberts, left, walks with Reverend Billy Graham to the dedication ceremony of Oral Roberts University. The men were friends, speaking highly of each other’s ministries.
Courtesy Oral Roberts University
Reverend Billy Graham, the famous Christian evangelist who spoke at the 1967 dedication of , died on Feb. 21 at the age of 99. According to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website, his ministry included Graham’s preaching of “the Gospel to nearly 215 million people in 185 countries and territories.”
Graham’s ties to Oral Roberts University have existed throughout the 50 plus years of ’s existence, and the university released a statement last month regarding the death of Graham.
The release included a piece of Graham’s dedication speech:
“…If this institution ever moves away from faith in the Bible and faith in God and putting God first, then let us this day pronounce a curse on it. This institution was built by the prayers and dedication of men and women who loved God and believed His Gospel and [that] the Bible is the Word of God.”
According to the release, “continues to take on his challenge to stay true to the founding vision of the university with passion.”
The school’s founder, Oral Roberts, was friends with Graham, and the release included a quote from Roberts in August 2009.
“Billy was the most generous man in the ministry I’ve ever met. He accepted me as a brother. He said he fell in love with my ministry. I counted him the number-one evangelist in the world. We became very close friends.”
The release also included a similar statement from Graham after Roberts died in December 2009:
“Oral Roberts was a man of God and a great friend in ministry. I loved him as a brother. We had many quiet conversations over the years.”
“On behalf of the board of Trustees, students, faculty and staff, we are praying for the Graham family and are thankful for the shared legacy of Billy Graham,” Dr. William M. Wilson, president of Oral Roberts University, said, according to the release.
Editor’s note: The writer, Raegan Dougharty, is a student at and is serving as an intern at Newspapers during her senior year.