Following the death of Oral Roberts on December 15, 2009, our friends at “A View to Hugh” blogged about a few images of the Pentecostal evangelist in the Hugh Morton Photograph Collection: Granville Oral Roberts, 1918-2009.
Did you know that Oral Roberts had another North Carolina connection? The Raleigh News and Observer reported that Roberts started his career as a pastor in Fuquay Springs–now part of Fuquay-Varina, a town in southern Wake County.
Inspired by Lew Powell’s recent “Just a Bite” blog postings, I pulled the UNC Library’s copy of Oral Roberts : An American Life by David E. Harrell. Here are a few quotes describing Roberts time in North Carolina:
“In November 1941 [Roberts] accepted his first pastorate, in Fuquay Springs, North Carolina…
“Oral met the founder of the Fuquay Springs church, J. M. Pope, at the Falcon camp meeting in 1941, and Pope persuaded the dynamic young minister to become the church’s first pastor. Pope was ‘a prominent and successful businessman in Fuquay Springs, …the owner and operator of the Pope 5¢ to $5 Stores…’
“Oral’s first pastorate was eminently successful; Fuquay Springs residents remembered him as ‘handsome, charming, full of energy and on fire with the desire to reach everyone with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.’”