Despite the skepticism and ridicule of critics, Oral Roberts’s controversial City of Faith medical complex has risen in Tulsa. Roberts celebrated his victory November 1 at a spectacular dedication ceremony that included such guests as country singer Barbara Mandrell, the governor of Oklahoma, and Christian television celebrities Pat Robertson and Rex Humbard. The next day, the City of Faith Hospital opened its doors to patients with a staff of 33 doctors, 120 nurses, and 9 prayer partners.

The prayer partner concept makes the Roberts medical complex unique. The partners are part of the healing team of doctors and nurses, praying with patients for the supernatural dimension of healing.

The 294-bed hospital is designed to make patients comfortable not only spiritually, but emotionally. Nature scenes from every state hang on corridor walls, and hospital rooms look more like pleasant hotel rooms. Each floor has a sophisticated communications center where computers feed nurses all the patient information they need. Each nurse is stationed next to a computer terminal within calling distance of a small cluster of patient rooms.

The idea for this $150 million complex came to Roberts three years ago after he lost his daughter and son-in-law in a tragic plane crash. Devastated, Roberts retreated to a California desert to pray. There, he says, God commanded him to unite the healing streams of prayer and medicine in a trinity of triangular skyscrapers: one, a 30-story hospital; another, a 60-story medical clinic; and the other, a 20-story research center.

The Tulsa Area Hospital Council strongly opposed Roberts’s plan. It claimed Tulsa already had too many unused hospital beds. Other opponents said the City of Faith would further add to ...

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