Televangelist Oral Roberts' Gay Grandson Speaks Out

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Randy Roberts Potts, the gay grandson of famed televangeslist Oral Roberts, makes an incredible literary debut in the first issue of This Land with his moving portrait of growing up as a misfit in America's most evangelical family.

Randy Roberts Potts remembers his grandfather, the televangelist Oral Roberts, as an ambitious, distant man. In his first essay for Oklahoma-based publisher This Land Press, Potts offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into the surreal world of the Oral Roberts family. We learn that Oral Roberts voted for Obama. We hear about the life and fears in a sheltered family compound. And we find out what it’s like to be gay in America’s most popular evangelical family.

“This article is a real revelation,” says This Land Press editor Michael Mason. “We’ve seen the circus-side of televangelists blasted across headlines—but we rarely get this sort of perspective from a family insider.”

At once touching, human, and heartbreaking, “Something Good is Going to Happen to You” also gives us the rare perspective of a child who is observing his grandfather as he achieves national notoriety. In 1987, Oral Roberts locked himself in a tower and proclaimed that God would take his life if he didn’t raise 8 million dollars for his Christian ministry. Unbeknownst to many of his supports, Oral Roberts had by then already lost a gay son, Ronnie, to drug addiction and suicide.

The ghost of Ronnie reappears as a haunting figure in the essay Potts. But ultimately, “Something Good is Going to Happen to You” offers a redemptive look at life. Potts eventually befriends one of his grandfather’s most famous protégés, Carlton Pearson, who has since abandoned the televangelists’s teaching in favor of a more universal message.

“Something Good is Going to Happen to You,” by Randy Roberts Potts is the first feature essay of the new progressive print magazine, This Land, which is sold online, and is distributed in Tulsa, Oklahoma.



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