Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oral Robert University Prayer Tower

Oral Roberts, a famed Pentecostal televangelist, died today at age 91. He leaves behind many things, including a University bearing his name. A gold plastic souvenir replica of the Oral Robert University Prayer Tower stands 4 inches tall. The base has a lead weight on the bottom and is printed with the words, “Abundant Life Prayer Group” with a phone number. The 24-hour-a-day group prays with people via telephone in a room on the observation deck. The Prayer Tower is located on the campus of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The 200 ft (60.9 m) glass and steel structure opened in 1967 and offers visitors a heavenly view of the campus. An enclosed observation deck gives a 360° view of the surrounding area and enables a self-guided visual tour of the ORU campus. A visitor center on the ground floor has a gift shop along with showings of a 20-minute multimedia presentation on the history of the university and a 36-minute, faith-oriented presentation about the life of Oral Roberts. The landscaped Ralph L. Reece Memorial Gardens surround the tower base at the Christian university. According to school publicity the tower's form is laden with Christian symbolism. The Prayer Tower is located at the center of campus to symbolize prayer's utmost importance. The disc and spindle design takes on the look of a modern stylized cross from any horizontal bearing. The tower's height is intended to mirror one's relationship with God. The latticework which surrounds the observation deck is reportedly built in part from standard white PVC pipe (with the original specification markings still somewhat visible and is meant as a semi-literal representation of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus on the cross. The tower's tip features an eternal flame representing baptism of the Holy Spirit. The tower is a popular local tourist attraction. A reader commented on this post and said, “At one point back in the mid 90's there was a metal replica available." If you have one of the metal replicas of the Prayer Tower, please send me a photo and I'll publish it here. UPDATE: Mark M. sent me a photo of both the plastic and metal versions (above) The pewter version stands 2.5 inches tall and was made in four separate pieces and then put together to form the Prayer Tower.


Anonymous said...

At one point back in the mid 90's there was a metal replica available. A good friend of mine attended ORU and supplied them to me at the time.

Anonymous said...

Wish I could find that one! SD

Dave said...

Please send me a photo of the metal version if you have one and I'll publish it here. Thanks, Dave.

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