Evelyn Roberts, wife of evangelist Oral Roberts, died May 4 in a California hospital after suffering a head injury during a fall.
According to Tulsa, Okla.-based Oral Roberts University (ORU), Roberts, 88, fell in the parking lot of a Newport Beach dentist's office the day before, striking her head on the pavement and causing massive internal bleeding. Roberts, who had been in generally good health, then lapsed into a coma and died later.
Oral and Evelyn Roberts married more than 66 years ago, and she worked with her husband to build his TV ministry and university. She wrote several books, including her best-selling autobiography, His Darling Wife, Evelyn. She also penned Evelyn Roberts' Miracle Life Stories and the children's book, Heaven Has a Floor.
"Mrs. Roberts played a vital role in her husband's worldwide evangelistic ministry from its beginning in 1947," ORU's Web site said. "In obedience to God's call on their lives, she was instrumental in helping Oral carry the message of God's saving, healing, delivering power through the building of Oral Roberts University and the many other outreaches of the Oral Roberts Ministries."
Healing evangelist Benny Hinn said his family mourns the loss of "a great woman of faith and beauty."
"Wife of my dearest friend and mentor, Evelyn was known for her beautiful spirit, sharp wit, and undying devotion to her husband," Hinn said on his Web site. "She was, to her last day on this earth, a wellspring of inspiration and strength to her husband and to many, including myself."
Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson said Roberts was "a rock and a standby with Oral's ministry. ... She was with him from the early days all the way through, 'his darling wife,' and he meant it sincerely," Robertson said on The 700 Club. "They said that when they went into a town to hold a crusade, Evelyn always had a bag that had some little mementos and Scripture verses so that they could make a hotel room, in a sense, like a chapel, so they would feel the presence of the Lord."
Hinn said Roberts' commitment to support her husband in ministry will be part of her legacy "and a standard for others to follow."
"A dear saint of God has gone home," Robertson added. "We are sorry it took place in such a seemingly unnecessary tragedy. ... But she's with Jesus. For that we rejoice."
Besides her husband, who is 87, Roberts is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Lindsay Roberts; her daughter and son-in-law, Roberta and Ronald Potts; 13 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, two sisters and three brothers. A "celebration" of Roberts' life was held May 9 at ORU's Mabee Center.