Evangelist Oral Roberts, criticized by some for asking for contributions to prevent his death at the end of March this year, said last year that he would die by the end of 1986 unless he raised $8 million, according to a report published today.
A spokeswoman for the 69-year-old evangelist said Roberts apparently had made a mistake.
Roberts told a gathering at the Dallas Convention Center last Easter that God had instructed him to raise the money "by the end of the year" or he would die, according to a tape of the sermon obtained by the Dallas Morning News.
"Oral Roberts' life is on the line," he said in the Easter sermon.
Roberts failed to raise the money but lived through the year.
Jan Dargatz, spokeswoman for Roberts, told the Morning News that she assumed that during the Dallas sermon, "in the heat of the presentation--he preaches spontaneously--made his own mistake in dates.
"He preaches and a lot of times he says, 'I don't remember saying that. But I did. There it was on tape.' "
Several television stations have refused to broadcast a January sermon in which Roberts said God told him he would die by March 30 if he did not raise $8 million for scholarships for training medical missionaries.