Image: Richard Roberts
Robert S. Cross  /  AP
Richard Roberts, former president of Oral Roberts University, says he resigned only after much prayer with his family.
updated 11/28/2007 5:41:53 PM ET 2007-11-28T22:41:53

The ex-president of Oral Roberts University on Wednesday told students that he did not want to resign as head of the scandal-plagued evangelical school, but he did so because God insisted.

Richard Roberts told students in the university's chapel that God told him on Thanksgiving Day that he should resign the next day.

Roberts said he resisted the idea, and that "every ounce of my flesh said 'no,'" but he prayed over the decision with his wife, Lindsay Roberts, and his father, Oral Roberts, and decided to step down.

A lawsuit accuses Roberts of lavish spending at a time when the university faced more than $50 million in debt. On Tuesday, the founder of a Christian office and education supply store chain pledged $70 million to help the university.

Roberts has previously said that God told him to deny the lawsuit's allegations.

The week the lawsuit was filed, Richard Roberts said that God told him: "We live in a litigious society. Anyone can get mad and file a lawsuit against another person whether they have a legitimate case or not. This lawsuit ... is about intimidation, blackmail and extortion."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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