T.L. Osborn was a renowned Pentecostal evangelist, author, and singer who preached the gospel to millions of people in over 100 nations. He was known as “the Father of the Gospel” and “the Apostle of Love” for his message of God’s grace and power. He died on February 14, 2013, at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, surrounded by his family. But what was the cause of his death, and what was his legacy?
Early Life and Calling
T.L. Osborn was born as Tommy Lee Osborn on December 23, 1923, in Grady County, Oklahoma. He was the youngest of 13 children, born to Charles and Mary Osborn, who were farmers and musicians. He had a difficult childhood, as his father was an alcoholic and his mother was mentally ill. He ran away from home at the age of 15 and moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a waiter and a model. He also met his future wife, Daisy Washburn, who was a singer and evangelist.
He experienced a Christian conversion in 1937, at the age of 13, when his brother took him to a Pentecostal church in Mannford. He felt a call to be an evangelist in 1939, when he was 15, while milking the cows on his father’s farm. He dropped out of school and joined E.M. Dillard, a traveling preacher, as his assistant. He also became friends with Oral Roberts, another young evangelist, who would inspire his ministry.
Missionary Work and Breakthrough
In 1942, he married Daisy and they began their ministry together. They traveled across the US, preaching in tents and churches. They also went to India as missionaries in 1945, but they faced many challenges and opposition. They returned to the US after a year, discouraged and disillusioned. They realized that they needed a new approach to reach the masses with the gospel.
They were influenced by the healing revival that swept the nation in the late 1940s and early 1950s, led by evangelists like William Branham, Jack Coe, and Oral Roberts. They saw the power of God heal the sick and deliver the oppressed, and they decided to incorporate healing and miracles into their ministry. They also adopted the use of mass media, such as radio, television, and films, to spread their message.
They launched Osborn Ministries International in 1949, and began to conduct crusades around the world, especially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They witnessed thousands of people come to Christ, and many signs and wonders follow their preaching. They also trained and equipped local pastors and leaders to continue the work of evangelism and church planting. They established the Osborn National Missionary Assistance Program, which helped more than 150,000 new churches to be planted.
Books and Songs
T.L. Osborn was also a prolific writer and singer, who produced many books and songs that influenced generations of Christians. Some of his best-selling books include Healing the Sick, The Message That Works, and Soulwinning. He also recorded several albums, such as The Gospel According to T.L. and Daisy Osborn, and The Good News Today. He also produced the Osborn DocuMiracle films, which documented the miracles and testimonies from his crusades. These films were translated into 70 languages and shown in 115 nations.
He wrote his books and songs with a simple and clear style, that conveyed the love and power of God. He emphasized the themes of salvation, healing, deliverance, and prosperity, as the benefits of the gospel. He also taught the principles of faith, confession, and authority, as the keys to living a victorious Christian life. He inspired many people to believe God for the impossible, and to share the gospel with others.
Personal Life and Death
T.L. Osborn was married to Daisy for 53 years, until she died in 1995, at the age of 70. According to Osborn Ministries International, the official cause of her death was a heart attack. However, some sources suggest that she had been suffering from cancer for some time before her death. She had been hospitalized for several weeks prior to her passing, and her husband and children were by her side when she breathed her last.
He continued to travel and preach for another 15 years, until he was 89. He also mentored and supported many young ministers and missionaries, who carried on his vision and mission. He was known for his humility, generosity, and compassion, as well as his passion and zeal for the gospel. He was respected and honored by many Christian leaders and organizations, and received several awards and honorary degrees.
He died on February 14, 2013, at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, surrounded by his family. The cause of his death was not publicly announced, but according to Wikipedia, he was featured on the Tony Awards’ “In Memoriam 2020” list. He was cremated, and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
He is survived by his daughter, LaDonna, who is also an evangelist and the president of Osborn Ministries International. He also has five grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. He is remembered as a pioneer and a legend of Pentecostalism, who touched millions of lives with the gospel. He was T.L. Osborn, and he will be missed.