Yvonne Nance 1927-2012: Radio evangelist, Oral Roberts editor dies at 85
BY TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 3:14 AM
The tiny crosses, drawn in red ink on the pages of the book, were Yvonne Nance's way of acknowledging answered prayers.
Through her radio ministry, the Tulsa resident received many requests for prayer from listeners over the years.
She wrote each one down in a book she kept in the prayer chapel in her home.
When she got news of a request's successful outcome, she drew a cross by that entry.
A former employee of the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and onetime managing editor and writer for the ministry's magazine, Abundant Life, Nance experienced what would be one of her favorite answered prayers with the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
Years earlier, she had traveled to the region to report for the magazine, and while there, visiting underground churches, she had come to feel a special bond with the persecuted Christians.
"It was quite an experience, and she never forgot it," said her husband, Russell Nance, adding that his wife helped smuggle in Bibles while there.
"She was quite a lady," he said. "She had a big heart and lots of energy and drive. It was hard for me to keep up with her."
Yvonne Nance, who worked for the association for 25 years and also edited Oral Roberts' books before leaving to start her own ministry, died Dec. 20. She was 85.
A memorial service was held Friday at the First United Methodist Church. Freeman Harris Funeral Home handled arrangements.
A native of Tishomingo, Nance was a longtime Tulsa resident and graduate of Central High School.
As a writer for Abundant Life, Nance traveled where the job took her, including to Roberts' tent crusade sites.
The job also included accompanying Oral Roberts University's World Action Singers, a vocal group, on a two-week tour of the Soviet Union in the mid-1960s.
The performance tour doubled as a way to covertly support underground churches in the region, and although Nance went to report, it wasn't enough just to write about the experience, her husband said.
In addition to helping smuggle in Bibles, "she gave her personal Bible away. She always carried it with her but decided one of those spiritually hungry people needed it more," he said.
It was Nance's work as a reporter that led Roberts to ask her to help on his books.
Joining the evangelist on his tent crusades, she would record his messages and then transcribe and edit them for publication.
Among Roberts' books that she helped compile and edit were "Daily Guide to Miracles" and "Miracles of Seed Faith."
Retiring from the ministry in 1978, after 25 years, she heeded a call to start her own radio-based ministry, her husband said.
Calling it "Water of Life," she bought time on a local radio station and began with a 15-minute weekly broadcast.
Although she never solicited donations, they soon started to pour in, and the broadcasts grew to five days a week, with special weekend programs, on a number of stations in Tulsa and regionally for several years. She also segued into television, producing a 15-minute program on local TV.
Through it all, prayer remained central, her husband said.
"She prayed for and ministered to a lot of people, both individually and through her program," he said.
Nance's survivors include her husband, Russell Nance Jr., and a son, Russell "Rusty" Nance III.
Original Print Headline: Tulsan helped edit Oral Roberts' books, magazine
Tim Stanley 918-581-8385
Yvonne Nance, a former managing editor of Abundant Life, died Dec. 20. She was 85. Courtesy