OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma pastor working overseas has been arrested, accused of abusing children.
Officials in the Philippines say Pastor Tom Randall of World Harvest Ministries was taken into custody Monday after authorities raided his nursing home and orphanage in Bulacan.
Randall is accused of molesting as many as 30 children under his care.
He is also accused of sending orphaned girls to friends for sex.
However, his friends in Oklahoma don’t believe the allegations.
Jim Woodward, a professional with the PGA, says, “Those kids meant everything to him.”
John O’Dell, the director of Oklahoma’s FCA, says, “He invested his life into that country for many, many, many years.”
They called Randall the go-to guy for inspiration to golfers at clubs like Oak Tree National in Edmond.
When he wasn’t in Oklahoma preaching to athletes, he was in the Philippines running the Sankey Samaritan Orphanage.
When friends heard the allegations, they were shocked.
“We’re lost,” says Woodward. “It’s a sick feeling because you don’t know what to do.”
Jim Woodward first met Randall on the Champion’s Tour, as the tour’s chaplain.
Randall had recently resigned from that position to dedicate more time to his orphanage.
Woodward said, “We were kind of sad that we were losing him here in Edmond but little did we know we’re going to lose him to the Philippines.”
Randall indicated to friends and family recently there were people in the Philippines who didn’t like his Christian missionary work. He worried he was quote, “a wanted man.”
“He once told me there was people that didn’t like him there, that wanted him dead,” says Woodward. “I always said why do you go back? That’s how strongly he felt about those children.”
There is growing support for Randall through Facebook campaigns.
Supporters want US diplomats to get involved because the punishment for this type of crime in the Philippines is death.
Woodward says, “I hope like heck we see him again.”
In addition to the serious allegations that could bring a death sentence, friends and family say Randall’s health is also deteriorating.
They worry about him being able to handle the conditions of a foreign prison.
Click here for more information on “Free Tom Randall”.
On Friday, Randall’s wife talked about an informal hearing that was held at the detention center.
She says that while nothing was decided yet, they should know if prosecutors plan to move forward with the case by next Wednesday.