, who was hired in September as pastor-at-large at Christ Community Chapel
, was arrested on undetermined charges Jan. 12 while in Manila doing missionary work and is being held on charges of human trafficking.
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and Filipino nationals were arrested Jan. 12 in Manila while doing typhoon relief work and missionary work at an orphanage established by World Harvest Ministries.
The mission ministry, which was founded in 1990 by Randall
wife, Karen, is responsible for planting churches and providing a million meals as emergency relief after the typhoon.
A hearing scheduled Friday to determine whether charges would be dropped against Randall
Coffey, who describes himself as a close personal friend of Randall
for about 20 years, said Randall
has pneumonia and a urinary tract infection.
in trouble physically.
left the Philippines [where he
wife had moved in 1979] because he
had toxic poisoning.
Because of that, his
immune system is compromised.
Being in Manila, where the pollution is horrible, is jeopardizing his
health," said Coffey, who has been overwhelmed by the number of people contacting him to vouch for Randall's integrity and to ask how they can help.
Randall joined the pastoral staff at Christ Community Chapel in September, several months after he and his wife moved to Stow from Edmond, Okla.
retired last summer after more than 13 years as chaplain for the PGA Champions Tour
As chaplain of the senior tour, he
traveled to each tournament and conducted Bible study for golfers and their families, caddies and officials.
Schofield said the Randalls left in December for the Philippines, where they have done missionary work for decades.
The couple has had a relationship with Christ Community Chapel
(formerly known as Hudson Community Chapel) for about 20 years.
During the recent visit, allegations of misconduct surfaced against Randall
and two of his
Christ Community Chapel
leadership was told that the allegations could not be substantiated through an investigation.
But a subsequent complaint was filed with the U.S. Embassy
in the Philippines and Homeland Security
, which resulted in Randall's arrest.
Coffey describes Randall
as a missionary of more than 30 years and an athlete who has taken players around the world to participate in basketball games and share the gospel.
According to his website (tomrandall.org), Randall participated in four sports - basketball, soccer, cross country and golf - at Judson College near Chicago, were he earned his undergraduate degree in human relations in 1976.
The two-time Illinois basketball all-star was inducted into Judson's hall of fame in 2003 and his
jersey number was retired.
has also performed a unicycle and juggling show in Olympic stadiums, on the Wide World of Sports in Australia and at universities, prisons, military bases and leper colonies.
A report published on Inquirer.net
, a Filipino national news website, states Randall
was arrested for "allegedly abusing children" and that Toto Luchavez and Jake Luchavez were also arrested for allegedly sending "orphaned girls to friends for sex.
The report describes Randall
as a former player in the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association
(the forerunner to the Philippine Basketball Association) and states that the three men are facing charges of human trafficking, rape and child abuse.
Coffey, who shared some of his
thoughts in his
blog (joecoffeytalk.com), said he
is still trying to figure out what happened and is wondering if someone targeted Randall
"From what I understand, there was an allegation against a worker at his
orphanage by a 15-year-old girl who said the worker kissed her
called children's services to investigate.
"Sex trafficking is a heinous thing and as someone who has known Tom
for 20 years, I can't believe there is any truth to it.
David Joyce, R-Russell Twp., said "our office has reached out to both the U.S. Embassy in Manila and the State Department regarding Rev. Randall's case and we're hopeful for a resolution soon."
Until things have been resolved, Schofield and Coffey said they and the Christ Community Chapel
family will continue to pray for Randall
wife, who is in Manila.
"I love Tom like a brother.
has an infectious personality.
loves people and he
I know that is why he
has gained favor with the guards and inmates because, even locked up in that cell, Tom
is doing what Tom does - he's
sharing God's love with them and praying with them," Coffey said.
has been able to call - but mostly text - me periodically.
I'm pretty sure that's because of the favor he
has found with the guards.
The last text I got said 'trouble in the cell block.' That's a little disconcerting.
We just want him home."
is expected to be the topic of the sermon and the focus of prayer this weekend at Christ Community Chapel
, which has four campuses in Hudson, Aurora, Stow and Akron's Highland Square.
Members of the church have set up a Facebook page (Free Tom Randall) to encourage prayer and to support the effort to get Randall