Local Pastor Arrested in Philippines

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

HUDSON, Ohio -- A local pastor remains jailed in the Philippines while authorities there sort through accusations that an orphanage he helped build was involved in sex trafficking.

Tom Randall was recently hired as a 'pastor at large' for the Christ Community Chapel in Hudson, but the church's Senior Pastor Rev. Joe Coffey said he has known and supported Randall for nearly 20 years.

"We've been associated with Tom for a long time, probably 17 years, taking trips with him to the Philippines. He was a missionary to the Philippines and then he was the chaplain of the PGA senior tour for the past 15 years," said Coffey. "I hired him mostly to just be a pastor at large in the community because he's just the most remarkable guy I have ever been around."

Coffey said Randall went to the Philippines on a mission to help with typhoon relief and to spend time with the kids at his orphanages, something he does for one month each year supported by local churches and his ministry called World Harvest.

"World Harvest pays for everything he needs for the kids including their education, and I know he has put several kids through college, and at least one kid who he's ministering to now went to med school," said Coffey.

But Coffey said Randall also found himself in the middle of an accusation involving one of the men who run his orphanages who was accused of kissing one of the girls.

"He went over to the Philippines to investigate it. They got child services involved," said Coffey.

"The NBI, which is their version of the FBI, also got involved. They interviewed all the kids. They interviewed all the workers. They found that the girls ended up recanting their story, said they made it up about the person who runs the orphanage because he had taken privileges away from them," said Coffey.

Rev. Coffey says the matter was dropped and everyone felt it was over, but it was followed by accusations of a sex trafficking operation being run out of the orphanage. Accusations that Coffey says came from the same source.

"The Philippines is very vigilant about sex trafficking, which we want them to be," said Coffey. "They pretty much take action and ask questions later, and he was swept up into that and while that is being resolved in the Philippines, you stay in prison until your case is heard or they feel like there is insignificant evidence for it, and that's what we are praying and waiting for and until then you stay in prison."

Randall was expected to have a hearing on Friday during which supporters hoped charges against him would be dropped, but the hearing has been postponed.

In the meantime, a Facebook page called "Free Tom Randall" was growing rapidly with supporters while Coffey and others have been reaching out for diplomatic help.

"To know Tom Randall, I mean we have sent literally hundreds of our people on mission trips over there. I mean we built that orphanage for him, we have seen him interact with the kids we have seen Mr. Luchavez' interact with the kids -- there is no possibility that it is a sex trafficking thing, I mean that is beyond the pale," said Coffey.


  • Aaron

    Thank you for covering this Fox8. Hopefully publicity will help apply diplomatic pressure to resolve this situation soon!

  • BSCastro

    Everything Coffey is saying is anectodal and hearsay and is inadmissable as evidence. Also…he misrepresents the events. The previous charge that was dropped was a separate charge and is distinct and unrelated to the present charges

    So like FOX to not focus on facts.

  • Jane Doe

    Because of the sensitivity of the case I will remain anonymous. I am here in the Philippines, involved in the terrible situation of the orphanage, Sankey Samaritan Mission. I have seen Tom Randall, Toto Luchavez and Jake Luchavez. I have seen the victims and their sworn statements have been taken and are waiting for their day in court. They have been abused in so many ways. Randall knew of some of the abuse. Perhaps he was not aware of the full extent, but he chose to trust and protect the victim’s abusers. Yes, the final charges have yet to be decided, but none of the three men are innocent of all charges. However, one is definitely blinded by his own ego and pride. I want his friends and family to know the truth and know what really happened. The broken, hurting, and abused do not need thousands of people silencing them by supporting and defending their abusers. By proclaiming to the world that the allegations are completely false, Randall’s supporters only cause more pain and confusion. Randall is not in a Philippine prison or the NBI jail. He is in a detention holding center. There has been no riot and this embellishment is only hurting the victims. Yes, the victims love Randall, but he was an accessory in the crimes and the abuse that they suffered. Randall was aware of the abuse, but tried to handle things in house. He believed many lies and was apart of extensive monetary corruption and cover up. This is not some present day, apostle Paul drama like many of Randall’s supporters claim. These are real lives, real children, real abuse, and real pain. For the sake of the victims, I hope everyone will stop the bandwagon support of these men. The next few weeks will be critical for both sides. The Department of Justice will soon decide who will be prosecuted and on what charges. I hope for justice, a fair trial for these victims, and that all will know the truth. There are already many lies and misunderstandings in this case, I hope Randall and his supporters will not continue to spread any more.

    • TazG

      Well I was born in the Phil too so I know the culture there like the back of my hand. I am now living in the US 40 years. You are right lets all wait for the court of law down there to render due process and ultimately justice. But lets also hold off in pointing guilt prematurely. The Constitution there was born out of the US constitution that every citizen is innocent until found guilty by the jury of his peers. Oh I almost forgot there is no jury there. So now there is only a legal system that recently I read was fraught with so much corruption itself it can make a criminal sick and die with the injustice of the justice system. And I really dont put credence when people start making arbitrary accusations like a brave act of public service and then cowardly hide behind a Jane Doe facade. So what’s youre point?

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.