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Third Leader Faces Sexual Assault Charges at Televangelist Mark Barclay’s Michigan Church

By Liz Lykins
randy saylor michigan
Randy Saylor preaches at Living Word International Church in Midland, Mich. (Photo: Facebook)

A third leader at televangelist Mark Barclay’s Michigan church is facing charges of sexual assault, according to Midland County Circuit Court records.

Randy Saylor, associate pastor at Living Word International Church in Midland, Michigan, is the second pastor and third person involved with the church to be charged with sex crimes.

Saylor, 71, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13, and second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a relationship. His crimes allegedly happened around March 2018.

Living Word has suspended Saylor from all duties “pending the outcome of the investigation,” Living Word Church Administrator William Bailey said in a statement to los medios de comunicación locales. He added that there are no allegations that the abuse took place at the church or involved the church in any way.

“Living Word International Church is deeply saddened and concerned to address recent allegations of misconduct involving one of our ministers,” Bailey said. “This is not the first time our church has faced such a situation, and we acknowledge the pain and trauma this causes to those directly affected, as well as our entire community.”

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living word international church son in law
Living Word International Church in Midland, Michigan. (Photo: Google StreetView)

The news comes just months after Randy Saylor’s son, church elder and volunteer Brandon Saylor, was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for sexual assault crimes, according to registros de la corte. He pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with three children under 13, El Informe Roys (TRR) previously reportado.

On May 10, 44-year-old Saylor was resentenced to add lifetime electronic monitoring for the Sex Offender Registration Act to his verdict.

Then in March, James Randolph, son-in-law of Mark Barclay and a minister at the church, was arrested and charged with sex crimes against children, TRR reportado. He is currently on administrative leave at the church.

Randolph’s charges stemmed from incidents that occurred in 2011, according to registros de la corte. He is set to appear in court for a status conference hearing this June and is currently out of jail on a $5 million surety bond.

james randolph mark barclay
In September 2014, televangelist Mark Barclay (right) preaches with his son-in-law, James Randolph at Living Word Church in Midland, Mich. (Photo: Facebook)

Living Word Administrator William Bailey noted that an independent investigator recently reviewed the church’s internal safety and protective practices. He said the results were positive.

“We continue to follow our legal counsel’s advice to make certain we are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our congregation, especially our children,” Bailey said. “Our policy has always been to immediately report any misconduct to the appropriate authorities, which we consider a good practice for all parents, churches, and ministries.”

He added that, “Living Word International Church remains steadfast in our mission to serve and support our community with integrity, compassion, and the love of Christ.”

Mark Barclay claims he hacked teens’ social media accounts

While three leaders face charges, messages from lead pastor Mark Barclay raised concerns.

en un 2017 sermon, Barclay seems to boast about hacking into teenagers’ social media accounts to show how unsafe media platforms can be. He also acknowledges that one of the accounts of a teenage girl he hacked into had an inappropriate picture.

In the sermon, shared by YouTube user Ken Mattson, Barclay described how he received a code from a friend high up in investigative law enforcement to gain access to other people’s private social media accounts and messages.

Barclay got access to one girl’s account and then started posting selfies of himself on it. He described when the girl realized a pastor had access to her account.

“I remember (to) one gal I said, ‘This is your pastor, blouse yourself,’” Barclay said. “She was, you know, sharing inappropriate stuff with her boyfriend or maybe the whole youth group.” Barclay gestured to his chest while mentioning the indecent content.

He added, “People are dumb enough to think it’s totally private.”

The audience laughed and he continued, “Keep looking at me like that and I’m using that code on your stuff.”

Barclay said he shared this story to highlight to his church’s youth group how unsafe online content can be.

randy saylor
Mark Barclay (center) praises Randy Saylor (right) at Living Word International Church in Midland, Mich. (Screengrab)

This isn’t the only time Barclay has had troubling messages.

He has also preached several messages with ominous messages to whistleblowers, TRR previamente reportado. Barclay has threatened whistleblowers in his sermons, saying they’ve “cursed themselves” and are “evil.”

Freelance journalist Liz Lykins escribe for WORLD Magazine, Christianity Today, Ministry Watch, and other publications.



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12 Respuestas

  1. Is this a church or a cult a la Jim Jones or David Koresh? Or this a pedophile ring (and not underneath a pizza restaurant mind you)?

    1. It is sure looking like a pedophile ring. I cannot imagine parents not trying very hard to keep their own children safe. At this point, going to this “church” is child abuse on the part of the parents.

  2. ” Church Administrator William Bailey said in a statement to local media. He added that there are no allegations that the abuse took place at the church or involved the church in any way.”
    What is he talking about? The perp is their pastor. Of COURSE it involves the church!

  3. What kind of undiscerning people are still attending this church? So many Christians seem to have lost common sense and agency when confronted by such alarming red flags coming from the pulpit and the behavior of their leadership. I don’t think the authoritarian model is serving evangelicalism well, if you look at all of the well-documented abuse going on.

    1. Precisely, Mr. Wolfe! Accountability begins and ends with the people in the pews. Sadly, they face the same dilemma as those on the platform or the elder board, that dilemma being that no choice is cost free. To do something or say something or to demand answers will usually carry an related cost for engaging those actions. That cost is usually immediate and often personal. So be it. A choice to do nothing also carries a cost, but it is usually more distant, more vague, etc. The difference between the two is that the cost of doing something usually accrues to the one taking the action. Alternatively, the cost for doing nothing always accrues to the next victim, or the victim yearning for a hearing or resolution of the damage to them. TNSTAAFL* My view is…..step up or step off. If we don’t step up we are, at best, dead weight; at worst we are aiding and abetting if there is something going on. If we can’t look that person in the mirror in the eye on this issue, we have work to do. Step up or step off.

      *There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

    2. Agreed, Barney. It is the authoritarian model that seems to empower both the victimizers and disable the common sense and wills of the victims. It is the antithesis of what Jesus modeled.

  4. Do people understand that this so-called “church” is the MOST unsafe place in their community for children? Why would that place continue to have anyone attending? It would be safer to drop kids off at a park after midnight than allow them to cross the threshold of such a den of iniquity.

  5. One of my old blogs from 5 years ago there abouts was titled: Mark T. Barclay: Pastor, Prophet, Pervert (the 3 P’s of Barclay). I wrote that because the Pastor was boasting about looking at underaged youth girls who he says we’re unclothed after breaking into their social media accounts. Very sickening!

    Back then I wrote: “To be frank, I think that this is only the tip of the iceberg and in the future we will see more of his(Barclay)ungodliness come to light because of his Trinitarian heresies—one can’t have good fruit without the Trinity.”

    I could see it coming–I pray justice for the victims and that more would come forward into the light.

    1. Kenneth Mattson. I would really like to connect with you. I’ve read your articles on WordPress. My husband and I attended here for 25 years

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Hola. Vemos que este es el tercer artículo de este mes que ha encontrado que vale la pena leer. ¡Estupendo! ¿Consideraría hacer una donación deducible de impuestos para ayudar a nuestros periodistas a continuar informando la verdad y restaurar la iglesia?

Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $50 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Ghosted: An American Story” by Nancy French.