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Televangelist Mark Barclay’s Son-In-Law Charged with Child Sex Crime

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

James Randolph, son-in-law of televangelist Mark Barclay and a minister at Living Word International Church in Midland, Mich., has been charged with seven felonies, including a child sex crime, court records show.

Randolph faces two charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a relationship, four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and one count of accosting children for immoral purposes for crimes allegedly occurring in 2011, according to court records. Currently out of jail on a $500,000 cash bond, Randolph will return to court for a probable cause hearing this Thursday.

james randolph
James Randolph (Photo: Midland County Jail)

The 57-year-old has been placed on administrative leave at Living Word, church leaders told Midland Daily News. Living Word Church was founded by Mark Barclay, whose television ministry reaches millions of viewers each week, according to the Mark Barclay Ministries website. Also serving in pastoral ministry at Living Word is Barclay’s son, Josh Barclay.

“We are aware of the arrest of James Randolph, one of our ministers on staff, and the allegations against him,” Living Word Church Pastor Josh Barclay told Midland Daily News. “Importantly, the allegations do not involve the church, and the alleged acts did not take place in the church.

“Living Word International Church takes seriously our responsibility to ensure the safety of our congregation, and we are committed to taking any necessary steps to protect the congregation and the church.”

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

The charges against Randolph come months after Brandon Saylor, 44, an elder and son of associate pastor, Randy Saylor, was charged with nine felony counts, according to court records.

Brandon Saylor faces six counts of criminal sexual conduct and three counts of accosting children for immoral purposes for crimes that allegedly took place in 2010. He remains in custody on a $500,000 bond. 

Living Word’s environment and culture have become “nauseating” and “cultish,” former church members Dan and Dana Stahl told The Roys Report (TRR) in a statement.

The Stahls said that since Saylor’s arrest, several church members have come forward with additional accusations against Saylor. However, the Stahls say Mark Barclay has tried to intimidate congregants from coming forward and sharing.

Additionally, Mark Barclay claimed that Brandon’s charges were a “home problem” and not a “church problem,” the Stahls added.

Mark Barclay asked for donations for accused pastor 

Mark Barclay has allegedly financially supported another pastor accused of sexual crimes, Keith Johnson, the Stahls said.

In summer 2022, a lawsuit was filed against Johnson and the Christian Centre Academy in Saskatoon, Canada. Johnson served as the academy’s director and pastor of Mile Two Church, Inc.

More than 30 former students allege in the suit that Johnson, the school, and the church subjected them to widespread deprivations and violence that included sexual, physical and psychological abuse and homophobic exorcisms. They are suing for $25 million in damages.

keith johnson mark barclay
Keith Johnson preaches at Living Word International Church in Midland, Mich. (Screengrab)

After the news broke, Johnson evaded officials who tried to serve him the suit, CBC reported. Johnson then was spotted at Accelerate Church in Amarillo, Texas, according to a church livestream video. The church partners with Mark Barclay Ministries and will host a conference for the ministry in 2024.

The video, which has been taken down online but was captured by the Stahls, shows Barclay preaching at the Texas church. Barclay calls out to Johnson in the audience and tells congregants that Johnson needs a miracle. Barclay then starts a “love offering” for Johnson and pledges to give the accused pastor $1,000 as “seed money.”

“Barclay is funneling money to a known absconder and is encouraging others to do the same,” the Stahls said. “The stench really could not be any worse.”

mark barclay
Mark Barclay preaches at Saskatoon Christian Centre in Saskatoon, SK, Canada. (Screengrab)

The Stahls, who ran a church nursery at Living Word for more than 22 years, told TRR they felt the need to speak up about what’s happening at the church. They said they are unsure if congregants are aware of what’s happening.

The couple said the church brainwashed them not to question leadership, despite the red flags they saw.

Mark Barclay vied for donations for luxury jet

Barclay’s church and ministry have been embroiled in controversy for years.

In 2013, Barclay asked his followers for $79,000 to repaint a luxury jet he said “actually belongs” to the Lord, according to The Christian Post.

mark barclay private jet
Televangelist Mark Barclay pictured with his ministry’s Citation III 650 private jet. (Screengrab)

While making the donation request, Barclay encouraged generosity by citing Matthew 6:19-21.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . .” Barclay told his supporters in a letter.

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



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15 Responses

  1. There has been about 5 preachers busted within the last week.

    Realtors, insurance agents and lawyers have to take periodic Continuing Education classes on racist practices to avoid in their professions.

    Maybe we should institute the same kind of thing for pastors to remind them it’s not ok to have sex with children.

  2. Well, well, well. One can’t help but wonder why the one thing religion cannot do is keep its frontmen from abusing anyone they can. Glad there may be some accountability, but there will never be peace for these children. Their years of therapy must be fully paid by this organization. And, may they never trust in anyone in any church anywhere again. (May he finish his days in prison and may the ministry be closed.) Leaving after 40 years and remaking our lives was the best decision we ever made (and we were indoctrinated in from birth).

    1. If you put out narcissist bait, you’ll attract narcissists. To make the church into a profitable corporation for the benefit of the privileged few: you must first ignore Jesus, that is, stop being a practicing Christian, in order to do that. And I really don’t care how loud and long these celebrity pastors proclaim their allegiance to Christ or to the Bible. Their actions unequivocally show the contrary.

      1. True! It’s the enterprise of religion that entices entreprenurial types to the ministry. If they did not see the potential for authority, riches and celebrity they would not probably enter the ministry.

  3. One thing that is becoming more and more apparent to me as I read these sad stories on the Roys Report, is the breathtaking gullibility and naïveté of virtually all of these evangelical congregations. I have to conclude that it is the authoritarian, top down, do-as-your-told, no questions asked mind-set that is responsible for this situation, and it clearly is not healthy if you look at the fruit that is constantly being borne. These congregants clearly are sheep, and I don’t mean that in a good sense. They are taught to be credulous, rather than to the develop the critical thinking skills which would enable them to avoid being manipulated and used. They are taught to distrust their common-sense, and not to believe their own eyes and senses. I believe that there is a deeper crisis in Christendom than most of us realize.

    1. One could make a case that people everywhere are gullible sheep. Think of the huge amounts of money extorted by telemarketers. It’s just a phone call…from a stranger…yet it works. People send money and those businesses rake it in. Vitamins and supplements. Miracle cures. Etc, etc…

      1. It works even better if you spout the Christianese lingo and jargon and have a fish on your website.

        Evangelicals are perhaps the most gullible.

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Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $30 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Hurt and Healed by the Church” by Ryan George.