He Never Wanted to be Poor Again
By Tim Smith
The 700 Club
CBN.com -Although his family struggled financially, Bill Randall had a happy childhood. But, a simple request for jeans changed everything.
“Levi's blue jeans was a big thing when I'm growing up in the late '70s,” Bill said. “I went home and said, ‘Why don't I – why can't I have Levi's?’ Mom basically told me, ‘They cost a whole lot more money than what you wear.’ That's when I realized, you know, everybody wasn't the same.”
From that day on, Bill Randall set his mind to never be poor again. Later, he got a job in the county assessor’s office as a real estate appraiser.
“I wanted to be able to buy what I wanted to buy,” Bill said. “I wanted to be able to go where I wanted to go. I even got to the point where I felt entitled to do certain things and to receive certain things,” Bill said.
In 2002, he became the county assessor. He started making illegal real estate transactions to receive kickbacks.
“A guy came to me and said, ‘I got this building for sale. Do you think the county would be interested?’ For me it was a $50,000 kickback. That was a lot of money for me and I pursued it.”
Bill was married with a daughter but it wasn’t long before he started leading double life. Some co-workers introduced Bill to methamphetamines. Immediately, the drug had him hooked.
“Common sense will tell you these two things: it's going to hurt your body, and it's against the law. I threw both of those out the window that day,” Bill said. “Immediately I liked it and within days I was trying to figure out how I could make money off this drug.”
Bill started using his real estate kick backs to buy and sell drugs. He also embraced the party lifestyle that came with the drugs and had several affairs.
“I didn't want to get old. I wanted to get younger,” Bill said. “This powerful drug made me feel years and years younger. It made me feel great. I was going from point A to point B and it was all about me.”
But eventually, Bill would have to pay for his double life. In 2006, his wife divorced him and two years later the FBI knocked on his door with charges for his illegal deals and drug activity.
“I ended up with a 40-count indictment,” Bill said. “It ranged from conspiracy to distribute cocaine – methamphetamines. It ranged from failure to disclose financial transactions, taking a kickback on the building; there was 40 counts. And I was guilty of all 40 – every single one of them.
For several months, Bill had to await his sentence.
“At this point in time, I had been exposed,” Bill said. “I’m embarrassed, I'm ashamed, I'm humiliated, I'm scared. I have hurt everybody. Everybody.”
“I didn't know what to do and I reached out to a friend, a pastor friend, Brad Goodale.
And the first thing he said was ‘I love– I love you. You've got hard times ahead, but Bill, you've got to do the right thing.’ He said, ‘The first step is coming to church.’ I hadn't been to church in years.”
Brad spent time with Bill, praying and studying the Bible.
“I knew about Jesus. I knew what the Bible said but I didn't have a relationship with God,” Bill said. “After me finally opening the word of God up and starting to read it again, after years of not opening a Bible, I tell him I wanted to be part of the church.”
“So I walked down one Sunday morning, praise God, probably 300-400 people there, and I asked to be a part of that church, knowing that I was going to prison, and I'm weeping and I’m looking down and I addressed them and told them that I was guilty of every charge. I'm 100% guilty. And I dropped my head and they stood up and they're clapping. That's the love of Christ.”
The Sunday before leaving for prison, Bill dedicated his life to Jesus Christ.
“I felt and knew in my heart that God had just forgiven me for all the filth and sin that I had wallered around in for 5½, 6 years,” Bill said. “God forgave me.”
Bill spent almost 5 years in Federal Prison but spent his time in Bible Study and prison church services. He was released in 2013 and today he is the founder of a non-profit crisis ministry aimed at helping people in hard situation. He says it’s the most rewarding job he’s ever had.
“For me, I'm a different man and I make different decisions now,” Bill said. “I talk different. I walk different. I do things that I've never done and I do them in the name of Jesus Christ. I don't do them in the name of Bill Randall. That's a miracle.”
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