The Rev. Paul C. Randolph Jr., 77, a minister who took his faith into jobs as a Philadelphia police officer and state parole agent, died of neurological degeneration Monday, Dec. 17, at St. Joseph Manor in Meadowbrook.

"He was a trailblazer," said his son, the Rev. Paul E. Randolph. "He was known as 'the minister with a badge.' "

He joined both the police force and the ministry in 1960 after completing training at the Philadelphia Police Academy and the Reformed Episcopal Seminary on Chestnut Street.

He was ordained in 1960 at Bethany Baptist Church in Philadelphia.

He was a patrolman in the city's 26th District for a year before joining the Juvenile Aid Division, where he stayed until 1968.

Seeking fewer cases, Mr. Randolph then became a parole agent for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, his son said. He retired in 1995 from the state office at Broad and Spring Garden Streets.

Mr. Randolph worked for five years as an investigator for the Montgomery County Coroner's Office. In 1966, he became pastor at Reconciliation Reformed Episcopal Church on South 18th Street in South Philadelphia, and in 1974 moved to St. Mark's Reformed Episcopal Church in Jenkintown.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Randolph graduated from Lincoln High School in 1953 and from King's College in 1957 with a bachelor's degree in history.

He entered law enforcement as a minister to reach people through faith. "My dad was big on law and order, but if he saw someone who needed help, he tried to help," his son said.

He was on the board of directors of two nonprofits, Bethanna (Home for Children) and Insight Christian Counseling, both in Southampton. He and his son founded the latter, which provides affordable counseling for military personnel, first responders, and other clerics.

Mr. Randolph enjoyed hunting and the outdoors, and was devoted to his family and two pet schnauzers. He vacationed in Cape May.

Surviving, in addition to his son, are his wife, the former Joan Walker; a granddaughter; and two grandsons.

A visitation will be from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at Davisville Church, 325 Street Rd., Southampton. It will be followed by a funeral at 10:30. Interment is in Lawnview Cemetery, Rockledge.

Donations may be made to Christian Counseling, Box 867, Huntingdon Valley, Pa. 19006.

Contact Bonnie L. Cook
at 215-854-2611 or bcook@phillynews.com.