Missouri pastor apologizes after calling church ‘poor, broke, busted’ in viral sermon

Pastor Carlton Funderburke scolded members of his church for not buying him luxury items.

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A Missouri pastor has issued an apology for calling his congregation “’poor, broke, busted” during a sermon that has gone viral. 

Pastor Carlton Funderburke, the senior pastor at Church at the Well in Kansas City, scolded members of his church on Aug. 7 for not buying him a Movado watch, NBC News reports. 

“This is how I know you’re still poor, broke, busted and disgusted, because of how you been honoring me … I’m not worth your McDonald’s money? I’m not worth your Red Lobster money? I ain’t worth your St. John knit — y’all can’t afford it no how. I ain’t worth y’all Louis Vuitton? I ain’t worth your Prada? I’m not worth your Gucci?” Funderburke railed in the now-viral YouTube clip.

Continued Funderburke, “Ooh … you can buy a Movado watch in Sam’s [Club] and y’all know I asked for one last year,” he reminded the congregation. “Here it is the whole way in August and I still ain’t got it. Y’all ain’t sayin’ nothin’. Let me kick down the door and talk to my cheap sons and daughters.”

His pearl-clutching comments sparked both outrage and debate across social media, prompting Funderburke to issue a video apology this week on the church’s Facebook page.

“Though there is context behind the content of the clip, no context will suffice to explain the hurt and anguish caused by my words. I’ve spoken to those I am accountable to and have received their correction and instruction,” he says. “I have also privately apologized to our church, who has extended their love and support to me.”

Funderburke says his viral sermon “does not reflect my heart or my sentiments toward God’s people, yet that’s not discernible in the clip.”

“Therefore, I offer this sincere apology to you today. No context could erase the words I used,” he continues, eventually apologizing to other pastors who may be subjected to undue scrutiny because of his comments. “I apologize to all who have been hurt, angered or in any way damaged by my words. The zeal of any presentation must be tempered with love and respect, and that was not displayed.”

Funderburke went on to thank his supporters. He also addresses those who only know him through the viral video. “I regret that your first impression of me is one of anger, hate, and resentment. My actions and my words are inexcusable. I offer no justification or defense,” he says contritely. “That moment was mishandled and mismanaged. I deeply regret this moment and I solicit your prayers and your forgiveness as we grow forward.”

He concluded with thanks and blessings, extolling listeners to choose God. “Go with God and he’ll go with you.”

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