US pastor calls congregation ‘cheap’ for not buying him a luxury watch

·2 min read

A Missouri pastor posted a mea culpa to social media after blasting his congregation as “poor, broke, busted and disgusted”, for not buying him a luxury watch.

Pastor Carlton Funderburke, of the non-denominational Church of the Well in Kansas City, also called his followers “cheap” in a 7 August sermon during which he pointed out that the Movado watch he said he wanted could be purchased at the warehouse store Sam’s Club.

“Y’all know I asked for one last year. Here it is all the way in August and I still ain’t got it,” he said in a minute-long clip of his remarks that went viral on TikTok.

“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 y’all Louis Vuitton? I ain’t worth your Prada? I’m not worth your Gucci?

“Y’all ain’t said nothing. Let me kick down the door and talk to my cheap sons and daughters.”

This week, Funderburke, one of two senior pastors at the church alongside his wife Sylvarena, posted a video statement to Facebook apologizing for his sermon, which he said was “inexcusable” and “does not reflect my heart or my sentiments towards God’s people”.

“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 said.

“I have also privately apologized to our church, who has extended their love and support to me. No context could erase the words I used. I apologize to all who have been hurt, angered or in any way damaged by my words.

“I apologize to every preacher and pastor who must stand up under the controversy I have caused.”

A call to the Church of the Well seeking comment was not immediately answered.

According to the church’s website, Funderburke, a Kansas City native, is “a highly sought after conference speaker and lecturer”.

He claims to be the founder of a non-profit organization “linking corporate America to grass roots Christian organizations, creating synergy, funding and partnerships”.

His website also features a donations page, seeking funds to “financially support this ministry in all needed areas”.