One pastor out in Missouri has found himself the target of some pretty hefty criticism in the wake of a video clip that has gone viral which shows him angrily berating his congregation for failing to give him the money he wanted to go out and buy an overpriced fancy watch.
The clip in question, which was put out on TikTok by a local digital news source named The Kansas City Defender, was clipped out of a live-streamed Sunday service from The Church of The Well located in Kansas City from earlier this month. As seen in the clip, Carlton Funderburke, the pastor in question, seems to be talking down to his congregants for not “honoring” him properly by handing over enough of the cash they would spend on themselves. The clip has since ended up going viral, garnering well over 550,000 views in just four days.
“This is how I know you [are] still poor, broke, busted and disgusted, because of how you been honoring me,” exclaimed Funderburke in the viral clip. “I’m not worth your McDonald’s money? I’m not worth your Red Lobster money? I ain’t worth your St. John Knits? 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?” he continues to question the congregation, prompting several people to shout “come on” back at him. “Mother, ooh, I’m saying this, and I promise you … it’s not with respect to want. I’m saying it because I want you to understand what God is saying.”
“I even found out that Movado, you can buy a Movado watch at Sam’s [Club],” continued the rant from Funderburke, sparking a reply from at least one congregant with them shouting back “Yes, you can,” while another member of the congregation tapped him on the arm with something. “And y’all know I asked for one last year. Here it is, the whole way in August, and I still ain’t got it,” he stated. “Y’all ain’t said nothing. Let me kick down the door and talk to my cheap sons and daughters.”
The TikTok community went off on the pastor for what they saw as putting his need for material goods ahead of his duties as the pastor of that church — though some in the video seemed to call out in affirmation with the pastor’s ranting.
“Ain’t said one scripture he just preaching his feelings,” highlighted one comment on the video.
“That would’ve been my last day in his church,” chimed in another comment.
“Does anyone know which part of the gospels mentions Movado watches at Sam’s Club? Asking for a friend,” stated another.
“As a pastor, I’ve got to say this. It’s the Lords command to tithe, but it’s not the churches [sic] job to buy the pastor Anything!” another one added in.
Funderburke issued his own response to the video via a statement on Tuesday expressing his apology for the way he was acting in the video.
“Though there is context behind the content of the clip, no context will suffice to explain the hurt and anguish caused by my words,” claimed Funderburke. “I’ve spoken to those I am accountable to and have received their correction and instruction. I have also privately apologized to our church who has extended their love and support to me. … The video clip does not reflect my heart or my sentiments toward God’s people, yet that is not discernible in the clip. Therefore I offer this sincere apology to you today. 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 the Church at large for any undue scrutiny I have subjected you to. … To those who now know me because of this video clip, 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. That moment was mishandled and mismanaged. I deeply regret this moment, and I solicit your prayers and your forgiveness as we grow forward.”