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Pastor's Sermon Goes Viral After Calling Congregants 'Poor, Broke, Busted, and Disgusting'

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

Pastor Carlton Funderburke, Senior Pastor of Church at the Well in Kansas City.

Pastor Carlton Funderburke, Senior Pastor of Church at the Well in Kansas City.

On Sunday, August 7, 2022, Senior Pastor Carlton Funderburke of the Church at the Well in Kansas City, Missouri preached about his congregation in his sermon that has gone viral. It has gone viral not because the sermon was anointed or because the pastor gave good advice for Christian living.

The sermon went viral because of the disturbing descriptions Funderburke called his congregants. What is also disturbing is the reason he called them "broke, busted, and disgusted." He placed those labels on them because they did not chip in to give him an expensive watch he had requested.

Hear the words out of Pastor Calton Funderburke's own mouth. Listen to the commentary that follows.

The Watch

The pastor requested an expensive watch from his congregation a year ago. He asked them to chip in and buy him a Movado watch which costs from $400 to $3,300.

In the video, Pastor Funderburke can be heard criticizing his members before the actual rebuke came.

"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 Knits – y'all can't afford it no how. I ain't worth your Louis Vuitton? I ain't worth your Prada? I'm not worth your Gucci?"

After that rant, the pastor told his church members he was going to let them know what God is saying. Then he began to rebuke them.

"Oh, you can buy a Movado [watch] at Sam's [Club] and you know I asked for one last year. And here it is all the way in August and I still ain't got it. Let me kick down the door and talk to my cheap sons and daughters."

Movado Watch

Movado Watch

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The Apology

Days later, the senior pastor apologized for his outburst only after the sermon went viral. He called his words "inexcusable." Even though he apologized for the words he used, he did not apologize for his request for an expensive watch at a time when prices are the highest they have been in 40 years. People are trying to raise their families by keeping a roof over their heads and food on their tables. Apparently, getting their pastor a luxury watch wasn't at the top of their list.

Social Media Comments

By Wednesday, August 10, the video had been viewed more than 550,000 times, and the numbers go up after more people hear about what the pastor said and the reason he said it. The apology video has been viewed only 34,000 times.

Many people have condemned Funderburke on social media for preaching about a material item. He used the Lord's Day and the church's pulpit to reprimand his congregation instead of preaching about the sovereignty of God and the saving power of Jesus Christ.

One commenter said that would have been her last day in that church. Many others share the same sentiment.

Another person joked, "I missed that scripture in the Bible about the Movado watch."

Most of the comments came from people who do not belong to the Church at the Well. They said they would never join a church like that. They added that they go to church to hear a word from God. They agreed that God would never approve of what happened at that church on August 7.

A commenter hit the nail on the head after hearing a reason for the rant. The person said now the public knows where Carlton Funderburke's priority lies.

One person indicated that nobody goes to church to hear those words coming out of a pastor's mouth. They go to church for encouragement to live a righteous life to please God.

A member of the clergy apologized for what the pastor did. He asked the public not to judge all pastors by what Funderburke said. He assured people that not all pastors would make a request like that, and surely they would not talk to his congregation that way.

Another comment came in the form of a question: "Didn't the pastor know that his sermon was being taped and would be seen by many people?"

Lingering Questions

There are several questions that are lingering.

  • Will the pastor eventually get the luxury watch from the congregation?
  • Will the pastor's superiors reprimand him for his words and cautioned him not to say them again?
  • Will some faithful members leave the church?
  • Will people join the church any time in the future?
  • Is this the pastor's usual style of preaching?
  • Why were the people shouting their approval when the pastor was berating them?

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