Pastor Shames His "Poor, Broke, Busted" Congregation For Not Buying Him Luxury Movado Watch

"No context could erase the words I used," he apologized later.

A Kansas City, Missouri, pastor faced a firestorm of online backlash for lambasting his congregation as "poor, broke, busted and disgusted" for not buying him a luxury watch. Now he's issued an apology. But some social-media commenters don't seem inclined to forgive and forget. Read on to find out what happened, and how online reaction unfolded. 

1
"I'm Not Worth Your McDonald's Money?"

TikTok/@kcdefender

On Aug. 7, Carlton Funderburke, senior pastor at Church at the Well, delivered a sermon criticizing church members for not giving him a Movado watch he'd asked for.

"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 nohow. I ain't worth y'all Louis Vuitton? I ain't worth your Prada? I'm not worth your Gucci?" he said in a video clip posted on TikTok.

2
"I Asked For One Last Year"

MOVADO LUXURY WATCH SITTING ON COUNTER AT HOME
Shutterstock

In the video, Funderburke is seen telling the congregation that a Movado watch can be bought at Sam's Club, a Midwestern competitor to Costco. "And 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. "Y'all ain't said nothing. Let me kick down the door and talk to my cheap sons and daughters."

3
Social Media Shaming Followed

YouTube/WhatThePaperSaid

The video, originally posted by the Kansas City Defender, quickly went viral, and Funderburke didn't attract too many supporters.

"That sanctuary should be empty next Sunday," said one commenter.

"Does anyone know which part of the gospels mentions Movado watches at Sam's Club? Asking for a friend," said another.

"So isn't that the pot calling the kettle broke because he's obviously broke busted and disgusted if he haven't purchased his own watch yet," offered another commenter.

"As a pastor, I've got to say this. It's the Lord's command to tithe, but it's not the churches job to buy the pastor anything," wrote another.

@kansascitydefenderKansas City Pastor GOES OFF on congregation calling them "poor, broke busted and disgusted" because they didn't give him enough money to buy a new watch he's been wanting. It's pastors like these that give the church a bad name smh an also why a lot of our generation left the church. What y'all think? 🤔♬ original sound – kcdefender

4
Pastor Released Apology Video on Tuesday

YouTune/@thewellkc

On Tuesday, Funderburke released an apology video, calling his comments during the sermon "inexcusable." 

"Though there is context behind the content of the clip, no context will suffice to explain the hurt and anguish caused by my words," he said. "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."

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5
Apology Video Not Universally Accepted

YouTube/WhatThePaperSaid

Funderburke said Tuesday that his comments do "not reflect my heart or my sentiments toward God's people."

"Yet, that's not discernable in the clip," he added. "Therefore, I offer this sincere apology to you today. No context could erase the words I used."

But some didn't seem eager to accept the mea culpa. 

"Is it me or did he seem more genuine in the sermon and not this "apology"?" wrote one commenter on the Kansas City Defender's TikTok post. 

"You meant what you said, and said what you meant," said another.

"He's just sorry it went viral," said another.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more
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