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Pastor goes viral for calling congregation ‘broke, busted, and disgusted’ for failing to buy him a new watch

The Independent logo The Independent 8/17/2022 Graig Graziosi
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Jesus once said it is "easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

Despite that warning, a pastor in Missouri went viral when he berated his congregation for failing to buy him an expensive new watch.

In the video, pastor Carlton Funderburke of the Church of the Well in Kansas City can be heard calling his congregation "poor, broke, busted, and disgusted”.

The pastor was specifically upset that he had not been able to purchase a Movado watch — which range in price from around $400 to nearly $3,300 — despite making it clear he wanted one months prior.

"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," he said during a service on 7 August. "I ain't worth your Louis Vuitton? I ain't worth your Prada? I'm not worth your Gucci?"

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He then told the church members he was going to let them know "what God is saying" and began his rebuke.

"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," he said. "Let me kick down the door and talk to my cheap sons and daughters."

It's possible that the pastor was using a metaphor to illustrate a theological point about prioritising God — with the pastor representing God and the watch representing the obedience of the Church — but that idea seems unlikely considering Mr Funderburke apologised for the outburst after it went viral.

In the apology, Mr Funderburke said the clip "does not reflect my heart of my sentiments toward God's people, yet, that's not discernible in that clip."

He apologised further and did not attempt to explain why he was so enraged over his congregation failing to buy him a watch during a period of sky-high inflation.

"No context could erase the words I used. I apologise to all the people that have been hurt or angered or anyway damaged by my words," he said. "For those who know and love me, thank you for your support. For 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."

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