Pastor Carlton Funderburke posted a video apology on Facebook Tuesday after a clip shared on TikTok by the digital media company The Kansas City Defender showed Funderburke complaining to his congregation.
“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 in the apology. “I’ve spoken to those I am accountable to and have received their correction and instruction. I have also privately apologized to our church, which has extended their love and support to me.”
TODAY reached out to the church for additional comment and has not received a response.
In the viral TikTok video, Funderburke expresses his frustration with the congregation at Church at the Well, the non-denominational church in Kansas City, Missouri, that he founded with his wife.
“You see that’s how I know you’re still poor, broke, busted and disgusted, because of how you been honouring me,” he told them. “I’m not worth your McDonald’s money? I’m not worth your Red Lobster money? I ain’t worth your St. John Knit — 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?”
Funderburke later tells the congregation the wholesale store Sam’s Club sells luxury Movado watches, according to the video.
“And y’all know I asked for one last year!” he said. “Here it is all the way in August and I still ain’t got it!. Y’all ain’t said nothing. Let me kick down the door and talk to my cheap sons and daughters.”
“That would’ve been my last day in his church,” one TikTok commenter wrote.
“Preaching about material things!” another person commented.
Funderburke said in his apology that “the video clip does not reflect my heart or my sentiments toward God’s people, yet that’s not discernible in the clip.”
“No context could erase the words I used,” he continued. “I apologize to all who have been hurt, angered or in any way damaged by my words.”
He went on to apologize to his church and other pastors for any scrutiny his sermon brought upon them.
“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,” he said. “My actions and my words are inexcusable. I offer no justification or defence. That moment was mishandled and mismanaged. I deeply regret this moment.”
Funderburke’s apology comes a month after gospel singer Kim Burrell issued multiple apologies for her comments about “broke” and “ugly” people in a church sermon.
Scott Stump is a staff reporter and the writer of the daily newsletter This is TODAY. He has been a regular contributor for TODAY.com since 2011, producing news stories and features across the trending, pop culture, sports, parents, pets, health, style, food and TMRW verticals.