Preacher chastises congregation for not buying him a luxury watchZach Blass
The world of religion and watch are often irreverently linked. In watches, we constantly discuss the idea of the “holy trinity” (Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin) and our “grail” watches (the one watch we yearn for the most). But recently a Missouri preacher brought the world of luxury watches into his house of god and took things way too far. Last week in The Washington Post, Johnathan Edwards reported on a widely circulated Tik Tok video in which he explained: “Rev. Carlton Funderburke condemned his congregation not because they had sinned too much, loved God too little or done too few good deeds out in the world. Instead, Funderburke rebuked the ‘cheap sons and daughters’ of the Church at the Well in Kansas City for not ‘honouring’ him with a luxury gift.”
@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
“That’s how I know you still poor, broke, busted and disgusted, because of how you been honouring me,” Funderburke raged at his congregation in the shared Tik Tok video. “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 it nohow. I ain’t worth y’all Louis Vuitton? I ain’t worth your Prada? I’m not worth your Gucci?”
Organised religion, while a source of joy for many, has unfortunately long been plagued with corruption as well. Meant to be a space for practitioners to connect with their supreme being of choice and those like-minded in their devotion, the superficial material world, you would assume, should have no place in a space dedicated to spirituality. Yet, we often see just that – especially when you scrutinise the riches of millionaire televangelists like Joel Osteen and others (who are hilariously parodied on HBO’s The Righteous Gemstones).
Edwards details in his article: “Last year, a plumber doing maintenance work at Joel Osteen’s megachurch in Houston discovered cash and checks stashed in a bathroom wall, possibly helping to solve a $600,000 burglary seven years earlier. The plumber, Justin Cauley, scored a $20,000 reward for his find.”
Edwards explores multiple further examples of religious church leaders and wealth crossing paths such as one condemning Instagram account @PreachersNSneakers, a profile created by Ben Kirby to highlight the juxtaposition of church leaders and their grossly expensive wardrobes.
Fortunately, Rev. Carlton Funderburke’s condemning sermon is not a regular occurrence in most churches, which makes this captured chastising of his congregation that much more wild. Based on the recorded excerpt of the sermon, it would seem Funderburke had expressed his desire to be gifted a Movado watch. But after a year of waiting, clearly his prayers went unanswered. Funderburke’s rant continued: ““You can buy a Movado watch in Sam’s,” perhaps his obnoxious way of saying it is not beyond the budget of his congregation. “And y’all know I asked for one last year. Here it is the whole way in August — I still ain’t got it.”
Funderburke, while he did not respond to The Washington Post‘s request for comment, did later post a pitiful apology video on social media for his actions, deflecting with the notion his words were not about his greed but rather an attempt to better his congregation in understanding what God is saying.
My take: buy the Movado yourself pastor. The only stocking filler you deserve is coal.