Who is AR Bernard? Pastor at DMX's funeral slammed for interrupting late rapper's friend Jungle amid eulogy
'You've disrespected my house, regardless of how good you think what you have to say is,' Bernard told Jungle
A pastor has been slammed for reacting strongly when DMX's funeral service he was leading was interrupted by the late rapper's friend Jungle. Jungle grabbed the microphone and began speaking about his relationship with the late rapper. Reportedly, the two have known each other for a long time. Jungle got about two minutes through his eulogy before the pastor, AR Bernard, interrupted him, first saying 'excuse me brother'. A clearly agitated Jungle then began to look around, before he turned to Bernard on his right.
"You've disrespected my house, regardless of how good you think what you have to say is," Bernard told Jungle, "God bless you my brother", repeating the phrase several times as Jungle storms off the stage. The exchange was condemned on social media, with many slamming Bernard for the way he treated Jungle.
The drama at Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center caught the eye of many viewers. It also raised the question -- who is Bernard? That's what we looked into, and you'd be surprised he is no stranger to the spotlight.
Who is AR Bernard?
Alfonso Bernard is best known as the pastor of the Christian Cultural Center Megachurch in Brooklyn, New York. His story is quite interesting. He was born in 1953 to a Black mother and a Spaniard father. "The day my mother brought me out of the hospital, my father denied me," he told Charisma News. In 1957, after attempts at reconciliation, Bernard's mother decided to start afresh. With help from family, she moved to New York with her son. Bernard attended Grover Cleveland High School, and also reportedly worked in the garment district pushing racks after school.
After school, Bernard began a highly successful career in banking. He got married in the early 1970s while navigating his banking career. Then, in 1979, he decided to quit. He and Karen initially started a Bible study group, which later turned into the Household of Faith Ministries, before being rebranded as the Christian Life Center and eventually the Christian Cultural Centre (CCC). Karen and Bernard have been married for nearly 50 years, and the couple has seven sons, according to the CCC website.
Along with his spiritual journey, Bernard became a household name for his involvement in former President Trump's 'Evangelical Executive Advisory Board'. He joined the board during the 2016 campaign but quit in 2017 shortly after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. "It became obvious that there was a deepening conflict in values between myself and the administration," he told Christian Today.
Between 1969 to 1975, Bernard, who was a teenager was on a "search for truth" that led him to the Nation of Islam. Reportedly, he visited mosques in Brooklyn and Harlem and was drawn to Elijah Muhammad, the former leader of the Nation of Islam. "(Muhammad) really attempted to address the economic plight of the black man in America, which the Christian church, for me, had failed to do," Bernard said. "He began to bring dignity to the black man, and black men began to rehabilitate and reform."
But within a few years, Bernard got exhausted with the rhetoric of the Nation of Islam, and soon began to turn elsewhere. He tried Hinduism and Buddhism, before eventually returning to Christianity. As reported by Charisma News, "his hunger for spiritual truth led him to the Church of God in Christ (COGIC)". He became a member of the COGIC and was soon a licensed and ordained minister.
Eventually, he and Karen took out their life savings to open CCC, which exploded in growth in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, the church is one of the largest in the US, with members not just in the country, but internationally as well. Bernard now tours the globe, giving sermons in many different venues.