Pastor Alphonso R. Bernard, Sr. has announced his resignation from President Donald J Trump’s evangelical advisory board. The pastor becomes the first religious leader to officially abandon the president after the events that took place in Charlottesville, VA last week.
A.R. Bernard, Sr. is the pastor of the Christian Cultural Center Megachurch in Brooklyn, New York. He publicly announced his resignation on Twitter.
In an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Pastor Bernard said he felt the president had “vacillated over the last week, especially over Charlottesville,” and he felt that he had to do more than just resign.
In his statement, Pastor Bernard said he became aware of a “deepening conflict in values between myself and the administration.” He said he stepped away from the board several months ago, then submitted his formal resignation Tuesday.
Here is the full text of his statement:
In a social and political climate such as ours, it often takes a gathering of unlikely individuals to shape the future of our nation on issues of faith and inner city initiatives. I was willing to be one of those unlikely individuals, and that is why I agreed to serve on the President’s Evangelical Advisory Board. However, it became obvious that there was a deepening conflict in values between myself and the administration. I quietly stepped away from my involvement with the Board several months ago, and submitted my letter of formal resignation as of Tues, Aug. 5, 2017.
I am always grateful and honored to by any opportunity to serve my country.
-Pastor A.R. Bernard
On Twitter Friday, he attached the statement to a post that read: “My statement regarding my resignation from the President’s Evangelical Advisory Board. “
My statement regarding my resignation from the President’s Evangelical Advisory Board. pic.twitter.com/Ocae6SQxjZ
— A. R. Bernard (@ARBernard) August 18, 2017
ABOUT THE PASTOR
Alphonso R. Bernard, Sr. (born August 10, 1953) is the pastor of the Christian Cultural Center Megachurch in Brooklyn, New York. In November 1979, A. R. Bernard, Sr. left a 10-year career with a major New York banking institution and together with his wife, Karen, went into full-time ministry. What started as a small storefront church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has blossomed into a 37,000+ member church that sits on an eleven and a half acre campus in Brooklyn, New York. He is founder and CEO of the Christian Cultural Center.
He has served as the President of the Council of Churches of the City of New York representing 1.5 million Protestants, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians. Rev. Bernard recently founded the Christian Community Relations Council (CCRC) which is a NY based not-for-profit that will serve as a central resource and coordinating body for congregations and community organizations. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the Commission of Religious Leaders (CORL).
Rev. Bernard sat on the NYC Economic Development Corporation Board for current Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; NYC School Chancellor’s Advisory Cabinet and served on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2001 Transition Team and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2014 Transition Team.
Recently, Rev. Bernard welcomed President Reuven Rivlin of the State of Israel to Christian Cultural Center where New York Congressional members and elected officials greeted him on his first visit to the United States.
Founder of the Cultural Arts Academy Charter School established in February 2010. A comprehensive educational alternative designed to meet the needs of children for the 21st century; Bernard and his wife also founded the Brooklyn Preparatory School, specializing in early childhood education in 1993.
Recognized as a New Influential – 25 Leaders Reshaping New York (Crain’s New York Business, September 2008); Most Influential NY Clergyman (NY Daily News, February 2008); Most Influential African American New Yorker (NY Post, February 2008); New York’s Most Influential (NY Magazine, 2006); Bernard was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Consulate General of Israel in NY in conjunction with the Jewish Community Relations Council and Jewish National Fund. He has been personally cited in the Congressional Records.
Rev. Bernard has a Master of Urban Studies and a Master of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary. He has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Wagner College and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary.
Bernard married his wife Karen in 1972. They have 7 sons and several grandchildren together. His eldest son, Alphonso R. Bernard, Jr., died on February 4, 2015 at the age of 39.
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