A R BERNARD MINISTRIES
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Pastor Bernard of A R Bernard Ministries is the President of the Council of Churches of the City of New York representing 1.5 million Protestants, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians.
He is also the founding Pastor and CEO of the Christian Cultural Center (CCC) located in Brooklyn, New York City, United States. This faith-based organization currently has over 29,000 members and is situated on an 11-acre campus.
Born in Panama in 1953, Pastor Bernard came to New York at the age of four with his mother and they settled in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.
A R Bernard was part of the 1960s desegregation movement in the public school system being bussed to school in Ridgewood, Queens and then attended Grover Cleveland High School.
In order to help his mother in their single parent household, Pastor Bernard worked after school in the garment district pushing garment racks for $2.00 per hour.
In his senior year, he left the garment district for a job at Bankers Trust Company. Beginning as a clerk in the Consumer Lending Division he earned a number of promotions leading to Operations Specialist in the Consumer Lending Division.
Bernard's former Muslim coreligionists were upset that he became a Christian. Rev. Bernard left the banking world to answer his calling to full time ministry in 1979.
Starting with a Bible Study group in a kitchen, he and his wife Karen took their savings and rented a small storefront in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn.
As his ministry grew, so did the need for a larger facility. In 1979, Household of Faith Ministries was incorporated with A R Bernard Ministries with Pastor Bernard as its president and CEO.
In 1988 A R Bernard Ministries purchased an abandoned supermarket in Brownsville and renovated it into a 1000 seat sanctuary complete with ministry offices and a bookstore. Christian Life Center became its new name and the ministry moved into its new property in June 1989 with 625 members.
A R Bernard Ministries was quickly outgrowing its home on Linden Blvd. With four services at capacity, and overflow rooms full, the need for a larger facility was evident. In 1995 a vacant lot adjacent to Starrett City was purchased and soon after, construction began.
Christian Cultural Center took its new name and moved into its new home. The 6.5-acre sanctuary and conference center also includes a café, flower shop, newsstand and restaurant.
A new example serving as a model in houses of worship, Christian Cultural Center is one of the largest independent churches in the tri-state area, valued at over forty million dollars, and its President and CEO, Rev. A.R. Bernard, Sr. remains a highly sought after speaker, teacher and community leader.
Future expansion on the newly purchased 4.5 acre of land adjacent to the Cultural Center will include a 500-seat theatre for the performing arts, a botanical garden modeled after the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington, DC, a youth sport complex and senior housing as well as other community development projects.
A R Bernard Ministries outreach programs under Pastor Bernards leadership include, a food pantry serving the homeless and those in need, Prison Ministry, Literacy and Sonrise an aid to substance abusers–assisting with counseling and an extensive referral system.
A partnership was formed with JHS 275, the neighborhood middle school. As part of that partnership A R Bernard Ministries provided computers, sponsored trips to Washington DC, provided the use of church facilities for their graduations and initiated an annual scholarship to those graduating classes.
is now a half a million dollar per year business, serving church members and ministries both locally and internationally.
It is a provider of bibles, books, recordings, videos and gifts and is among the larger Christian Bookstores in New York.
In 1990 while A R Bernard Ministries continued to grow, A R Bernard was asked to serve on the Board of Directors for the Christian Men’s Network (CMN) to help restructure the organization.
During his six years on the board, CMN grew to an organization with 74 international offices and with a presence in approximately 150 nations. In addition to serving as Treasurer for the board, Rev. Bernard was one of their most requested speakers.
With the passing of Dr. Edwin Louis Cole in 2002 he became the President of CMN. A R Bernard has traveled extensively throughout the United States, the Caribbean Islands and to the continents of Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe addressing religious organizations, businessmen and political dignitaries.
A R Bernard Ministries is also the founder of Brooklyn Preparatory School (BPS) in New York City. Formed in 1993, BPS is a premiere early education institution dedicated to serving young children, ages 3-6.
of reading and 96th in the national percent of mathematics.
Along with a number of ministers and not-for-profit representatives, A R Bernard Ministries formed the Christian Renaissance Corporation, established to foster urban revitalization through an alliance of church and para-church organizations.
They have already sponsored a forum on Faith-Based Initiatives featuring Dr. John DiIulio and "United We Rise", a Memorial Service in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks which was broadcast live via satellite to over 25 sites throughout the tri-state area, churches around the country and 1,700 stations throughout parts of North and Latin America.
It has since been rebroadcast throughout the nation and internationally via television and radio. CRC currently represents a constituency of over 100,000 people.
Presidents, Senators, and a host of other influential figures have honored Bernard for his outstanding leadership and achievements. New York Magazine named Bernard as one of their "Most Influential New Yorkers".
In February 2007, Bernard was named by a combination of organizations in the New York Daily News as the number one religious leader in New York.
by the Consulate General of Israel in New York, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish National Fund.
A R Bernard Ministries has been cited in the Congressional record at least twice. Rev. Bernard sits on several different boards including Anchor House, and Teen Challenge – a teen substance abuse program with a 70% success rate.
In addition, under Commissioner Howard Safir, he sat on the NYC Police Department Advisory Board for Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect.
Rev. Bernard presently serves as Chaplain to the Division of Law Enforcement of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Police. He is also a board member of the New York City Economic Development Corporation ("EDC") appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a member of the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Public Library.
Prompted by Bernard's influence as a life coach to many high profile individuals, People Magazine recently highlighted his bi-coastal study group, which remains well attended by celebrities, sports figures and entertainers.
Media coverage has included New York, Charisma, The New York Times, Class Magazine, Fox News Channel, NBC's Today Show, New York Daily News, CBS' Window on America, The 700 Club, TBN's Praise the Lord, Tony Brown's Journal and various national and local news programs.
Faith in Practice with A R Bernard and The A R Bernard Show.
These programs are aired nationally and internationally on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and FamilyNet as well as in syndication on various local networks. In addition to Pastor Bernard's multiple television and radio broadcasts, he is a frequent host of TBN’s Praise the Lord program.
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