Rev. A.R. Bernard is the Founder, Senior Pastor and CEO of Christian Cultural Center (CCC) located in Brooklyn, New York, United States. He is also the President of the Council of Churches of the City of New York representing 1.5 million Protestants, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians.
He has a reputation as a kingmaker, or “spiritual power broker"; when he speaks, everyone takes notes, not just the younger congregants.
His church, the largest in New York City, has long been considered a required stop on the way to City Hall and beyond.
Bernard left his 10-year banking career in 1979 to go into ministry full time. As the bible study group grew, so did the need for a facility. By the mid-1990s, his church was so popular that it had rapidly expanded from a congregation of 685 to more than 10,000. People came from all five boroughs, as they do today, some traveling hours to do so.
As Christian Life Center began experiencing exponential growth - four Sunday services, lines forming at 4:00am, and overflow rooms filled to capacity, the ministry was quickly outgrowing its home on Linden Boulevard. The need for a larger facility was evident and in 1995 a vacant lot adjacent to Starrett City was purchased and construction followed immediately. On December 31, 2000, under the leadership of Bernard, Christian Cultural Center took its new name and moved into its new home. The 6.5-acre (26,000 m2) sanctuary and conference center also includes a chapel, bookstore, television production facilities and state of the art youth center. Christian Cultural Center, one of the largest independent churches in the United States, exemplifies a new paradigm in the worship experience.
Rev. Bernard remains a highly sought after speaker, teacher and community leader. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and internationally addressing religious organizations, businessmen and political dignitaries.