In November, of 1979 A. R. Bernard left a 10 year career with a major New York banking institution to go into full time ministry. What started as a small storefront church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has now blossomed into a 35,000+ member church that sits on an 11.5 acre campus in the Spring Creek section of Brooklyn, New York. He is now founder and CEO of Christian Cultural Center.
A. R. Bernard Sr. is also the President of the Council of Churches of the City of New York representing 1.5 million Protestants, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians.
Bernard sits on the NYC Economic Development Corporation Board; Senator Pete V. Domenici's Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force; NYC School Chancellor’s Advisory Cabinet and served on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2001 Transition Team.
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.
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. In 1993, Bernard founded Brooklyn Preparatory School , a premier early childhood education program. He continues to revitalize communities; partnering with such organizations as Common Ground to build and develop affordable housing in the East New York/Canarsie section of Brooklyn and led a transformational team to purchase one of the nation’s largest Mitchell Lama Programs (Starrett City, Brooklyn, NY).
In addition to guiding Christian Cultural Center's many outreach programs (Food Pantry, Prison Ministry, Domestic Violence - Family Life Center), Bernard established a rapidly growing male mentoring program with more than 1000 male mentors.
Bernard has a Master of Urban Studies and a Master of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Wagner College, May 2010, and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary, May 2009.
Along with his civic and clergy responsibilities, Bernard is an Adjunct Professor at Alliance Theological Seminary.
Married 40 years to his wife, Karen.