Pastor A.R. Bernard says Son, Alfonso Bernard Jr., ‘Had a Heart to Help People’; Wife and 4 Children Left Behind After Fatal Asthma Attack

Alfonso Bernard Jr. (Credit - Photo courtesy of A.R. Bernard)
Alfonso Bernard Jr. (Credit – Photo courtesy of A.R. Bernard)

Alfonso Bernard Jr., son of influential Brooklyn pastor the Rev. A.R. Bernard of the Christian Cultural Center, died Feb. 4 after suffering a severe asthma attack. He was 39.

Bernard Jr., a talented chef who ran a catering company used by politicians and celebrities, frequently donated extra food to homeless shelters.

“That was his heart,” his father recalled. “It was always about helping people.”

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Christian Cultural Center in East New York — which his father founded — hosted a dinner for 300 people displaced by the storm, and catered for free by Bernard Jr.

He also owned a barbershop in Long Island.

“It was a place of gathering and communication for the community of color out in that particular area,” his father said. “His life was about giving and doing whatever he could to help people.”

The fatal asthma attack happened at his home in Hauppauge. His children initially thought he was just sleeping, his father said.

Besides his father, he is also survived by his wife, Janel, and four children, ages 18, 17, 14 and 5.

Funeral services at the church are planned for Thursday with a viewing from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and a service at 7:30 p.m.

The family asked that donations be made to the Alfonso R. Bernard Jr. Children’s Trust. Gifts can be mailed to: Christian Cultural Center, 12020 Flatlands Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11207.

New York Daily News

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