Bishop Charles Ellis III also apologised for making a joke about her name.
After the US singer performed a cover of Aretha’s ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ at the service, the bishop can be seen wrapping his arm around her and appears to touch the side of her breast.
A video of the moment has since gone viral, and within hours the hashtag #RespectAriana was trending worldwide, with many viewers expressing outrage over the clip,
Bishop Ellis subsequently issued an apology, saying: “It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast... I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her.
“Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologise.”
The preacher added that he hugged all the performers during Friday’s seven-hour service.
“I hug all the female artists and the male artists,” he said.
“Everybody that was up, I shook their hands and hugged them. That’s what we are all about in the church. We are all about love.”
He added: “The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin.”
The bishop also apologised to Ariana, her fans and Hispanic community for making a joke about seeing her name on the programme and thinking it was a new item on the menu at Taco Bell, a Tex-Mex chain of fast food restaurants popular in the US.
Ariana has yet to make any comment about the matter.