An Open Letter to Steve Estes (Senior Pastor Community Evangelical Free Church; Elverson, Pennsylvania)

This is an open letter to Steve Estes, the Senior Pastor at Community Evangelical Free Church. In this letter he is confronted on how Hurit has been treated. Steve failed his former daughter-in-law when he put his pulpit ahead of his family. This letter explains how Steve Estes failed. It also offers recommendations of how he, the Elders, and the congregation should repent to Hurit, her family, and those who left who are being shunned. This letter is a reminder that you can’t flee from the situation. You can’t run from your problems.  Part of being a man is owning your mistakes and errors. This is David being Steve Estes’ personal Nathan where he goes before him and says, “Thou art the man!”

African proverb: “The ax forgets, the tree remembers.”

Maya Angelou

“In 2005 Bill Cosby still had control of the media. In 2015 we have social media. We can’t be disappeared. It’s online and never goes away.”

Tamara Green one of Bill Cosby’s alleged rape victims

“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

Proverbs 28:13 ESV

***Quick note…I sent and received an email from the Eastern District Superintendent Eddie Cole. I’ve heard some good things about him. I think he’s kind, loving and very pastoral. The situation at CEFC needs resolution, and I think Eddie is the right guy to help resolve this.*** 



Steve Estes-

I am going to write you a very frank letter. Before I get into the issues with Community Evangelical Free Church I would like to tell you about the story of Sarah Morehead. You need to hear this and listen. Sarah Morehead was in the Southern Baptist Convention and a Sunday School teacher. She was married to her husband who was involved in Promise Keepers. Sarah and her children were also abused by her husband. When her 11 year old daughter was thrown into a wall that was it for her and she ordered him out. She went to her SBC church asking for help. They wanted her to submit to her husband who was domestically abusing her. She was denied help in a time of her life when she needed it. She told her story Steve on Richard Dawkins blog a couple of years back. If you would like to read it you can do so right here. The domestic abuse, combined with how the church treated her, as well as other issues such as doubt convinced her that Christianity is a fraud. She was the Executive Director for Recovering from Religion.  She has also commented at my blog which you can read here. Today however, she is in the process of organizing the largest atheist rally in the United States at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. Today she is helping people leave Christianity. I have to say given her experience of domestic abuse that she endured while in the church I can’t blame her for her feelings. The church failed her. And as I transition into Hurit I tell this story to give you some perspective and say the same thing. Community Evangelical Free Church failed Hurit.

Steve this is going to be a blunt letter, but that is my style in situations like this one.

I don’t think you realized how fortunate you were to have Hurit as a part of your family and CEFC. She is very precious and valuable. You failed on so many levels. You failed as her father-in-law. You failed as a pastor. You failed as a man. In this process you put your position and reputation above Hurit’s safety and wellbeing. Your son allegedly pointed a gun at Hurit, and you just wanted to handle everything quietly and send her back. Jesus said to take care of the sheep and in that area you have failed as well. If you would have intervened in the situation early on you would have demonstrated leadership, love and grace. CEFC keeps using this constant reference to Hebrews 13:17. I hate to break it to you Steve, but if you have to hammer people and pound your chest and say “respect my authority” then you never had authority to begin with. Did you hear me Steve? None, zip, zilch. Leadership comes from making hard decisions and putting others above yourself. Leadership is selfless and done out of serving others. There is a huge difference between authority and authoritarianism. One comes about through example, love and grace. The other comes about because of a desire to control and dictate. Over the years you have had one person on your mind which has driven you and your ambition. That one person is Steve Estes. The Bible is full of countless warnings about protecting and looking out for the sheep. CEFC claims Hebrews 13:17, while I come back and ask about Acts 17:11. Scripture calls us to search the scriptures and test what is being taught. The fact that you require such blind obedience from people is a mark of an unhealthy church. You can’t have Bereans in that environment. The Bereans are being kept out.

I’m amazed, and deeply stunned that your son can engage in alleged criminal activity and you try and cover it up. Romans 13 also speaks about submitting to the state. It calls for us to pay our taxes and to follow the law. I’m pretty sure that allegedly waving a loaded weapon, pointing it at your wife, and throwing it is against the law. I’m amazed that you think you can cover up such activity and think that it won’t come back later and haunt you? What does Proverbs say about covering up sin? Do you honestly believe you can act that way and get away with it? No one can cover up sin Steve. I can’t, you can’t no one can….the truth always come out eventually. Time tells and reveals a lot. One of the reasons why it pays to be honest Steve is that it simply is the right thing to do. What gets people in trouble in life is often the cover up. The covering up of Brock’s alleged criminal activity didn’t just hurt Brock and Hurit. It hurt yourself, Verna, and all of your children.  It hurt the community and the people who left CEFC. Scripture contains warnings about covering sin up. Someone needs to be a Nathan in this situation and while it gives me no pleasure, it’s something that someone needs to do. This heinous situation is atrocious. I have to confess Steve that since I heard from multiple people about Brock’s alleged incident with the gun I have not been able to get that out of my head. It’s one of the most disturbing things I have heard. I have had this image in my head of this defenseless woman in her bed with her husband standing next to her pointing a loaded gun at her. Its deeply troubling.

Steve…do you realize that Brock could have killed your daughter-in-law?

Have you stopped and considered what you did to your daughter-in-law? Have you considered Hurit’s feelings? Have you thought about how scared she was? She didn’t want any of this to happen at all! It wasn’t Hurit that ended Brock’s marriage…it was Brock that decided to do that Steve. Your son initiated the divorce when he allegedly pointed a gun at your former daughter-in-law. Why didn’t you get Brock help? As a father why didn’t you reach out to trained medical authorities and have them look at the situation? Here is one of the problems in this situation…it has mushroomed and grown. In your effort to conceal and contain it you have made it worse. In the process it has dragged in other people. One of the issues with corruption and why it needs to be dealt with is because if you don’t it taints other people. It hurts other people. That is what is happening in this situation and it is only going to grow.  By not dealing with Brock properly it dragged in other members of the congregation.  Some left and  others were dragged into it such as Ryan Smith. Why do Christians think they can conceal and cover up sin? Why do they think they can hide it? I have to ask….what Bible are you reading? What scripture speaks about how you can conceal and cover up sin? Allegations of criminal activity is sin Steve. This needs to be nipped in the bud, as its going to grow and fester which is what has been happening in the Elverson area.

Many of the families involved are beautiful Steve. It’s Community’s loss that they are no longer there. How spiritually poor are you that you are forcing such incredibly faithful people who love the Lord from the congregation? These are members that I would love to be in a congregation with! Not only that but what about the times that Jesus commanded Peter to feed the sheep. The sheep aren’t being fed here Steve…they are being driven way and harmed. This has to come to an end. The corruption needs to be contained before more people are hurt. Some of this corruption has the capability to end careers and derail additional lives. its also a safety issue as Brock is seeing another person. Does Brock’s girlfriend know of his sleeping disorder and what he has allegedly done with a gun? What are we going to do…? Look the other away and have another person in the future be in an another abusive marriage with Brock? Are we going to have another incident with a gun and someone else be declared an un-believer and publically ex-communicated? How many former daughter-in-laws do you plan to excommunicate in the course of time? This needs to end Steve, had you intervened and addresses the issues with Brock things could be very different today.

You are a grown man, and you know your Bible. I can’t force you to do anything. You are free to do as you like, but let me take some time and explain what I would recommend you would do. You really need to repent Steve.  Community Evangelical Free Church and their elders need to repent.

Here is what I highly recommend that you do in this mess Steve.  This is the only way forward for you and your family, and CEFC:

  1. I highly recommend that you and Verna meet with Hurit, and beg for her forgiveness. I highly recommend that you apologize for how she was treated and not helping out. I highly recommend that you apologize for putting your pulpit ahead of your former daughter-in-law.  I highly recommend that you and Verna listen to Hurit and do what she wants of you. In this process you need to stop running. You can’t be both a Senior Pastor and a Jonah simultaneously. I hate to break this to you Steve but Christians sin. This mess indicates that pastors are just as sinful as the other members of the congregation. But I would suggest you and Verna work with Hurit and take back everything that transpired. You really need to show her the love, compassion and concern today in the spring of 2016 that you failed to show her when she was a part of your family.
  2. I recommend that Community Evangelical Free Church hold a special service. Before the entire congregation and former members the church needs to rescind the public excommunication it gave to Hurit. Before this takes place each Elder who was involved in hurting Hurit should meet with her and seek her forgiveness and ask for grace from her. I highly recommend that at the service each Elder publically apologize to Hurit and say that they were wrong. Its important the church does this publically. Given how Community dragged Hurit through the mud the church needs to publically admit they were wrong and ask for Hurit’s forgiveness. I highly recommend this special service be open to the community of Elverson. Other Christians should be there to witness it.  I highly recommend that Dr. Eddie Cole be there as well. I would drive up from Washington, D.C.  and sit through it with a number of former CEFC families. But I strongly recommend you hold a special service and right this wrong.
  3. I highly recommend that Community Evangelical Free approach Hurit’s family and seek their forgiveness and repent to Hurit’s parents. Those in Hurit’s family who were hurt by Community’s action will find some solace and healing by watching you repent. This is necessary for Hurit’s parents and family.
  4. I highly recommend that Community Evangelical Free Church work and help Hurit as part of their repentance. If she needs counseling or assistance, CEFC should step up and be there for her. This is a part of repentance…I must also add this will take time. Repentance is not like a drive by shooting in Philadelphia. You work and walk with a person and help restore them. In the process you will help restore Hurit.
  5. You had a number of families that left who are precious, and amazing. They were kind, loving, full of grace, and in my mind model members of the church. They stood by Hurit and this mess caused many of them to leave. I highly recommend you meet with these families individually and ask for their forgiveness. I highly recommend you hear them out, listen and do what they want you to do.  Since some of these families were criticized and attacked CEFC and the Elders should repent to them as well. All nefarious comments will be withdrawn, and recanted.
  6. I highly recommend that as a part of this season of repentance the church body as a congregation repent together. For example all those at CEFC who shunned, isolated, and cut off former friends should reach out and seek forgiveness and listen to those who were hurt. Those individuals who shunned the 50 or so people who left the church should meet with former members and ask for their forgiveness. I highly recommend that this be a church wide effort and all wounds and pain be laid out on the table and discussed and healed. This is an opportunity for all people to heal and become one in the community. I don’t want to see a Paul and Barnabas situation, instead I want to see a Paul and John Mark. Many Christians Steve blow off and ignore Paul and John Mark. I would suggest that would be the model in situations like this, so that all sides can heal.  One of the problems in Christianity today is that Christians do not say they are sorry. They don’t own their mistakes and care when they hurt others in their midst. I would recommend that Community Evangelical Free Church in all forms own their mistakes.
  7. Brock Estes needs to get qualified medical help in Philadelphia. Philadelphia has some fine medical institutions that can help in this situation. Helping your son out will be a part of this process. In addition Brock is going to look into licensed and qualified alcohol addiction treatment. Its going to hard and difficult but I think if all the above happens many people will come alongside and offer support and love to you and your family.
  8. I highly recommend you walk with your family through any legal issues that come about. Since laws were broken if the legal system reacts and prosecutes Brock you will walk with your son through the process.
  9. I highly recommend that you repent to the District and National Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) for CEFC’s moral failure and corruption.
  10. It’s my hope that as a part of this process the Evangelical Free Church denomination would meet with the families that were hurt and personally repent to them. I hope to raise this issue with the District Superintendent Dr. Eddie Cole. The evangelical Christian church needs to collectively own their mistakes and faults. Institutions sin as well, and institutions need to repent.
  11. Finally let me offer this to you as well. I know Steve that your family may have difficult days ahead because of this scandal. If you repent and admit your mistakes and do it very sincerely people will know and come alongside and help. People will embrace you and your family and help you. All you have to do is ask…there are a lot of people that want to see you repent. I would be willing to help your family Steve. During the difficult days ahead I would be willing to befriend, talk and support you and your family in this difficult season. But you need to do the right thing. Forgive me for putting it like this but true repentance is like pornography. You know it when you see it and people recognize humility. The guy writing this letter to you Steve sought forgiveness from 140 people. You can read what I did here. Yes I know…I did something that C.J. Mahaney and Mark Driscoll can’t and will not do. Maybe I should preach at T4G and publish a book on Humility.  But if you repent and say you were wrong your soul will find healing and you will be at peace. And that peace is what you crave Steve.

It is imperative that the community does this together. The Elders are complicit in this situation and I would recommend that they should repent and own this mess as well.  If CEFC cares about the Gospel then repentance is the only way forward. I would recommend Community take that course of action and repent to Hurit, her family, and the other former families who are are shunned today. I would recommend that CEFC repent to the community of Elverson.  There is a lot of hurt, and pain in this mess and it needs to be addressed. Sometimes to clean out an infection you need to re-open the wound fully and address the issues. It’s painful and its hard, but that is the only way forward. I would recommend you face your moral failures in this mess Steve Estes. You can’t run from your mistakes. Nor can you ignore them. Your attempt to cover them up has only grown them, to the point that you have a blogger in the Washington, D.C. area writing intensely about this issue.

The last part of this letter I would recommend you step aside for a season as the Senior Pastor of Community Evangelical Free Church. You need a season or a time to step back and reflect on all that transpired. But after all the wounds, the pain that has been caused you shouldn’t be teaching right now. You are not in any spiritual position to teach at this point in your life. Some people think that a fallen teacher shouldn’t teach again. I am not of that persuasion…if you do the right thing I believe you could be a more effective teacher the second time around. Not only that but you would have an understanding of grace which today you do not. If you do all of the above Steve, and repent fully I think you’ll discover that people will come alongside you and your family and support you. They will walk with you through this season. And like i said above I will offer this to you as well….I will walk with your family as well if you would like. If you take this advice, such action will show your love for the gospel more than 30 years of expository preaching and publishing books. By taking such action you will reveal that you understand the harm you have caused. You will reveal that you have searched your heart and understand your role in this mess. Mistakes are opportunities Steve Estes…that is what I learned from my mistakes. Christians don’t repent or say “I’m sorry” anymore. I wonder…if that is a driving force as to why people don’t respect Christians today…they can’t show enough humility to say “I was wrong….”  I think if you do that then you will be more capable of being part of the church. And the church will be richer to have you in that season if this happens.

This has been a hard letter to write but I try and write it out of love. Sometimes love is speaking the truth. By the way…you guys have re-defined gossip in this environment. But I honestly hope you will you will do the right thing. I hope you will own this mess and do the right thing. As Abraham Lincoln once said…I want to appeal to the  “better angels of your nature.” I want you to do the right thing because it is the correct course of action to take. God will be glorified in the process and the Gospel preached. The pain needs to stop, and you are the key to stopping it. This is my plea to you…do the right thing Steve.

Very Respectfully,

David Bonner

28 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Steve Estes (Senior Pastor Community Evangelical Free Church; Elverson, Pennsylvania)

  1. #7 — IMMEDIATELY!

    Before a tragedy happens that you can’t undo.

    Come on, Estes Family. Is your status more important than people’s lives?
    If Brock kills himself and/or someone else, you cannot bring him or anyone else back.

    Even if you care nothing about people’s lives here, you personally will have a huge mess to wade through and a lot of accounting to do to a lot of people, even people over whom you wield no power. Is the risk to your domain worth it? Getting medical help for Brock can be spun a lot more easily than violent death.

    Come on, Elders. Brock’s dangerous condition is now public knowledge. Do you want police investigators to ask you why you refused to deal with reality in order to prevent a possible tragedy? Do you really think God condones your enabling silence?

    I hope everyone involved in the situation who has heard the account of the loaded gun will call law enforcement and ask about filing an official report, or, at the very least, tell what you heard on a TIP line or website.

    Sounds to me like Brock is struggling with a much worse malady than a “sleeping condition.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • The denial they appear to be about Brock is stunning. Part of the reason why this is being discussed is more people are going to get hurt. When they held Hurit’s excommunication service a number of people walked out. Its my understanding that someone in the foyer who was related to the Estes family was sobbing. It was because she knew the truth and knew that the excommunication service was built on a lie.


      • If Brock is revealed in public as a scumbag, how will he ever be able to Inherit his Daddy’s pulpit (and money machine)?

        Remember Jack Hyles and his sons & heirs? (Including Polishing-the-Shaft Schaapf?)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Come on, Estes Family. Is your status more important than people’s lives?

      In one word: YES.
      They’re the Pastor’s family, GAWD’s Speshul Anointed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What is the common thread here and in my experience in the free church? Narcissism! You are reeled in as sinner deserving eternal damnation, and you have to suspend logic to follow leaders that know better than you. Little do you know these leaders live on the supply of hero worship and their ability to dupe the credulous garners them a following. My recommendation to Hurt would be to run and don’t look back. None of these people are self aware enough to realize how their action effect others. They are in damage control mode to keep their empire afloat. It seems the guys on the side of “God” are more suspect than unbelievers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree, not something I do often.
      It sounds like a science fiction scenario, they live off the adoration of the people they are sucking the life out of.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The way to tackle it is what you’re doing.
        Public scrutiny & the internet are game-changers against the Bill Cosbys of the world.

        Sadly, you’ll probably only change pastor/elder behaviors, not hearts.
        But it’s a start. 😦
        Will have to leave the judging of the hearts to the Lord; He sees it all.


  3. Your son allegedly pointed a gun at Hurit, and you just wanted to handle everything quietly and send her back.

    I think the operative word is “Your SON”.

    i.e. Heir to the Throne of EV Free Elverson.
    He who will Inherit the Pulpit, Church, and Tithe$ from Daddy Dear like the Kims of North Korea.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “His family has a stronghold on the church now HUG. So its going to be in the church for generations. 😉 That is if nepotism doesn’t kill it.”

    What happens to a parasite when the host dies?

    Liked by 1 person

      • That’s what I was thinking – what I’m afraid will happen. If these church leaders do business as usual, they won’t repent. They won’t change. They will simply look for new victims to mislead and swindle.


      • This is another interesting parallel from the corporate world. Some years ago one of my clients hired a new CEO that I soon found insufferable. A little checking found the last two companies he headed were now bankrupt. I stopped working for them because I found the guy unpleasant and dangerous, I later found that within a year the company was bought out in an effort to escape bankruptcy.

        Instead of running a moderate sized business he wanted to make it BIG. He ignored the major reasons the company existed and bet everything on a few risky technology investments to make the big time. The company used to employ 150 people, now it is down to a few dozen. It represents a lot of upturned lives all for the sake of one mans ego.

        Apparently the same people choose CEOs as choose “pastors”. Why would you hire someone who ran the last organization into the ground?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Apparently the same people choose CEOs as choose “pastors”. Why would you hire someone who ran the last organization into the ground?

        Because “I’M AN M.B.A. AND…”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bill M is on to something here, IMO.

        And when elders & parishioners perceive that the success of the organization is dependent on the CEO/pastor, rather than on Jesus, that’s the first step towards a pattern of behavior that maintains the “institution” over caring for individual *people*.

        I’ve seen it first hand. People even go for the “show”, rather than for Jesus. I know a church that wouldn’t say when the senior pastor-preacher was going to be on vacation, because they were worried that attendance would lag that week if people knew he wasn’t preaching. SMH.


  5. The day that Hurit FILED for divorce, was the day that Steve Estes determined her fate. Steve warned her previously of what would happen if she filed for divorce. Steve wrote the script and directed the play and the Elders acted it out. The narrative had been written. Steve would begin The Tongue Project The The day that Hurit FILED for divorce, was the day that Steve Estes determined her fate. Steve warned her previously of what would happen if she filed for divorce. Steve wrote the script and directed the play and the Elders acted it out. The narrative had been written. Steve would begin The Tongue Project series in preparation for what he knew would be forthcoming.
    The congregation was told to contact their Shepherding Elders if they had any questions about the situation. Those with questions followed the ‘process’ of contacting their Shepherding Elders respectfully and professionally only to be met with defensiveness, irritation, frustration and resentment that they did not trust their Elders.
    On multiple occasions, the congregation was told to ‘trust their Elders’ no matter what.
    Trust the Elders??
     Trust the Elders because they fully disclosed what was going on?
     Trust the Elders because Steve had recused himself entirely?
     Trust the Elders because Uncle Dave and Uncle Merle had recused themselves entirely?
     Trust the Elders because those who followed the process by contacting their Shepherding Elders were met with defensiveness, frustration and anger?
     Trust the Elders because the Elders already had their minds made up and the decision was already made?
     Trust the Elders because they sought to shut all inquiries down instead of seeking to understand?
     Trust the Elders because they fasted and prayed – yet never considered that maybe God was answering their prayers with the questions and concerns of the congregation?
     Trust the Elders because they were more concerned with Brock losing his job or going to jail then they were with protecting Hurit?
     Trust the Elders because they dismissed the requests of many people to postpone the excommunication service until questions could be answered?
     Trust the Elders because they jumped to conclusion and made assumptions about people only to find out that their assumptions were wrong yet never sought forgiveness and/or making it right but continued to go down their intentional path of rebuking an innocent individual?
     Trust the Elders because when approached they were only interested in ‘who told you that?’ or ‘where did you hear that?’ and shutting it down, vs. asking themselves if what was being stated true?
     Trust the Elders because whatever they said trumped the facts?
     Trust the Elders because they protected the Pastor/Shepherd instead of protecting HIS sheep?
    Proverbs 26:1-12
    Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
    honor is not fitting for a fool.
    2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
    an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
    3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
    and a rod for the backs of fools!
    4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
    or you yourself will be just like him.
    5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
    or he will be wise in his own eyes.
    6 Sending a message by the hands of a fool
    is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.
    7 Like the useless legs of one who is lame
    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
    8 Like tying a stone in a sling
    is the giving of honor to a fool.
    9 Like a thorn bush in a drunkard’s hand
    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
    10 Like an archer who wounds at random
    is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.
    11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
    so fools repeat their folly.
    12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?
    There is more hope for a fool than for them.

    When we are accused of something, the question that we all must ask ourselves, is what is being stated true?
    If Brock was repentant then why did he tell someone that ‘he would have signed the divorce papers as soon as he received them, but they (the Elders) wouldn’t let him’?
    Which is the greater sin – to file for divorce OR to sign the divorce papers? Three days, no less, after the excommunication service and 12 months prior to when the state of Pennsylvania would have declared the couple divorced if one did not sign!
    Why was CEFC in such a hurry to excommunicate Hurit and why did the Elders support Brock in signing the divorce papers three days after the excommunication service?
    What is Hurit to come back to? Brock signed the divorce papers with the support of the Elder board. Brock no longer attends CEFC. Brock has had a new girlfriend since signing the divorce papers if not before.
    One would think that Steve would be thanking Hurit for not going to the authorities about Brock – because had she gone – he would have been put in jail for pointing a loaded gun at her.
    How is it that Hurit who was raped by her husband, verbally abused by her husband, put in a headlock on multiple occasions by her husband, denied intimacy from her husband, asked to leave the bedroom so that her husband could be with another woman on the computer. How is it that the Elders can accuse her with charges of not applying Mathew 18 when in fact she did go to her husband about her concerns, and she did go to her father-in-law who was also her Pastor. How is it that the Elders can wrongfully charge Hurit with false accusations and then get offended when questioned?
     What did Brock repent of? Who did Brock repent to?
     Why didn’t Brock have to repent to the congregation?
     Why did the Elders get offended when asked these questions?
     Why was it okay for Brock to hide behind his father and the Elders?
     Who was protecting Hurit?
    Why would the Elders dismiss recommendations to seek outside counsel due to the severity of the situation? How is it that Steve Estes was fully aware for years of the ongoing issues with Brock including his marriage and yet move forward with charging the victim with the following charges?
    (a.) When Hurit Estes experienced marital difficulties with her husband, rather than follow the Matthew 18 path of confrontation that pursues reconciliation, she initiated divorce on ground that are unbiblical and violated her wedding vows.
    Fact: Hurit did go to her husband on multiple occasions re her concerns with his drinking, pornography, their marriage, etc.
    Fact: Steve Estes, Hurit’s Pastor and father-in-law was well aware of the issues and concerns that Hurit had re her marriage.
    Fact: Hurit did speak to someone in her small group about her concerns and chose not to bring it up again based on the feedback that she received.
    Fact: Hurit left her husband whom she loved and still loves because he wasn’t interested in her anymore, because he abused her, because she wasn’t good enough anymore, because his drinking was out of control and he wasn’t interested in seeking help, because he pointed a loaded gun at her, because their finances were in trouble, because he preferred to be with a woman on the internet instead of wanting to be with her, because he pointed to the door when she told him this isn’t working.
    Fact: Husband denies his wife of intimacy making it clear that he prefers to ejaculate when watching a woman on the screen than to be with his wife.
    Fact: Husband pointed a loaded gun at his wife.
    Fact: Husband threw a loaded gun across the room.
    Fact: Husband waved a loaded gun in the presence of his wife.
    Fact: Wife requested husband to go to counseling together on multiple occasions.
    Fact: Husband not interested.
    Fact: Brock violated his wedding vows – NOT Hurit.
    Fact: Elders declare that Steve Estes was the ‘quarterback’ for the entire situation.
    (b.) There has been a refusal to reconcile with her husband despite his contrition for the sins he brought into the marriage, his seeking her forgiveness, and his significant attempts to win her back.
    Fact: Husband follows the direction from his father and the Elder board to apply the Love Dare challenge.
    Fact: Husband had no interest in reconciling his relationship with his wife.
    Fact: Husband admitted that he mistreated his wife for the 3 years while they were married.
    Fact: The Elders advise Brock that ‘he’s done all he can do’ after completing the 40 day Love Dare challenge.
    Fact: A repentant man does not need anyone to tell him what to do and/or how to win his wife back.
    Fact: A repentant man seeks to protect his wife. A repentant man pursues his wife.
    Fact: A repentant man does NOT sign divorce papers.
    Fact: A repentant man does NOT engage in a relationship with another woman shortly after signing divorce papers.
    Fact: A repentant man seeks help immediately when he finds that he has hurt his wife due to sleep disorder.
    Fact: A repentant man gets rid of his guns when he finds out that he pointed a loaded gun at his wife while he was sleep walking
    (c.) Throughout, in violation of her membership vows, Hurit has pursued outside counsel that supports her pursuit of divorce while substantially dismissing the counsel of her church leaders and her family.
    Fact: Steve Estes, Hurit’s Pastor and father-in-law was well aware of the situation and disengaged with her when for her own protection, left his son.
    Fact: Steve Estes sought to ‘woo’ his daughter-in-law to return to her abusive husband by forming a secret committee of 5 women to secretly encourage Hurit to return to her abusive husband.
    Fact: Steve Estes did NOT tell the Elders anything about what was going on until Hurit filed for divorce.
    Fact: Hurit IS the victim.
    Fact: Steve Estes declares that Brock is the most repentant man he’s ever seen in 30 years.
    Fact: Elders declare that Brock has repented.
    Fact: Brock declares that he has no interest in pursuing Hurit.
    Fact: Brock declares that if he would have signed the divorce papers as soon as he received them but the Elders wouldn’t let him.
    Fact: Brock declares that he wanted to throw his wedding ring in the ocean.
    Fact: Brock admits that he mistreated his wife.
    Fact: Brock continues to drink.
    Fact: Brock signed the divorce papers shortly after the excommunication service.
    Fact: Brock had and has a girlfriend.
    Fact: Elders protect the Pastor.
    Fact: Steve Estes protects his son.
    Fact: CEFC members request to remove their membership yet will still attend.
    Fact: Elders declare that if you rescind your membership you are unable to worship at CEFC.
    Fact: Elders protect the Pastor.
    Fact: The Pastor protects his son.
    Fact: The sheep are lost.

    Why would the Elders be upset with people from the church who met with Hurit on the evening of her excommunication service to pray with her?
    If Brock was repentant then why was he in a relationship with someone else so soon after he signed the divorce papers? Many have alleged that Brock was in a relationship with this individual in the fall of 2014.
    If Brock was repentant then why would he respond to an individual who pleaded with him to pursue his wife – that he has ‘no intention of pursuing Hurit’?
    Why would the Elders be angered when confronted with questions? Why would the Elders declare that they were really mad when Hurit sent her letter? Why would they be mad if they have nothing to cover up? Why would some of the Elders communicate that Brock hasn’t repented and/or imply that Brock has given the Elders a run for their money? Why hasn’t Brock been disciplined?
    Why have the Elders not excommunicated a former pastor’s daughter-in-law who is a member of CEFC who recently left her husband and children? Why the double standard?
    Was Hurit an unbeliever when Steve had her give her testimony on Easter Sunday a few years ago?
    Was Hurit an unbeliever when she became a member of CEFC?
    Can a church excommunicate a non-believer?
    It is easier to be told what to do than to think for yourself.


  6. The reality is pointing a gun at another is breaking the law and it would seem those deciding the case deemed it a mishap, a bad decision by the person with the gun. Another reality is that an action of that magnitude is not only a legal issue but of course a heart issue that needs addressing. The gun handler should have been removed from the home ALONG with the gun(s) for evaluation. Therein lies the mistake of the person(s) shepherding them – and who was their shepherding elder? Oh, no one can claim they didn’t know about any of it because the person who removed the guns knew and most likely talked about it. So, regardless of any other facts – regardless – illegal activity trumps it all. CEFC choose to over look only certain things and plowed forward in following scripture for Hurit only at that critical time in this couple’s marriage, that being just before and during the separation. If Hurit’s was unresponsive to B’s attempts to get her back its because they weren’t genuine. Genuine would have looked like this: go to another church together to get out from family, quit the job that created hostility and need for gun (job being at a jail surrounded by criminals), go for sleep evaluate without being begged, as well as AA (and perhaps that did happen), as well as individual counseling before coming together in joint counseling. Not the other way around). That couple could be together today if accountability was placed in the appropriate place early on. THAT’s what needs to be repented for first and foremost. The actions of men in this case robbed God the glory of working in the body of Christ (the church) to help this couple. Pride is a damaging sin. Those that say well, hindsight is 20/20 – no, it’s loving, scriptural, legal. ###

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well stated Jacob. Specifically, ‘the actions of Steve Estes and those on the Elder board ROBBED God the glory of working in HIS Church and in the lives of this couple.’ I agree with you and have no doubt that if Brock actually repented vs.confessed, their marriage would have been restored.
      May those that read the events of this story consider and not ignore the words that have been spoken and the outcome of what has occurred.

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