This is a quick report on my weekend in Elverson/Morgantown Pennsylvania. I met with a few people formerly involved in Community Evangelical Free Church, and a current member. I have other members who have contacted me asking questions. I attended Community for church on Sunday morning where I afterward introduced myself to Al Kimball and explained that I was the blogger writing about the situation with Brock Estes. Since Community drove an alleged domestic abuse victim out of town, I drove up to Elverson from Washington, D.C. and for the day drove the Senior Pastor and the Stoltzfus family out of CEFC. The score is now Steve Estes 1 and Hurit 1.
“You have to go where the story is to report on it. As a journalist you’re essentially running to things that other people are running away from.”
“Running away will never make you free“
The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.
Proverbs 28:1 NLT
Proof of my attendance at Community Evangelical Free Church
I’m typing this from the Elverson, Pennsylvania area and I had a very interesting weekend. During my time here I was able to meet with some former members, a current member and then I walked into the Lion’s Den itself and introduced myself to the preacher this morning as well as Al Kimball. It was a busy weekend.
On Saturday morning I zipped through the Amish countryside listening to Hans Zimmer and had breakfast with one former member and a current member of Community Evangelical Free Church (CEFC). We discussed the situation and I heard them out. I listened to them express their anger, and frustration and how they don’t want to see Brock Estes get away with a crime. I have a number of sources who are telling me what is going on, and that list of sources grows in time. I probably spent close to 2 hours in a diner listening and discussing. When they asked why I drove up from D.C. I said that it was to shake hands, sit across from people and look them in the eye. I am not a person who hides behind my computer. Instead I like to get in the trenches and meet people and get to know them. I love people. And writing this blog has allowed for that to happen. Each person I view as a gift and I also view the people I meet as precious. Often times my hope is to give them a platform to allow them to share their concerns.
On Saturday evening I met with two former members of CEFC. I listened and over some pizza heard their story and explained what I knew about the situation with Hurit. They were disturbed by what they have heard. Face to face I explained why this story has been so disturbing to me and why I am not going to let it go until Hurit finds justice and the legal system deals with Brock Estes. It sickens me that Hurit knows she could be dead, and that this situation is continuing. When I was asked why I care and have gotten involved I explained my own false accusation, and what I endured from a Care Group Leader from Redeemer Arlington, a former Sovereign Grace church in the Washington, D.C. area. In my darkest night I wanted someone to intervene. I had hoped that someone would help, resolve the situation and assist me in finding peace. In the end peace was denied by Andrew White and Redeemer Arlington. I would like those in pain here in Elverson, Pennsylvania to find that peace so they won’t have a gapping hole in their life. In this dark season created by Steve and Brock Estes’ sin I want to be able to assist. You need peace after all, this is your home. It’s your community. It doesn’t need to be like this at all. The conversation that evening with a couple of former members lasted for nearly three hours I believe. From 6:30 to about 9:30 but there was so much to say and questions they had to ask. I thanked them for their time and respect them as much as all the other people I met on Saturday.
On Sunday morning I was prepared to walk into the lion’s den. On Twitter I tweeted that if I disappear tell the police to look for me in the field behind the church! I showed up a few minutes before the 10:45 service started. I understand Matt Carter was to be there but he was no where to be found. All the other
men whoops I mean Stoltzfus’s and Estes were no where to be found either. They had made themselves scarce. I was looking forward to meeting Steve Estes, Matt Carter, and Merle Stoltzfus and others. I had wanted to go up, meet them, shake their hand, introduce myself and place a name with a face. I wanted to get to know them, after all we’re going to interact quite a bite as time passes. The worship was good, the closing video is one of the songs they sang this morning. Then we had communion so we all drink the grape juice (myself included). John Sletta gave the talk based off Galatians 4:3-11. I listened intently and closely to what was said. John looks like a great guy and he is a type of guy that I would like to get to know. After the service came to an end I went up to John and I introduced myself. I shook his hand and explained that I am the blogger writing about how Brock Estes allegedly almost killed his wife in pointing a loaded gun at her, and about Hurit’s alleged rape. John was concerned that I was basing my information off second hand sources and said he knew all the people involved. I told John that Community Evangelical Free Church needs to repent, and needs to rescind Hurit’s excommunication. The church owes her an apology. We spoke for a few minutes and I explained that I am not here to fight him. I told him that I appreciated his talk. If John ever finds himself in the D.C. area I would be happy to buy him a drink and dinner. We wouldn’t even have to talk about the situation with Brock and Hurit. Afterward I went into Al Kimball’s office and asked if I could speak with him for a couple of minutes. I shook Al’s hand and explained to Al directly that I was the writer who wrote about how Brock allegedly almost killed Hurit, and Brock allegedly raping Hurit. Al looked at me, the color changed in his face and he said that there is nothing he is going to say. I asked him another question, and Al said, “Dave I am not going to talk about it.” I wasn’t there to be rude, and I thanked him and left. So on the record Al Kimball has nothing to say.
When I consider the situation I think the score is now Steve Estes (1) and Hurit (1). CEFC drove Hurit out of town on trumped up allegations. She was the victim of alleged domestic abuse and an alleged sexual assault by the Senior Pastor’s son. The way Community treated her is so unjust. The next stage in the story comes with me. I notify the Elders and CEFC leadership in this post, and an email that I am coming up there to visit. In response they flee and scatter and are no where to be found. So now I guess we can say that the Stoltzfus and Estes families fled for the day. We will see what happens next time.
To Community Evangelical Free Church and the Estes and Stoltzfus families I want you to know the following. I am not going to let go of this story. It begs for justice. I intend to keep writing and covering this story until justice comes. At some point in the future I will return to attend church and ask Steve Estes, Matt Carter, and the Stoltzfus families about how Community Evangelical Free Church excommunicated an alleged rape victim and I hope to have some discussion on this issue. I am here to stay. Maybe the next time Community Evangelical Free Church has their movie night on the green I will pop up there for that event. Can I suggest Spotlight?
In regards to the issues at Community Evangelical Free Church I want to list some of the topics you will see in the next two to three months on this blog. These are some of the forthcoming posts:
- An overview of Hurit’s situation in Christian Counseling and Education Foundation with Cecelia Bernhardt in David Powlison’s office. My efforts to get a statement from CCEF and the conference at CEFC on May 6, 2016. Why is a church that excommunicated an alleged rape and domestic abuse victim holding a conference on abuse? Is that not disturbing or what?
- An open letter to Al Kimball explaining to him why he needs to speak about this topic and why it’s growing and not going away.
- A post explaining why Brock David Estes needs to be arrested, prosecuted, and convicted of his alleged criminal activity. How he still poses a threat and why he needs to be arrested before someone in the community is killed.
- An overview of Matt Carter’s role in CEFC. His upcoming sabbatical and some thoughts on the situation with him.
- The role John Barber plays at CEFC. This would be a good post to have the music playing from the film “The Godfather.”
- Issues in CEFC’s Elder Board. Communication problems, with 2 Elders speaking for the entire board and how the Elder board is controlling and adversely affecting people.
- As a history nerd with a lot of academic information under my belt I want to explore what happened when Richard Nixon encountered scandal and how he responded with the “Checkers Speech” in 1952. I want to compare and contrast that with how Steve Estes has responded to this scandal.
- Issues in mandatory reporting laws. A quick summary of the Penn State scandal, the fall of Joe Paterno and how mandatory reporting laws have changed. CEFC has a number of professionals who are bound by their profession to report.
- An update on the building situation and how things have changed in the past couple of months. Members are leaving, and this will be a post about a long, slow and painful bleed.
- An overview of the situation with Ryan Smith. Was Ryan as a police officer an accessory to a felony? When he took Brock’s gun did he violate Pennsylvania law in not reporting the situation and did he show favoritism? Did Ryan Smith inform his police superiors of this situation? And does the Pottstown Police Department know of this incident?
Those posts will not be in that order, however the CCEF one will be first as that is coming up soon. I hope to get that up in the next week. One other thing I would like to do…I am considering buying a home in Elverson, maybe one from behind the church and then I can write and report on the changing situation at CEFC. When I bump into Steve Estes, Al Kimball, or John Barber I can ask them questions about the situation. Now that would be neat! 🙂 If you have a home for sale let me know! So as I wind this down let me say that I will be back to Community in the future. If anyone from Community or Elverson wants to speak my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The next time I go up I will not announce it so I can pop up at church and sit in the service. So I will let Schwarzenegger speak for me as I close this out. Again I love you guys! Al Kimball it was great meeting you! I look forward to more interaction! 🙂