My Email to Steve Estes and the Leadership of Community Evangelical Free Church Offering to Meet

I wanted to publish the email I sent to Steve Estes and the leadership of Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania. I just wanted to make this public in the effort to be transparent.

“Always go into meetings or negotiations with a positive attitude. Tell yourself you’re going to make the best deal for all parties.”

Natalie Massenet

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

Matthew 18:20 NIV

I wanted to publish the email I sent to Community’s leadership. This email was sent on April 9, 2016 at 9:53 in the evening. It was addressed to the following people:

  1. Steve Estes
  2. Dave Stoltzfus
  3. Al Kimball
  4. Matt Lambert
  5. Matt Carter
  6. Merle Stoltzfus
  7. Cliff Montgomery
  8. Rick Renninger
  9. Matt Griffith
  10. Mike Rudolph
  11. Dr. Larry Kenney
  12. Dave Stott
  13. Dr. Chris Schreier

I want to let the leadership know that I am always willing to meet with them if they desire. I would be happy to drive up and meet with them at any time. I am not their enemy, I am their friend and willing to help them out of this mess. That rests with the leadership of Community Evangelical Free Church.

To Whom this is Concerned:

I want to reach out and see if one or two of you would like to meet. My name is David Bonner and I write a blog called The Wondering Eagle. I was the one who broke the story about Hurit’s excommunication and her abusive marriage, as well as the alleged gun incident with Brock Estes. I have been writing and covering this story for the past month and plan to continue to write about it as the situation develops, and changes with time. I write about a number of things, from Neo-Calvinism, to atheism, to issues in modern evangelicalism. I also write about the Evangelical Free Church of America.

I will be in the Elverson-Morgantown area on April 16, and 17 to meet with people. Do one or two individuals from Community Evangelical Free Church want to meet and discuss the current situation? If you would like I would be happy to go to CEFC for service on Sunday morning April 17. That is your call, if you don’t want me to attend please communicate that to me clearly.

But if we meet I would be happy to buy coffee and discuss the situation. I am very much a people person and I love to get out and meet people. The best thing about writing is meeting the people involved and hearing them out, and being in the trenches. I do this often with the people I write about and desire to see the area behind the stories. This will be my second trip to Elverson-Morgantown.

Please let me know what you would like to do.

Very Respectfully,

David Bonner

24 thoughts on “My Email to Steve Estes and the Leadership of Community Evangelical Free Church Offering to Meet

  1. I agree with Kia. This has to be reported! It has to be made public! I’m almost sure that 90% of Elverson knows about this scandal but remain under the radar for fear of retaliation by the Stoltzfus family. This family has a huge amount of power and influence in Elverson and obviously the church and its leaders. I’m sure their money is supporting that church. This whole scandal is similar to the Catholic Churches’ handling of the priests molesting children. No one did anything about it and the church moved the accused priests around to other churches and children continued to be molested. But when it went public? Newspapers, press? The church had no choice but to act in the right way and to remove the priests and now they are paying huge amounts of money to the families.

    You are good person trying to be “kind” and talk with the elders to try and solve this problem and get justice for Hurit. But obviously with them running out on you proves it will never happen. Time to expose it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sad that these men could not stand for an abused woman, but instead stood for an abusive son and nephew.
    These elders ran, but now one of their daughters is defending them on social media.
    The community continues to pray for their repentance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The situation in Elverson is profoundly sad. Hurit was a gem. Steve never knew what his family lost when Brock allegedly abused her. Their treatment of her after this is appalling.


  3. Do you have any evidence that Steve Estes and the leaders “fled” specifically because you were going to be in town? I attended Community Evangelical Free Church on Sunday, April 10th, and the church bulletin that day said there was a special speaker planned for the 17th. So Steve Estes’ absence was planned at least a week beforehand. An email from you sent at 9:53 pm the Saturday night before the April 10th service strikes me as highly unlikely to have influenced the following morning’s church bulletin.

    I agree, it is a shame you did not get the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting to discuss these things, but I am not sure the evidence warrants the claim that the leadership “fled” town. Unless you have evidence to the contrary, you may just have picked the wrong day to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually emailed a week in advance the leadership of CEFC. It wasn’t the night before it gave them plenty of time. It was what they chose to do…not just Steve but the bulk of the leadership. I wonder if Al Kimball was the fall guy. I wonder if that was planned. The interesting comment was made in the hallway when I was there about how the Stoltzfous were gone that day. Its one heck of a coincidence if it was all planned. 😉


  4. The following are just my thoughts. Forgive me If I have strayed from the truth in any way. Always working to be humble and kind but my heart is far from pure.

    I am not Calvanist or Arminian. These are philosophies/theologies of flawed men and their interpretations of scripture. I am a Bible Believer and I attempt to have Faith like a Child. When we read passages from scripture that we cannot understand we remind ourselves that our God is sometimes mysterious. Sometimes we accept that we may not ever understand fully. Becoming too philosophical becomes something to be careful of because in the process common sense can be lost.

    Not sure why believers would ever sign a church membership covenant. It is a man made law that is legalistic in nature. Make a note: I will NEVER sign one. My covenant is with God and it is liberating to walk in that. How exhausting to try and police yourselves and your congregation into doing what you think they should do. That is the Holy Spirits job. When sin creeps in I agree it should be addressed but there is a right way and a wrong way to do that.

    This congregation is following blindly and I hope the Holy Spirit stirs in them to think for themselves and to ask the hard questions so that they can have an understanding of what this leadership has done.
    People at the core of the story who knew the truth and brought it to light were told to be quiet. A friend of mine was shunned for remaining the girls friend.

    My Pastor told me to not argue over non-salvation issues well this is a salvation issue and needs to be addressed. Sure there are 2 sides of the story but I plead to anybody to find that. It is a big secret. Even if the “other side” sheds a not so positive light on the young girl the church has still failed horribly. To the church I plead with you to come forward. I have a son whom I love with my entire being and would always protect him too. I understand completely! You can be set free from all of this and your body of Christ can have healing. A simple suggestion from someone who has no bachelors, masters or doctorate degree in anything. Drop the denomination Evangelical Free Church and become Elverson Community Church. Be honest where you have failed and apologize to those that you have wronged. Move forward with no membership covenants. Be set free of governing and policing your congregation. Trust the Holy Spirit to do that. We are saved by grace! We are free and what an amazing thing to accept that and walk in that truth

    From the movie Soul Surfer “When you are up close to a problem you can lose your perspective it is not until you back away from a situation that you are able to gain a new one.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment. I am sorry that your community is in so much pain. It is the goal of this blog to find justice and in time bring peace to Elverson by getting this information out there. I wanted Steve Estes and the CEFC leadership to do the right thing. I still do. Will they it’s up to them.


  5. The heavy handed church leaders have done so much damage.
    The Elverson community would love for them to own up to their responsibility to the body of Christ, their community, and most of all to Hurit. The family cover up and justification of the pastor’s son has been hard to take.
    God can heal when there is confession and repentance. The community will be there with open arms.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.