An update on Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania. David Powlison is raising funds for CCEF. Should Christians give to CCEF in light of how they treated an alleged domestic abuse victim? Also a brief overview of the congregational meeting that occurred on June 13, 2016. Plus on Facebook the most repentant man Steve Estes ever saw proudly displayed his gun collection. My question is this…was the gun that Brock allegedly pulled on his wife on display within the photo? Plus is Police Officer Ryan Smith also going to come take the gun from him a second time?
“There are two ‘i’s’ in Fundraising – they should stand for inspiration and innovation, not imitation and irritation.”
“Brock is the most repentant man I had seen in 30 years of ministry.”
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:7-8 NIV
Brock Estes Gun Collection
This post came about due to information several former members of Community Evangelical Free Church shared with me. This will be touching on a number of issues and with that stated up front let’s get into David Powlison and his Christian Counseling & Education Foundation fundraising letter. This letter came to me from someone who left Community five years ago. On June 8, 2016 David Powlison wrote and then sent out a letter informing people that their fiscal year ends on August 31, 2016. In his letter David says that 230 days have been funded and he asks for more people to give. In his letter which I have scanned in below David Powlsion says the following:
“At CCEF we work to help churches be safe, wise and welcoming places where broken people get help in building relationships that matter. But we know that churches often don’t feel safe, wise and welcoming. And so people struggle silently. And hide. And people wonder whether the gospel is as good as the Bible says. Unbelief and sin grow in darkness and isolation. We seek to bring light into those dark places through our resources and training.”
So here we are at a point later on down the road. CCEF helped ran an abuse seminar at Community Evangelical Free Church very indifferent of the way Hurit was treated by Steve Estes church. Now CCEF is approaching many members in Elverson and asking for money. I have to tell you my blood boiled when I read what David Powlison wrote. It made no sense and is intrinsically flawed in light of how CCEF treated Hurit. After all the reason why they are soliciting money is not what happened to Hurit. In this sad story CCEF was a part of the problem and was a tool to drive away a person in distress. I have this one question that I want to get an answer to and if anyone in Elverson or Philadelphia can answer this for me I will write about it. Even better if documents could be sent my way I will work with them as well. My question is this…what is the financial relationship like between David Powlison and Steve Estes? How much business do they give each other? Are there contracts or business dealings in place where Steve refers people to David Powlison and vice versa? How much money goes back and forth between CCEF and CEFC? I would love to get the answers to those questions and if someone in the know could inform me I would like to write about that in the future.
This leads me to my next point. Should Christians and people in Elverson give to CCEF? Is that wise in light of how they treated Hurit and the ongoing insensitivity to the situation? Obviously CCEF doesn’t gave a damn about domestic abuse as they are part of the reformed industrial complex and they are making money off the situation. If they are in the business of wanting to help a person who has allegedly been domestically abused they would have reacted much differently from the get go, and they would have challenged CEFC after all this came to light. So should Christians be giving money to CCEF? I have a suggestion I would like to make. Lori Stoltfus Plank has opened up a Go Fund Me in the Morgantown area for Still Water Ministries that will help women in domestic abuse situations. Can I encourage people to give to that Go Fund Me instead? Its being run by a proven ministry and its local. Wouldn’t it be amazing if instead of $5,000 raised those concerned about the situation gave $10,000. Instead of giving to CCEF let’s give to Still Waters Ministry instead. I asked Lori Stoltzfus Plank to keep the Go Fund Me open longer and I would ask you to join me in giving. I have already donated some money as you can see. One other point I would suggest is the following, for a Christian to continue to support a questionable ministry in light of disturbing information I would suggest is sinful. You can read the letter David Powlison sent out below.
Community’s Congregation Meeting
Community Evangelical Free had its congregation meeting on Monday June 13, 2016. I wrote up a post of questions that members should ask which you can read here. It was the first meeting since the church and the community learned what Steve Estes allegedly plotted and guided a church through. I should also note that this information came from former and current members. Allegedly in that congregation meeting the church revealed that they are dipping into a past financial settlement to pay their bills. Apparently from what I have heard and please correct me if I am wrong, but there was a settlement where CEFC got some money as a result of trees being sprayed with pesticide that killed them. Allegedly Community is starting to have problems paying their bills. Hurit did not come up in the meeting, and the question I asked if someone can answer below is the following; did they read her name as being under church discipline? Can someone answer that for me please? Community also claimed (cough,cough) that the church is under spiritual attack. In addition, they also claimed that 13 families had left CEFC. I was told that Steve Estes also looks under stress and it appears as if he has lost some weight. From what I have heard the Estes family has such a bad name in Elverson that Steve is now eating lunch one town over to avoid running into people. If I am wrong on any of this please correct me.
Here is the problem with what was said. Like the information given out about Hurit Steve Estes and his mafia are misleading and deceiving people. Can the leadership of CEFC be honest at all about anything? 13 families have left? That number I would suggest is too low. From what I have heard at least 60 people have left and that number may not include singles. That number is going to grow as I have received a few more emails from frustrated and angry members. There are more individuals in the process of walking away from this church. Also the church committed to a building campaign and it doesn’t have the finances to do this building. To make matters worse a number of people who have committed to this building campaign have walked away. As more walk away the precarious financial position of this church grows. Its my understanding that a key test will be a deadline in September. The question is this…will Community default?
There is another key issue that was also hidden from the congregation. The Evangelical Free church out of Minneapolis has conducted an investigatioin into this church and a number of key people including Steve Estes were interviewed. I am not going to say too much as I want the system to work. But the fact of the matter is that CEFC leadership didn’t raise this issue in the meeting to their members when they should have. It goes back to Steve Estes’ modus operandi of manipulate, mislead and deceive. If I were a member of the congregation I would ask Steve, John Barber or Al Kimball what was the EFCA from Minneapolis asking?
The final aspect I want to refute is the claim that Community is “under spiritual attack.” The leadership at CEFC reminds me of the leadership of Covenant Life Church the former flagship church of Sovereign Grace Ministries. Granted SGM was dodging alleged criminal accusations of covering up child sex abuse. If CEFC eventually closes maybe the Estes and Stoltzfus clan move to Gaithersburg, Maryland and work with Mark Mitchell who has claimed they to are under spiritual attack. Here’s the problem Jesus says you will reap what you sow, which is in John 4:35-38. Plus reaping what you sow is also in Galatians 6:7-8 and 2 Corinthians 9.:6-11. Community Evangelical Free Church and Steve Estes are reaping what it sowed. They chose to go after an alleged rape and domestic abuse victim. Steve chose to cover up Brock’s alleged criminal activity. This church brought upon its own problems and manufactured them. Steve Estes, Brock Estes and the Stoltzfus mafia have no one to blame but themselves. It is absolutely ridiculous for this church to claim they are under spiritual attack.
Brock Proudly Displays his Gun Collection on Facebook
This part of the post came from another former member in the Elverson area who also left about five years ago. They were enraged when they saw this on Brocks’ Facebook page. It’s my understanding that some people who grew up with Brock are distancing themselves from him. Remember during the events leading up to Hurit’s excommunication Steve Estes declared that Brock was the most repentant man he ever saw in his 30 years of ministry. Over that 30 years when you think of all the teaching, preaching and more Steve Estes probably came into contact with thousands I would suggest. I am also thinking about the people he met at Westminster Theological Seminary in the Philadelphia area.
On June 16, the most repentant man that Steve had ever seen posted a picture on his Facebook page. In that picture Brock proudly boasted of his gun collection. Now if Brock was processed by the legal system for domestic abuse then he would have committed a crime by owning these guns. I asked someone I know here in the D.C. area to identify the guns in the picture for me as I am not that knowledgeable about firearms. The first rifle is unknown while the second rifle appears to be a 30.06 rifle with scope. The next one is a tactical 12 gauge shot gun. The two pistols in the picture apparently are 40 caliber and 9 millimeter. Finally there is a starnless revolver which appears to be 38 caliber. So this is what the most repentant man does that Steve has seen. After what he has allegedly done with a gun, he boasts, flaunts and baits people in the Elverson community on Facebook. For Brock to post a picture of his gun collection after what he allegedly did its’ like a drug addict posting a picture at a crack house, or a sex addict at a strip joint. The arrogance of it is galling. My question is this…which revolver or handgun was allegedly used in the incident with Hurit? Is that even in this picture? Which one did she allegedly wake up to as her husband allegedly loading and pointing it at her? If I were in Community Evangelical Free I would push back and challenge the Elder Board and Steve Estes on their version of events.
I am going to close with an inside joke. A couple of weeks ago I was talking by text with a former member of Community Evangelical Free. She said something to me that triggered in my mind the song below. I had totally forgot about this Carly Simon song until that person from the Elverson area quoted some of the lyrics. For the past two weeks its been stuck in my noodle. So with that I will leave you guys with this song so it will be stuck in yours as well. If only Steve Estes and the Stoltzfus families knew, understood and appreciates the people who they drove away. They drove away some really amazing individuals who would complement any church. As always I love you guys!