In light of how the EFCA was allegedly blind sided by Steve Estes and the leadership of Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, I believe now is the time to publish this personal email to Steve Estes. This is me asking him to do the right thing so that the community can heal, and I can stop writing about this rogue church.
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Proverbs 28:13 NIV
As you may recall Brock Estes at one point was on the Community Evangelical Free elder list. You can read about the situation in “A Closer Look at Mike Culbert, Dr. Schrier, Dr. Kenney and the Community Evangelical Free Church Elder Board; Plus do Sexual Assault Allegations Qualify Brock Estes for Elder?” In time Brock was removed from the elder list. You can read about that in “Community Evangelical Free Church Update: Brock Estes is Removed from the Elders List.” On September 12, 2016 I took a few minutes to send Steve Estes an email thanking him for removing Brock Estes from the CEFC elder list. I also asked him to do the right thing and offered to befriend his family. Steve ignored my email and never responded. I just wanted to add this to the record.
I hope this email finds you doing well. I want to take this opportunity and say thank you for removing Brock from the Community Evangelical Free Church Elder list. Thank you for doing the right thing. I have to tell you that I am deeply encouraged that the leadership of CEFC took the right action and did the right thing. Its a step in the right direction for Community and I hope it leads to this church repenting for the practice of church discipline on Hurit.
Steve I want you to know that I do not enjoy writing about Community Evangelical Free Church. Its hard, and its difficult. I know it hits home for you as it involves your loved ones. I am particularly sensitive about writing many of these posts after being the victim of a false accusation from someone in a former Sovereign Grace church. But I am asking you to please do the right thing so that this situation in Elverson can end. Its not going away and its growing. I want you to know that in speaking with many former members and some current, that many people want you to do the right thing. Many of these individuals have told me often that if you do the right thing and admit CEFC was wrong they will re-engage you. They will come along side you again. But please admit that the church was wrong and hold a special service and admit your error.
Saying your wrong is hard and I know what it feels like. Dee Parsons asked me to tell my story at The Wartburg Watch. I approached 140 people and sought forgiveness. However, I also learned that there can be a lot of healing and growth in the process, and I imagine both Eddie Cole and Greg Strand can help you. Its in your best interest to admit that you’re wrong. To not admit your error risks this church and your legacy. I would rather see you be remembered for mentoring Joni Tada and not for practicing church discipline on an alleged sexual assault victim. Quite a few people have walked away and and left, and many are in the process. I have heard some current members are in the process of writing more letters of resignation. I know I get emails from people in the Elverson area on a regular basis. The only way CEFC will survive the storm is if the leadership admits it was wrong to excommunicate Hurit.
If you decide to do the right thing I would be happy to befriend your family and come alongside your family and walk with you and pray with you. I would be willing to be a shoulder to lean on and help you guys forward. This church doesn’t have to be destroyed. And this issue doesn’t have to split and divide the community of Elverson. If the leadership of CEFC admits its wrong that will help marriages heal as well as friendships, and a couple of businesses heal in the Elveron and Morgantown area.
As Christians we should be able to admit our problems and errors. We should be able to say that we are wrong and do the right thing. One of the reasons why so many people dismiss Christianity is because Christians don’t admit the are wrong. They don’t say they are sorry. This inability by many Christians to own a mistake sends an ugly message to the world. An honest, deep and sincere apology coupled with repentance can help people Steve.
I write this note to ask you to do the right thing. Please do the right thing. Listen to the leadership of the Eastern District of the EFCA. Let’s do the right thing so that you, your family and the community of Elverson can find peace. I know you need peace Steve, and the only way you are going to find it is by admitting your error. But I think that if you do that you will be overwhelmed and amazed by how many people will reengage you and seek you and your family out.
But I write this note as a way to say both thank you for removing Brock’s name from the CEFC Elder list. And please listen to the leadership of the Eastern District of the EFCA and lets get this resolved.
Please take care, and if you need prayers for anything feel free to send them my way.