Is Stoltzfus Enterprises Cutting Corners in Pennsylvania? Construction Issues in Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, and Summerfield

The brand new carpet in the sanctuary of Community Evangelical Free Church is rotting as Stoltzfus Enterprises allegedly made a mistake in construction. The Wondering Eagle is asking the question is Stoltzfus Enterprises cutting corners in their construction practices?  In addition there are issues and deep concerns about shoddy construction techniques in Summerfield of Elverson. What does it say if Merle and Dave Stoltzfus cling to Psalm 127:1  when there are concerns that the houses in Summerfield allegedly can’t pass inspections? 

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

Albert Einstein 

“In law, a man is guilty when he violates the rights of another. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so. ”    

Immanuel Kant 

The company continued to expand throughout the following decade, building their reputation as a builder of high quality homes and commercial structures.

How Stoltzfus Enterprises describes itself, as a builder of high quality homes, The Wondering Eagle asks the question, is this true? 

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

Psalm 127:1 NIV

Thew new sanctuary under construction by Stoltzfus Enterprises 

Is the Larry, Moe and Curley of Elverson, Pennsylvania Steve Estes, Merle Stoltzfus and David Stoltzfus?

When Community Evangelical Free decided to build a new building against the advice of many they declined to have multiple bids placed. Instead the contract was given to Stoltzfus Enterprises. Stoltzfus Enterprises was started in the mid 1960’s by Ammon Stoltzfus. In the 1970’s David and Merle got involved in the business and worked with their father.  On the Stoltzfus Enterprises website it describes itself as, “The company continued to expand throughout the following decade, building their reputation as a builder of high quality homes and commercial structures.In the 1990’s the company was eventually taken over by Merle and David Stoltzfus who took over from their father. Ammon died in 1994. There is an interesting article recently published about Stoltzfus Enterprises at the website of Le Tourneau called, “Building Houses for God’s Glory | Merle and Dave Stoltzfus.” Plus you can see the video down below. 

 

Merle and Dave building houses for God’s glory in Elverson. 

Issues with Community Evangelical Free Construction and Summerfield of Elverson

As a said above the contract to build Community Evangelical Free Church’s new building was handled by Stolztfus Enterprises. While building the new sanctuary Stoltzfus Enterprises made a major mistake. While the concrete was not fully dry the carpet was laid over the cement. As a result the brand new carpet is now starting to rot. Allegedly it has an odor and the rotting carpet is making people in the congregation physically ill. Some people can’t sit in the sanctuary and have to sit in another room. The damage is in the thousands of dollars and people are fighting over who is responsible and pointing fingers at each other. Keep in mind they just let John Barber go, and if they let him go because they could not afford to pay him, will they have enough money to replace the carpet? 

The property adjacent to Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson is known as Summerfield. Summerfield started out as the Stoltzfus Egg Farm in Elverson. Ammon had a dream of turning it into into a housing development. The land was actually very swampy. I believe there are also several springs and today they are saturation prone. Because of this many houses have pumps that are working regularly or in rotation. The housing development has a weeping system. In 1992 the northernmost building on Meadowview Drive had its drainage system fail. Dave Stoltzfus compensated for this by connecting that system to the southernmost building by a six inch pipe. In 1993 after a bad rainstorm the southernmost building was overwhelmed with the drainage from both buildings and the basements were flooded. To compensate for the excess water a pipe that was attached previously installed connector. and routed to a storm drain at the base of the property. When Ammon learned that Dave Stoltzfus was cutting corners Ammon tore into David absolutely furious. This temporary fix lasted until 2006, when there were two bad storms in the late fall and the basements of several properties flooded across several Summerfield homes in the division. What had happened is that the gutter drains were dumping directly into the foundation weeping system. What would happen is that the water would overflow into the house when the system is overwhelmed. While some aspects are the responsibility of a homeowner, one thing that people believe is that Stoltzfus Enterprises put the drains in poor locations. What some homeowners did in Summerfield is regrade, draining gutter downspouts into the storm sewer, and in some cases move the downspouts so they could empty on the driveway instead of the weeping system. In addition they installed sump pumps in many units and flooding has not been a problem since then. 

In one house in Summerfield in the early 2010’s they began to notice a new problem. The stucco around the garage walls appeared to be separating and crumbling. When they had the wall examined it was revealed that the studs were completely rotted as well as the exterior plywood from the foundation to the roofline. The wall was in the process of collapsing. It was determined that the sill was located about one inch above grade, and there was no waterproof membrane between the sill  and concrete. The wall was wicking water up from the ground, and also experiencing water coming in and down from the roofline. Furthermore it was discovered that the sill was not bolted to the concrete which is abnormal. Instead it was fastened only with nails. Multiple building code violations were apparent. This owner approached Stoltzfus Enterprises and did recover some of the expenses. Then this home owner in Summerfield had another issue that developed in time. The had to remediate an entire wall in the main dining and living room. They are aware of two other houses in Summerfield that have this same issue. They did not bother to approach Merle or Dave Stoltzfus, and instead they had the wall repaired and paid $10,000 out of their own pocket. Another person in Summerfield also approached Stoltzfus Enterprises over their stucco issues related to shoddy construction but in the end they had to pay for their work out of pocket.

But getting back to that original Summerfield owner, they will have to fix that stucco if they ever want to sell their house. But the problems in the house go deeper. These are the other problems in this house built by Stultzfosu Enterprises.

  1. No footers were placed under the deck posts.
  2. Live electrical wire that uncapped was found under the jacuzzi. This posed a serious safety hazard.
  3. In the shower the hot and cold water was reversed.
  4. Roof and window leaks happened but they were repaired under warranty.
  5. Bathroom floor tiles were placed directly on plywood.
  6. Multiple toilet leaks have occurred over the years.
  7.  The inspector is appointed by the Borough Council and the mayor of Elverson a few months ago commentated how the process is allegedly a sham.
  8. The Stolzfus family dominates the borough council. 

Then there is the issue of Esther Prosser. Esther wrote on her real estate blog about stucco issues. I was told by a source that Esther allegedly discourages stucco inspections. Esther who is the sister of Merle and Dave Stoltzfus is allegedly being un-ethical in her practice from what was explained to me. Esther works in the real estate division of Stoltzfus Enterprises along with Keith DeWalt and Alisa Oxenford. Esther from my understanding has four children, one of them being Justin Prosser. Justin is an elder at an Evangelical Free Church in the Washington, D.C. area. Its called Ambassador Bible Church and is in Chantilly, Virginia which has a high population of Koreans and Asians. Justin Prosser talks about Steve Estes in  his biography at Ambassador Bible Church website which you can read here. Recently I sat through a service to watch and observe. Ambassador Bible has its own issues, its membership covenant is quite controlling. You can read about it in “Practicing Discernment: Membership Requirements for Ambassador Bible Church a local Evangelical Free Church in Chantilly, Virginia” and “Practicing Discernment: Analysis of Ambassador Bible Church’s Membership Covenant (Evangelical Free Church of America)” 

 

Were Corners Cut and What that Rotting Carpet in Community Evangelical Free Ultimately Represents 

Before I get into some thoughts on the issue at hand let me ask this one question. Ammon Stolztfus chewed out David Stoltzfus and lectured him about cutting corners in 1993 or so. If Merle and David listened to Ammon would these issues be happening in either Summerfield or Community Evangelical Free Church in 2017? The Stoltzfus I would suggest need to undergo ethical training. If they understood ethics would a lot of these problems be issues? I hear regularly from differing sources in the Elverson area that Stoltzfus Enterprises allegedly does shoddy work. People inside Summerfield of Elverson know that, and Community Evangelical Free Church is the latest example of these construction issues. These problems are why organizations like the Better Business Bureau exist.

Now Community Evangelical Free is a spiritually sick church. After all look at how they treated an alleged sexual assault victim. Then there was Merle going around saying, “we need to protect Brock, we need to protect Brock!” I actually want to do another post in the near future and ask the question…is Elverson ahead of the curve on sexual assault and misconduct given how much has come out in 2017 alone? The reality is that David Stoltzfus and Merle are nothing but a modern day Jonah. All they do is run, run, and run. Now they are running from the EFCA instead of doing the right thing. Its my understanding that Hurit’s mother was to get an apology letter. The Eastern District Superintendent Eddie Cole was to sit down one on one with Steve Estes and work on it together. Eddie got shafted by Steve Estes and hat was written allegedly horrified Eddie. Steve is also acting like Jonah in this entire mess. That video and blog post about building for God I believe is recent. I found it the other night while researching social media for this post. I believe its been done after the allegations of Brock’s rape and domestic abuse were covered up. How can Merle and Dave do such a video? Do they have no such concept of shame? To do a video in light of all the problems just staggers my mind. Not just that, but how can they say they are building for God when the carpet in their brand new sanctuary is rotting away? We have gone from a situation where a church is both spiritually and psychologically sick to now creating a situation where people allegedly are getting physically sick. How can Merle and Dave engineer such situations and then make videos like the one above? Here’s another question…what will it take to get people to leave? If you are a parent and you are not concerned that your daughter could face the same situation Hurit did, then surely going to a church were shoddy construction is making people ill should do it. 

That rotting carpet represents a lot in this story. It represents the dark hearts of Merle and Dave. It also represents what this church has become under Stoltzfus leadership. That leadership is rotten to the core.  It confirms those who have building issues in Summerfield of Elverson, and something many have known for a while. The Stoltzfus should not be in the construction industry. Wisdom I would suggest is knowing your limits and what you are capable of and your strengths. Stoltzfus Enterprises started out well. After all I have heard many good things about Ammon. And yet when Merle and Dave took over the business its gone off the rails. From housing problems to constructing a church with issues. This is a problem in the community. If anyone knows more about the situation with the carpet in the church feel free to discuss. If anyone wants to discuss their experiences with Stoltzfus Enterprises or any of their homes in Summerfield of Elverson or other properties feel free to do so below. I also understand that the Stoltzfus clan also owns the Elverson water company. Its interesting that if the EFCA is calling in the loan Stoltzfus water company is currently seeking an increase from 20 to almost 50% in their bills. Is the Stoltzfus using the water company to generate money for the loan situation? Its also my understanding that in the new bylaws for Brick Lane Community Church it states that if the church defaults the ownership allegedly goes to the Stoltzfus.  But remember Merle and Dave say they are building for the Lord. Dave and Merle you have built in vain, your labor is wasted. 

 

8 thoughts on “Is Stoltzfus Enterprises Cutting Corners in Pennsylvania? Construction Issues in Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, and Summerfield

  1. Is Stoltzfus Enterprises Cutting Corners in Pennsylvania?

    Considering the other things you’ve discovered about House Stoltzfus, I would not be surprised. Crooked in one thing, crooked in others.

    “Bulding Houses for God’s Glory”…
    Looks like when House Stoltzfus went English, they retained their Amish Piety.
    (Why am I reminded of the animal-abuse stories about Amish puppy mills?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Stoltzfis family are not Amish anymore so they should stop pretending like they are! The way they treated Hurit was certainly not pious. And it’s the Amish in Pennsylvania that have the most puppy mills! God loving people? I don’t think so…..

      Some of the houses in Summerfield were well built, I live in one. But like any houses being built, mistakes can be made. Ask any contractor. And we were given a ten year warranty….so maybe repairs mentioned in Wondering Eagle blog was the warranties ran out and why homeowners had to pay. Maybe?

      This council is no longer run by Stoltzfus family. Only Merle remains and council challenges him anytime necessary. Water company increase? Water pipes on Main Street have to be ripped up and repaired…we all got announcement about that.

      Don’t get me wrong I’m not defending Stoltzfus but I wanted to correct a few misnomers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • @Jenn, thanks for clearing some of these things up.
        If true, perhaps Eagle should edit this post to reflect
        these things, or at the very least, make some insertions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jenn, been busy and need to respond. I have been to the house in Summerfield. The owners maintain it and spend a lot of time with it. They do a good job in their work. I have heard on a regular basis from many different sources that there are quality control issues in these houses. It actually pops up fairly regularly. The carpet situation at CEFC is one in a long on going of alleged problems that have happened. These are not coincidences.

        Also many people are wondering if the water company, which the Stoltzfus own, is going to float a loan and deal with the worsening financial condition of CEFC. CEFC is a business. One can almost say that it’s a part of Stoltzfus Enterprises. But I feel comfortable with my sources. If I was not comfortable then I wouldn’t have written this post.

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      • The current Mayor of Elverson said specifically to me that the building inspector signed off on the homes in Summerfield without actually inspecting the homes. This is clearly fraud. In addition, it was reported to me by an employee of the company that Ester Prosser will tell people who sell a summer field home NOT to allow a stucco inspection because it will fail. This is not a construction mistake but a lack of doing a job in which to be proud of, you know, to the Glory of God. Not knowing how long Jenn has lived in Summerfield will depend on when issues come up.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. > The inspector is appointed by the Borough Council and
    > the mayor of Elverson a few months ago commentated
    > how the process is allegedly a sham.
    […]
    > The Stolzfus family dominates the borough council.
    […]
    > I also understand that the Stoltzfus clan also owns
    > the Elverson water company. Its interesting that if
    > the EFCA is calling in the loan Stoltzfus water company
    > is currently seeking an increase from 20 to almost 50%
    > in their bills.

    As if all of this isn’t bad enough, here’s the kicker:
    > Its also my understanding that in the new bylaws for
    > Brick Lane Community Church it states that if the
    > church defaults the ownership allegedly goes to the Stoltzfus.

    And if all of what is alleged here is true, that last bit appears
    to be the end game. FYI, in all normal churches that are
    associated with a denomination, it is customary for the church’s
    bylaws & Constitution to state that if the church ever ceases
    to exist, the property reverts to the denomination. This is
    specifically done to prevent any one person/entity, or group
    of people from acting in one’s own personal interest(s) over
    the interests of the church body, and to prevent even the
    appearance of any impropriety.

    If what is purported here is true, especially the last bit,
    this is beyond outrageous. It also explains — beyond the
    spiritual issues regarding the shameless treatment of
    Hurit by the pastor’s son and the elders of the church —
    why this church went to such a great effort to secede
    from the EFCA.

    How anyone can remain associated with such a place,
    or have approved such a Constitution/by-laws is beyond
    my comprehension. Then again, I’ve been a first-hand
    witness to how a church’s bylaws and Constitution can
    be hijacked to give elders increasing amounts of power
    and control over a number of years, while the hapless
    congregation simply nods away and cedes such control.

    My family recently left such a church and are fortunately
    in a much better place now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah — you can’t believe anything the Mayor has told you. He has lied many times and been caught at it. Don’t know what his agenda is. I have lived in Summerfield for 18 years, and my home was built by Stoltzfus. Well built home. Yes some houses had issues but that is normal in any new construction and with a ten year warranty they have fixed any problems. Beyond ten years any home might develop issues. Given Summerfield has 300 homes, not surprised at some issues. Esther cannot control inspections. But she does “steer” buyers in other words she discriminates….other realtors have complained but no one has pushed it further legally. Summerfield is still a great place to live.

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  4. Pingback: Brick Lane Community Church Joins The Gospel Coalition, and Challenging a Misleading Statement from Steve Estes Church | Wondering Eagle

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