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Over 25 years buidling a solid reputation :: Proverbs 22:1
 

About Us

The goal of this web site is not to advertise for Cordero Craftsmen. We are a small company, able to complete only one or two houses, and maybe three remodel jobs in a year.

The Craftsmen in Action

I am hoping that instead of taking potential clients around town to see our work, or spending an evening pouring over a portfolio, this website will allow me to spend more time with my family; playing b–ball with my son, taking my daughter out to eat, or sitting down with my wife for a much needed date. The goal of this web site is to create more free time for me.

 

 

About the Name

Many have asked if there is some special significance in the name Cordero Craftsmen. The answer is yes. When my first partner and I started the business we searched for a Spanish word that would express our faith. We came up with the word "cordero". Cordero means lamb and is often used in the Bible to describe Jesus. We at Cordero Craftsmen realize that, ultimately we are working for a higher authority than any potential client. We are working for the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

Whether tearing down a building or doing intricate finish work, we have always sought to be craftsmen, and so the bond between words was formed: Cordero Craftsmen. Some have suggested that it is not a very professional name and have asked us to change it, but here we are over a quarter of a century later still using the same name and still very happy with it!

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Background Information

(I tend to rant and get long winded so stop reading at your convenience!)

Cordero Craftsmen started out the dream of a three buddies from Colorado, Ohio, and Pennsylvania; Bruce Kuhns, Randy Coblentz, and Rich Walter. The three of us had finished two year terms of voluntary service with the local Mennonite church in Brownsville, Texas. We had been working with a program called "El Buen Vecino" (The Good Neighbor) building and repairing homes for the very poor. It was an incredible time of growth for all of us and we hated the idea of leaving the people of Brownsville to head back to the states we had grown up in.

We began throwing around the idea of starting a carpentry business. Meanwhile, Bruce and Rich headed off to Goshen College. Bruce pursued a degree in Spanish, and Rich a degree in art and Spanish. Randy stayed in Brownsville and went to work for another building contractor. Bruce finished his college degree and Rich dropped out after a year, claiming that he couldn't stand to be away from the sunny south (in reality he was in love with a local Brownsville girl!) The two moved back to B'ville and started Cordero Craftsmen. Randy, who was already living in B'ville, kept his secure job hoping to join us when we became more established.

It was a good thing he did. The first year was incredibly tough; we were trying to make a living from a clientele that we had previously worked for free of charge! We stuck it out and God was faithful. After two years, Bruce decided to move back to Colorado and teach school. Again, God was faithful, putting in the heart of Randy to leave his secure job behind and join Cordero Craftsmen.

These two partners: Randy Coblentz and Rich Walter went on to become very close friends and later to become brother-in-laws. It was an incredible journey that lasted almost twenty years! But, alas, that too came to an end. In 2004 Randy decided to move back home to Ohio to be close to his family. He is missed very much.

This was a very daunting transition for Rich, but again, God has been faithful! The business has continued to grow although there has been a bit of a shift in Rich's job description. He spends most of his time now, meeting wonderful clients and managing their projects. He still keeps his tool belt and does the more artsy work with his own hands. That is what he enjoys most, anyway!

Cordero Craftsmen now exclusively uses three very gifted craftsmen; sub-contractors: Rod Schmucker from Schmucker Construction, Sonny Hernandez from A&L Construction and Dionisio Sabillon from Sabillon Construction. They all share both the vision and faith of Cordero Craftsmen.

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Some of Our Craftsmen

The Cordero Craftsmen
Dionisio, Sonny, Rod and Rich - the Cordero Craftsmen

Rod comes from an Amish background, and also shares the Mennonite Voluntary Service experience that Rich had. He met his wife in voluntary service here in B'ville, got married and then moved back to his home town of Fort Bend, Indiana. He worked for his father, a number of years, in the modular home industry before returning to B'ville.

Rod

Rod is a jack of all trades, everything from plumbing to furniture distressing. He is incredibly conscientious, and extremely thorough. He often carries the title of superintendent when working with Cordero Craftsmen. He is a thinker, and our resident "professor". He has an incredible sense of humor and may have missed his calling as a comedian. He has an educated opinion on everything from world events to chicken sexing. Rod also attends the local Mennonite Church and is a Sunday school teacher for the youth. He also helps fill in as a preacher when the pastor is out of town. He is married to Norma and has two children.

Sonny

Sonny comes from a Catholic background and is very involved with the A.C.T.S ministry in his local church. He is a valley native, hailing from Harlingen, Texas. As a teen he was a skater and surfer. He spent most of his adult life working as a self-employed carpenter/contractor and as a carpenter/superintendent for a large commercial building contractor.

Sonny is a very good and quick framer and does outstanding finish work. He is focused and gets things done fast. He is our resident jokester and a big teddy bear. He is very sensitive and will be the first to notice when someone is upset. He is a real live "tool hound" and can't resist gadgets that he can use at work. Sonny is married to Lupita and has three children.

Dionisio

Dionisio is from Siguatepeque, Honduras. He was in the Honduran military for many years before becoming a preacher and pastor. He and Rich attended the same church together in Honduras. (Rich was on a study/service semester in Honduras while in college). They only figured this out years later after Dionisio started working for Cordero Craftsmen. Dionisio is our resident preacher. He is a traveling evangelist and has a heart for bringing others to Christ. He has traveled much of Honduras and Mexico sharing Jesus. He has incredible stories of faith and hardship.

Dionisio is an incredible finish carpenter with a real eye for detail. He is a man of integrity, and a hard worker. He dreams of starting a small school for pastors in Los Fresnos, Texas, where he is currently constructing a small church building as he is able to save money. Dionisio is married and has five children, two of which still live in Honduras.

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The Walters

About Rich

Although I claim Brownsville as home; Easton, Pennsylvania was my place of birth. My parents, one brother and a sister still live in that same state. I have another brother who lives in Tennessee. As a child our family lived all over the place: Easton, Pennsylvania; Vidalia, Georgia; Bilbao, Spain; Williamsport, Pennsylvania; and Chardon, Ohio. Each place had a profound impact on my life, but none more than in Williamsport where I became a follower of Jesus.

From an early age I had an extreme love for nature, I loved camping with my parents and pack-packing as a teen. To the embarrassment of my mother, I claimed that I would become a mountain man, living off the land somewhere in Canada. But God had other plans. At the age of nineteen, I joined Voluntary Service with the Mennonite Church. They sent me to Brownsville, Texas where I worked with a building program for twenty five dollars a month and room and board. That was a life changing experience! Daily I was confronted with poverty and need, something I had never seen before. I realized I would never be able to justify the life of a hermit, and made a radical change in life choices. I decided that my life had to involve service to these needy people and in the process I understood that I was the one who was needy and the poor were the ones who helped me. It was a personal epiphany of sorts.

After my service term was up I went back north to a Mennonite college that my parents graciously paid for, with the understanding that I was only going to stay long enough to master the Spanish language. I convinced the dean to allow me to enter into a senior's study service semester in Honduras as a freshman. Then I dropped out.

Brownsville

I returned to Brownsville to work as a carpenter and to get involved, once again, in a local church. I continued dating Maria, a wonderful girl I met in Voluntary Service, and after four years we were married. Twenty two years later, we are still happily married and both still very involved in our church, currently as youth leaders for a wonderful bunch of young people. We continue to look for ways to serve and try to pass those same values on to our two wonderful children, Mistidawn and Richie.

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RRR

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