Get our newsletters

Signs of resolution in dispute over church signs

A Hunterdon clergyman’s six-month wait for his church signs may soon be over.
Peter Mantell, pastor of the Frenchtown United Methodist and Kingwood United Methodist churches in Hunterdon County, N.J., sent more than $3,000 to Greene Graphics and Displays of Ringoes, N.J., to provide two signs for the churches back in January.
Despite multiple emails and calls, he said he heard nothing from the company for months.
Contacted by the Herald on Monday, Tom Greene, the owner of the company, was apologetic. He said he would be in contact with Mantell, and that the signs would be produced and installed over the next two weeks. “He has every right to be frustrated.”
Later Monday, Mantell confirmed he heard from the owner. He had been considering legal action to recoup the money and had planned to contact the state’s Office of Consumer Protection.
The pastor, a member of the Frenchtown Business and Professional Association, made his predicament public on Facebook earlier this month. “We paid 50 percent deposits for each sign and received an assurance that at least one of our new signs would be installed during the week of Jan. 13. That day came and went. After multiple phone calls and emails, months went by with no contact from this company.”
“In May, we were promised the signs on May 28 and June 4. On May 28, I received word that it would be pushed to June 9. All along, I had been requesting a simple photograph of work in progress. Nothing,” he continued.
Suspecting a scam, the pastor said he contacted four companies who appeared on Greene’s website; two of them – Spana Landscaping and JM Sorge in Somerville, N.J. – told him they never worked with Greene Graphics and Signs. However, Greene says those projects were subcontracted out.
On its website, the company showcases a photo bank of past projects, and states it has worked on airplanes, water tanks, elevators, vehicles, and “fabricated exhibits that traveled the Amazon.”

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.