The Collegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the City of New York (the Church) is the oldest recognized church in the United States. Dutch immigrants founded it in 1628, two years after the founding of New Amsterdam. Although it functioned as a congregation for 68 years, the Church did not receive a charter until 1696.
The charter is notable since the British had taken over the colony. The granting of a charter marked a certain level of religious toleration in the British colonies. The Church went through great changes in ministers, buildings, and membership. Such changes, which span nearly 400 years, are too numerous to mention. It has branched into several buildings and has a membership of between five and six thousand people. The Church has shown a remarkable transformation over its life, adapting to the changing population of New York City.
Associated with the Church is Collegiate School, which also dates to the time of Dutch possession. It is the oldest school in the United States.
This collection consists of published accounts of the Church and its history. The Church has printed many bulletins to commemorate its anniversaries. Included in the bulletins are numerous histories of the Church, which track the ministers and churches back to its foundation. Although there are no documents in this collection for the period 1628-1886, some portion of the history can be known through these accounts.
Much of the rest of the collection is comprised of the annual Church yearbook, which relates information of church activities, membership, and financial status. The yearbooks cover the period from 1886 to 1989. Also in the collection are commemoration services of G. Washington and William McKinley.
Repository citation: Western Theological Seminary, "W91-1044. Collegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the City of New York. Records, 1878-1989. 1.00 linear ft." (2012). Collection Registers and Abstracts. Paper 225.
July 16, 2012.