St. John's Reformed Church
Our Heritage. The official date for the the beginning of St. John's Reformed Church is November 9, 1788 when its first consistory (board) was elected. Dominie Petrus DeWitt was the first minister serving this congregation. There is however history of the congregation before then, as far back as 1721 when German Reformed and Lutherans along with Dutch Reformed residents in the area worshipped together, most likely under the pastoral care of Dominie Petrus Vas of Kingston. St. John's also counts as a part of its history that its parent Church is the Red Church, located on Rt. 9G in Tivoli. The Red Church is no longer a working church structure, but its ministry lives on in the church gathered at St. John's Reformed Church in Upper Red Hook, New York.
St. John's is also a part of the oldest continuously worshipping protestant denomination in the United States, The Reformed Church in America, founded in 1628. The RCA in turn traces its roots to the Netherlands and the Reformation of John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland. The RCA is a mainline Christian denomination and a founding member of the National Council of Churches, a member of the World Council of Churches, and the World Communion of Reformed Churches. St. John's is part of the Mid-Hudson Classis (our church district), and the Regional Synod of New York.
St. John's remains a vibrant, worshipping community committed to following Jesus Christ in mission. Our confessing membership is 150 with an average attendance of 100 on Sundays.
Our Polity. We have a presbyterian form of church goverance. Presbyterian is from a Greek word meaning elder. Elders are not men with long beards (although they can be). Our board of elders consists of both women and men, as does our board of deacons. A Presbyterian form of church government means that a board (called a consistory) is elected by the congregation and makes sure that things are done decently and in order as stated in I Corinthians 14:40. The consistory is made up of the elders, deacons, and installed minister of word and sacrament.