Our Beliefs / Our Synod & Classis / Our History

Our Beliefs

The Reformed Dutch Church in Claverack is a member of the Reformed Church in America, commonly referred to as the RCA. We are a Christian congregation that responds to the mission of the RCA and the Great Commission to go forth and make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching in the name of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28; 16). We welcome anyone who is seeking Jesus Christ, or wishes to strengthen their relationship with God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Our Christian beliefs are concisely stated in the Apostles’ Creed. We confess that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord, and when we earnestly repent our sins, we believe we will be forgiven and have everlasting life. We believe in the trinity – God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The lessons on which we strive to live our lives are found in the Holy Scripture – the Bible, the final authority for our beliefs. Use these links to find out more about the Reformed Church in America and Our Beliefs

Our Statement of Purpose

We, the members of the Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack, belonging to our Faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, are empowered by the Holy Spirit “to proclaim the Good News of God’s Grace” and strive to increase the love of God in our midst and throughout the world.

Our Synod & Classis

Our church is part of the Albany (N.Y.) Synod, one of the eight regional synods that compose the RCA. Further, our church is a member of the Columbia-Greene Classis, the local classis of the Albany Synod. Both the Albany Synod and CG Classis are responsible for the work of the church in their area, as well as providing support and partnership opportunities for their member congregations.

Use these links to find out more about the Albany Synod and the Columbia-Greene Classis

Our History

The Reformed Dutch Church in Claverack was organized in 1716. The first church stood east of the Old Court House (Rt. 23 B), and was dedicated in 1727; the beginning date of the church’s baptismal records.

In 1767, the present sanctuary of the Reformed Dutch Church was constructed on land that was deeded by John Van Rensselaer. Over the years, the original structure was expanded to include a bell tower, twin entry wings, and an expanded pulpit. The sanctuary is on the Register of National Historic Places and is one of Claverack’s most cherished structures, not only as a sanctuary but as a landmark and a visible reminder to all who pass by of the area’s historic and religious heritage. The interior of the church is simplistically beautiful and awe inspiring.

The sanctuary was dedicated on November 8, 1767. Rev. John Gabriel Gebhard who began his ministry in 1776 kept his position for fifty years until his death in 1826. The ministerial legacy began by Gebhard can be followed by reading the marble plaques which hang in the front of the sanctuary. Because of its very early beginnings and geographic location, the church played an important part in the Revolutionary War, providing respite for soldiers and officers. Located on the Reformed Dutch Church grounds, the historic Claverack Cemetery provides for the genealogist and lover of history a wealth of information about the earliest families and their role in history. The Parsonage, a Side Hall Colonial house, was constructed circa 1845 and is the present parsonage for the church.

In 1967, the Christian Education Building was built to provide facilities for learning, administration, activities, and fellowship. The C.E. Building houses the church office, Sunday School classrooms, a small library, restrooms, and a spacious meeting hall with adjoining kitchen. In addition to church functions and activities, the C.E. Building also serves as host to other local organizations and community events.

Further Reading:

  • Claverack, Old and New, by Franklin Hawley Webb
  • Claverack Township – The History and Heritage Compiled (a project of the Claverack Bicentennial Committee, July 1976)
  • The Parsonage Between Two Manors, by Elizabeth Gebhard
  • Bibliography of Columbia County New York