BRIEF OUTLINE OF RCA HISTORY
On a Sunday in 1628, in New Amsterdam (New York City) about fifty people gathered around a crude table and celebrated the Lord’s Supper. Their celebration of the Lord's Supper marks the birthdate of the Reformed Church in America.
The Reformed branch of Protestantism is rooted in the Reformation of the 1500s. Its primary leader was John Calvin of Switzerland, whose reform movement spread to Scotland, where it became the Presbyterian Church, and the Netherlands, where it became the Dutch Reformed Church.
Throughout the first half of the 1800s, the church's Dutch beginnings shifted from an everyday reality to a remembered heritage as Dutch-language worship began to fade. The church, incorporated in the United States in 1819 as the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, changed its name in 1867 to the Reformed Church in America.
Most of the RCA's influence in America continued to be among settlers and immigrants of Dutch descent throughout the nineteenth century. While Dutch immigrants were expanding the church in Canada, the Reformed Church in the United States also underwent change in the 1950s, the years following World War II and encompassing the tensest years of the Cold War. The social and cultural mood in America welcomed churches and religiosity, if only as a counterpoint to the atheism practiced by the nation's Cold War enemies. Americans moving to the cities and suburbs prompted the RCA to spend millions of dollars to organize 120 new churches between 1949 and 1958, and for the first time in the denomination's history, many were opened among people unfamiliar with Dutch heritage.
Reformed and always reforming, the RCA has moved into the twenty-first century, rooted and established in careful theology and committed to grow as the Spirit leads.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SECOND REFORMED CHURCH OF FULTON
In 1766, First Reformed Church of Fulton was organized. The church served the many faithful Dutch families in the surrounding communities. 50 years later several members of First Reformed Church petitioned the consistory (Elders and Deacons) to offer worship in English as well as Dutch. At that time the consistory of First Reformed was not ready to make that needed but difficult change. They did however give their blessing to these members who decided to leave First and plant another church in town that would intentionally worship in English.
Second Reformed Church was organized on January 11, 1916, built only a few blocks away from the mother church. Second now has 100+ years of history, guided by the founding impulse to be a church that is faithful to the Word of God and accessible to the community. Over the years the church has come to be known in the community for her ministry to children and youth.