History and Archives Committee

Niskayuna Reformed Church Inscription

Mission Statement

Promote awareness of the rich history of Niskayuna Reformed Church as a place of worship and fellowship and preserve historical records and artifacts for the congregation, community and future generations.

Origins of the Niskayuna Reformed Church

The Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Niskayuna seems to have its beginnings about 1750 under the authority of the Classis of Amsterdam, Holland. Services were first held in a “Gebed Huis” or Prayer House that was used on the Sabbath for services and on weekdays as a schoolhouse. It was located near the Mohawk River by the intersection of Rosendale and Old River Roads. In 1760 a new edifice was built on the same spot. It was a square building with a four-sided roof running up to a point in the middle. It was served by traveling ministers before 1790, including Rev. Samson Occom, a Mohegan Indian from Connecticut. In 1790 the church ordained its first permanent minister, the Rev. John Demarest.

The 1760 building served until 1828 when new property was purchased on the Troy Road.  The new church, dedicated on March 6, 1829, was a plain frame building designed by the Albany architect Philip Hooker. The church was poorly constructed and was replaced by the current brick edifice in 1852.

General Areas of Responsibility

The History and Archives committee has two primary focus areas:

  • Managing the collections of documents and artifacts for storage and display;
  • Planning events to present NRC’s history to the congregation and community at large.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Gather, evaluate, organize, preserve and maintain historical church documents and artifacts;
  • Safely store historic documents and artifacts in an organized system and make them accessible for staff, church members and interested members of the public
  • Properly display and exhibit historical church documents and artifacts at suitable occasions;
  • Plan events that celebrate the roots and heritage of our church;
  • Raise funds for the proper archival preservation and exhibition of church documents;
  • Create a digital library of documents in our archives in case of physical loss and to make the material easier to search and locate.

The committee is building on the work of dedicated members who came before and new members are always welcome.  The committee meets monthly; subcommittees meet as needed to address specific projects.

Contact us at 518-785-5575 or office@niskayunareformed.org.


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