About Us

Historical Timeline

1628

A few years after the establishment of New Amsterdam at the tip of Manhattan Island, the church is formally organized, with the Reverend Jonas Michaelius as Minister. The congregation meets in a large room over the mill which grinds the colonists' grain.

1638

Rev. Edward Bogardus, the second pastor of the church, requests that the authorities in Holland send a schoolmaster in order "to teach and train the youth of both the Dutch and blacks in the knowledge of Jesus Christ." Adam Roelanstsen sails from Holland to New Amsterdam to become the first schoolmaster of the Collegiate School. Currently located adjacent to the West End Church on 77th and 78th Streets, this prestigious boys' school is the oldest in America.

1642

The first fundraising effort for the Collegiate Church occurs on the wedding day of Dr. Hans Kierstede and Sara, daughter of church pastor Rev. Edward Bogardus. At the wedding party, the conversation turns to the need for a new and more permanent church building. St. Nicholas Church (the “Church in the Fort”) is erected as a result.

1664

The Dutch surrender the colony to the British and New Amersterdam becomes New York. The church retains all its original privileges.

1696

The Church is incorporated under a charter granted by King William III of England. This charter is a triumph for religious liberty. It precludes any union of church and state and recognizes the rights of all Protestant Churches.

1747

The Consistory of the Collegiate Church on January 29th recommends that the ministers limit themselves to not more than one hour, "so as to remove the complaints about the long sermon to increase the audiences and hold the people together, and so enlarge the alms and other revenues of the Church."

1764

The first sermon in English is preached in the Old Middle Church on Nassau Street by the Rev. Archibald Laidlie, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, who has just been installed as a Collegiate minister.

1772

Independence is established from the church in Holland.

1776

British troops occupy New York City during most of the Revolutionary War and many churches are taken over for military use. Collegiate's North Church and Old Middle Church are used by the British as prisons for hundreds of American Patriot soldiers.

1867

The name of the church is changed from "The Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in America" to "The Reformed Church in America"

1869

Centennial of the North Dutch Church building. Dr. De Witt and Dr. Chambers deliver addresses. Determination is made to build elsewhere. In May 1869, the cornerstone of the 48th Street Church is laid.

1871

Collegiate ministers cease preaching in rotation; each has his own congregation.

1928

The Collegiate Church celebrates its 300th Anniversary in New York City.

1940

The Collegiate School formally establishes independence from the Collegiate Church. Ties, however, remain close.

1977

Mrs. Jean Allan becomes the first woman member of the Collegiate Church Consistory.

1993

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is called to God on December 24.  Dr. Peale served as Senior Minister of the Collegiate Church from 1973 until his death, and Minister-in-Charge of the Marble Collegiate Church from 1932 to 1984. His book, The Power of Positive Thinking, has sold more than twenty million copies worldwide since its publication in 1952. 

1996

The Collegiate Church celebrates the 300th anniversary of the granting of its charter by King William III

1998

The Collegiate Corporation goes on-line.

2007 The Collegiate Church creates Intersections International. The Rev. Robert Chase is installed as the Founding Director in a ceremony at the Natural History Museum, recognizing the intersection of science and religion.
2008 The Collegiate Church launches TV ad campaign, "Invisible."
2008 Intersections, launches ChangeTheStory.net, a premier on-line resource, complete with tools for religious educators, aimed at transforming harmful stereotypes that persist about Muslims. The site receives international acclaim.
2009

The Collegiate Church's original restored Charter and Liber A were a part of the Hudson 400 Exhibit at the Museum of the City Of New York.

2009

On September 11th, The West End Collegiate Church hosted the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands at a Remembrance Service for 9/11 victims and commemoration of the historic connections among the Collegiate Church and the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the House of Orange.

2009

On November 27th, The Collegiate Church and members of the Lenape family of Indians (the original inhabitants of Manhattan)  participate in an historic healing ceremony called Healing Turtle Island. The Church recognizes its part in the suffering experienced by the Lenape upon the arrival of the Dutch settlers.

2009

Using the arts, Intersections aims to amplify the untold stories of Iraqi refugees. In October, a group of artists joins Intersections on a journey to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria to meet with Iraqi refugees, hear their stories, and produce artistic work as part of the Iraqi Voices Amplification Project.