Our Roots

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 eighteenth century, 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. 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.

Local Church History

In 1757, when these lands were still under the emblem of King George III, this Church was organized by a colony of 19 persons. The first structure, built in 1764, was torn down in 1833, and the present building replaced it.

This Church of Christ is part of the Reformed Church of America. It is a sister to the Presbyterian family of churches. It has an honorable history, stemming from the Protestant Reformation in the Netherlands. We are nourished by the Scriptures and seek the guidance of Christ’s Spirit. We are in communion with the worldwide Christian Church.

We are a community church. Many people in our congregation have their roots in other faiths.

  • 1757: Hopewell Congregation organized
  • 1764: First Church erected
  • 1771: Vendre of pews; bell hung
  • 1826: Becomes Single Pastorate
  • 1833: Present building erected
  • 1834: Vendre of box pews
  • 1841: Nave walls built
  • 1844: Horse Sheds erected
  • 1856: Front Nave & lower rear of Church remodeled.
  • 1863: Hopewell Cemetery Association organized
  • 1875: Baptistery; new bell; present pews
  • 1904: Pipe Organ installed
  • 1913: Memorial windows
  • 1932: Electric lights
  • 1940: Church Hall erected
  • 1956-57: Old Horse Sheds removed
  • 1960: Church School building erected
  • 1963: Sign welcoming worshipers erected
  • 1967: Narthex new lights & carpeting
  • 1972: Major organ repairs
  • 1973: Mary Louise Miller, first woman seated to Consistory
  • 1977: Plexiglas to cover stained glass windows
  • 1978: Sanctuary, Narthex-new pew cushions, carpeting
  • 1980: New choir loft
  • 1982: Narthex new walls
  • 1982: Clove Branch parking lot
  • 1982: Landscaping, well & ramp
  • 1986: Balcony seating & Church Steeple
  • 1990: Front platform enlarged to accommodate larger choir
  • 1992: Demolition of Fellowship Hall
  • 1992: Construction of second floor of Sunday School Unit
  • 1993: Croniser parking lot
  • 2000: Praise Service added
  • 2001: Sound equipment & screen in Sanctuary
  • 2001: Landscaping, and sanctuary remodeled

Click here to see an extended timeline of HRC’s history

In 2007 HRC celebrated its 250th Anniversary. Our History Team examined and translated old handwritten documents. Try your hand!

Perhaps of interest also is this web site showing the marriages performed at HRC from 1766 through 1882.