Rockford Reformed Church is part of the Reformed Church in America (RCA). The “reformed” part of our name comes from the Protestant Reformation, which swept across Europe in the 1500s under the leadership of such men as Martin Luther and John Calvin. Calvin’s reformation at Geneva spread to many other countries, including Scotland, where it became the Presbyterian Church, and the Netherlands, where it became our ancestor, the Dutch Reformed Church.
The Reformed Church came to America with some of the earliest Dutch settlers in the 1600s. By 1628, the Dutch Reformed people in New Amsterdam (now New York City) were able to form a church there. James Michaelius came over from the Netherlands and took charge of the small congregation of about 50 members. From that time on, there has always been a Dutch Reformed Church in New York City. Thus, our Reformed Church is the oldest Protestant Church in America with an uninterrupted ministry.
Since that first congregation met almost 400 years ago in a small room above a grist mill, the church has grown into what is today called the Reformed Church in America, consisting of 1,000 churches and 300,000 members – people of diverse ethnicities and many cultures, growing and serving God together.
We could write many pages on the specifics of Reformed beliefs, but the RCA’s website has it covered. For in-depth information on the church’s beliefs and organizational structure, please visit the official RCA Website: www.rca.org. Some helpful links: