History of Old North

Serving in the heart of Dumont since 1801

Old North is a Protestant Church affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. It is the oldest Protestant denomination with a continuous ministry in the United States and is a member of the Presbyterian/Reformed Family of Churches.

The actual Old North congregation dates back to 1724. A congregation of the settlers in what was known as Schraalenburgh (Dutch for “low ridge”) was formed at the time under the care of the “Church on the Green” in Hackensack. 


1724  Congregation organized.


1725 Schraalenburgh Church built – stood about a city block east of the present South Church, Bergenfield. It was octagonal in shape. The  Parsonage and minister for the church were located in Hackensack.


1750 (Approximately) Congregation gradually divided into two – under the  leadership of two pastors both meeting in the same building.


1799 One congregation left and built the present South Church. The  second congregation continued to worship in the old church for  about two years.


1801 The second congregation built “North Reformed Protestant Dutch  Church of Schraalenburgh” on the land given by Major Isaac Kipp.  The building was erected by Peter Durie of New York, who later moved to Tenafly to be near the project

The inscription over the front door, in Dutch, reads, 

“Let peace come quickly to all. The North Church at Schraalenburgh built 1801.”

“In all places where I record my name, there shall I come to thee and bless thee." Exodus 20:24 


1833 Services in Dutch entirely discontinued. 


1834 Parsonage (Pastor’s house) was built.


1836 Stoves were installed in four corners of Sanctuary.


1846 Sunday School is organized and met in the balcony. 


1859 Sanctuary was enlarged eighteen feet. The side walls now had four windows instead of the original three. The back west wall was reconstructed with red brick and the red sand stones that were on the west wall and are now part of the sides blending with the  original stones.


1868 The first furnace was installed in the Sanctuary.  The clear glass panes in the Sanctuary were replaced with colored stenciled glass from Germany.

 

1888 Organ was installed in front of Sanctuary (attributed to W.H. Davis) powered by a water motor.


1894 Town name was changed from Schraalenburgh to Dumont in honor of Old North parishioner and 1st Mayor, Dumont Clarke.


1911 Town clock installed in the steeple. 


1912 The first Church House built. 


1918 World War I, Church House used almost exclusively by soldiers from Camp Merritt.

 

1919  Camp Merritt Town Memorial monument placed on church property.  The flagpole (since replaced) made from artillery gun barrels was moved from Camp Merritt to church yard.  

Dr. John Spring began his ministry and served for 34 years. He was formerly Chaplain at Camp Merritt and saw the congregation through the difficult years of the Great Depression. 

During his ministry, Old North became mother church to a number of Reformed churches in  surrounding towns. Mrs. Spring served as organist & choir director.

  

1923 Organ rebuilt by Clark & Fenton, Nyack, NY., electrified and moved to the north wall.

   

1925  Old North charters Boy Scout Troop 64. 


1926 Steeple hit by lightning. The first church house burned.

   

1949  Old North charters Cub Scout Troop 131.


1954 Major repairs and Sanctuary redecorated.


1962 New Church House dedicated.


1969 Church steeple completely renovated and the clock was removed.

  

1972 New Tellers 26 rank pipe organ installed. The Choir organ division was given in honor of Mrs. Spring. Sanctuary was redecorated.


1974 Old North celebrates its 250th Anniversary. New windows installed in Church House.

Dr. Albert Van Dyke retires after 16 years of service.


1980 Complete renovation of downstairs kitchen.


1983 Reverend Richard Vander Borgh becomes 13th Pastor.


1990 The End of the Earth Church Korean Congregation shared usage of church.

  

 1996 150th Anniversary of Sunday School.

 

1999 275th Anniversary Celebrated.


2000 Air conditioning installed in Sanctuary.


2001 200th Anniversary of Church building.  Church steeple painted.

 

2002 Cross replaces Reformed Church in America Coat of Arms in the sanctuary chancel.


2006 Light Alliance Korean Church of NJ shared usage of church.


2012 3-year major renovation of steeple and structures are complete.


2013 Installation of a state of the art Carillon–- sending forth music and hymns into the community.

2014 Reverend Richard Vander Borgh retires after 31 years.


2015 Reverend Susan E. Kerr installed as the 1st woman and14th minister of Old North Reformed Church.


2017 Stair lift installed at Chapel entrance to make the Church House and the sanctuary accessible for all. Handicapped bathroom and baby changing station are installed.


2018 Ye Old North Thrift Shoppe community ministry begun.


Become Part Of Our History and Shape Our Future!



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