Our History

The Reformed Dutch Church in Claverack was organized in 1716. The first church stood east of the Old Court House (Rt. 23 B), and was dedicated in 1727; the beginning date of the church’s baptismal records.

In 1767, the present sanctuary of the Reformed Dutch Church was constructed on land that was deeded by John Van Rensselaer. Over the years, the original structure was expanded to include a bell tower, twin entry wings, and an expanded pulpit. The sanctuary is on the Register of National Historic Places and is one of Claverack’s most cherished structures, not only as a sanctuary but as a landmark and a visible reminder to all who pass by of the area’s historic and religious heritage. The interior of the church is simplistically beautiful and awe inspiring.

The sanctuary was dedicated on November 8, 1767. Rev. John Gabriel Gebhard who began his ministry in 1776 kept his position for fifty years until his death in 1826. The ministerial legacy began by Gebhard can be followed by reading the marble plaques which hang in the front of the sanctuary. Because of its very early beginnings and geographic location, the church played an important part in the Revolutionary War, providing respite for soldiers and officers. Located on the Reformed Dutch Church grounds, the historic Claverack Cemetery provides for the genealogist and lover of history a wealth of information about the earliest families and their role in history. The Parsonage, a Side Hall Colonial house, was constructed circa 1845 and is the present parsonage for the church.

In 1967, the Christian Education Building was built to provide facilities for learning, administration, activities, and fellowship. The C.E. Building houses the church office, Sunday School classrooms, a small library, restrooms, and a spacious meeting hall with adjoining kitchen. In addition to church functions and activities, the C.E. Building also serves as host to other local organizations and community events.