PRC History

steeple 5The local scene in the early 1800’s is one of a quiet, peaceful country village. Most of the land is divided into farms, many stretching from river to river. A dirt lane arched over by maples and elms leads from the furnace at the lower end of the little community to the grist mill at the other end. Five or six houses, including the Yellow Cottage Tavern, are located along the main lane with another dozen or so on side roads developed by the families living on the farms. There is also a store, located near the furnace, and a small school house.

In the year 1812 or shortly before, men from Pompton Lakes decided that they should have a church of their own, having previously attended the Pompton Plains Church. According to records, the following agreement was reached and circulated for subscriptions:
“We the subscribers being desirous to build a meeting house, in the neighborhood of Pompton, on an acre of ground, next and by east, of Pompton School House adjoining the Turnpike Road, for the purpose of holding divine worship, according to the truths of the Dutch Reformed Church in America, except as to language which is to be altogether English, and at any time, when it shall not interfere with the stated time of preaching by the Minister of said church, the meeting house shall be open to any proper and accredited Presbyterian or Episcopalian Minister to enter in and preach, by application made to the Trustees or Consistory when formed, and we the subscribers, do promise to pay the several sums, etc., by us subscribed, unto the Trustees or Managers of said building which Trustees, or Managers, will be chosen, by a majority of the subscribers, at their meeting to be held at some future time, and it is further understood, that when the meeting house is finished, the Pews will be set up at public vendue, and sold to the highest bidder, and if any subscriber purchases a pew, the amount of his subscription to be set off as so much paid on the purchase – February, 1812.”

This is the first written record of the organization of the Pompton Reformed Church. The meeting referred to was held February 20, 1812. The Certificate of Incorporation was dated June 8, 1812. The first Consistory was elected at a Congregational Meeting in April 1815: Elders were Martin Ryerson, Esquire: Thomas Blauvelt, Esquire: Philip J. Schuyler, and Nathaniel Douglas. The Deacons were Adrian Post, Abraham Lyons, Johnson N. Gould and Peter van Pelt.

The new church contained 20,000 bricks made near Pompton Plains and cost $5,943.12. The Church at Pompton was dedicated October 16, 1814, and the organization of the congregation was completed June 18, 1815. The first Consistory meeting was held June 24, 1815, and a call was extended to the Reverend Jacob Ten Eyck Field, who resigned his charge at Pompton Plains to become the first pastor of the new congregation.

Thus, starting with twenty-four names on the church roles at the beginning of the year 1816, the congregation continued in prayer and faith and grew and prospered in the work of the Lord.


Ministers of the Pompton Reformed Church

Rev. Jacob Ten Eyck Field 1816 – 1827
Rev. Richard C. Shimeall 1828 – 1829
Rev. Isaac S. Demund 1830 – 1839
Rev. Horace Doolittle 1840 – 1852
Rev. John Gaston 1852 – 1862
Rev. John N. Janson 1863 – 1883
Rev. Tunis J. Kommers 1884 – 1886
Rev. John A. Trimmer 1886 – 1890
Rev. Ferdinand S. Wilson 1891 – 1902
Rev. Charles M. Dixon 1903 – 1923
Rev. George J. DeWitt 1923 – 1931
Rev. Gerrit Heemstra 1931 – 1965
Rev. Armand R. Renskers 1965 – 1968
Rev. Bert Van Soest 1969 – 1981
Rev. Paul W. Kranendonk 1981 – 1989
Rev. L’anni Hill 1991 – 2001
Rev. Tom Bartha 2002 – 2016
Rev. Mel VanHattem (Transitional Pastor) 2016 – 2018
Rev. John W. Burden 2019 -present

Associate Ministers

Rev. Gregory A. Oross 1954 – 1958
Rev. Randall A. Bosch 1959 – 1961
Rev. J. Elmer Hausmann, Jr 1961 – 1966
Rev. William E. Gaston 1966 – 1983
Rev. William Donkersloot 1983 – 1994
Rev. Peter Hausmann 1995 – 2001
Rev. Debbie Rundecker 2010 – 2014