Reformed Protestant Dutch Church



Columbia County,

New York.

By Capt. Franklin Ellis259



     The earliest record relates to the baptism of infants, and is dated 1748.  Probably the organization was effected at about that time, under the ministrations of Rev. J. Freymoet.

     The first name or title of this church was that of "Stissick" (probably "Stissing," from the mountain at the south), the second that of "Ancram," before the town was divided in 1830; and for many years, in its old age, it has borne the fresh and verdant name of "the Greenbush Church."  It is popularly known as the "Vedder" church, after its longtime pastor, Rev. H. Vedder.

     The earlier church edifice was a square frame structure with a square or "hip" roof, and stood nearly south from the present site and a few rods distant.  Its pulpit was of the barrel shape then in vogue, and furnished with a huge sounding-board.  In 1823 this building was condemned, and the present one built, it being finished and dedicated in February, 1824.  The sermon on that occasion was preached by the pastor, from Psalm xxii., first verse:  "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord."  In 1872 a pipe-organ was placed in the church at a cost of $1650, exclusive of the cost of building an arched room in the rear of the chruch to receive it.  The year following, 1873, extensive changes were made in the interior arrangements at a large outlay.  In 1874 the parsonage was repaired at a cost of $1800.  The pastors have been, in order of their service, Revs. J. Freymoet, ------Lansing, Harman Vedder, F. M. Bogardus, and Dewitt B. Wyckoff, the present pastor.  Rev. Herman Vedder served as pastor form 1803 to 1864.  He was a graduated of Union College, in the class of 1799, and died in the parsonage of this church in 1873.  For a time, during the Revolution, Rev. Dr. J. H. Livingston supplied the pulpit.

     The present membership is about one hundred and forty.  A glance at the records form 1748 to 1752 shows that the families of Knickerbocker, Wheeler (then spelled Wieler), Williams, Snyder, Killmer, Silbernail, Wiltsie, and Hallenbeck and representatives here at that extremely early day.

     The territory over which this church once held jurisdiction is now occupied by no less than fourteen churches, of several different denominations but the mother church still stands, a bright and shining light among them all.