authoritative source on
early churches of New Jersey
We've created a database and photographic inventory on more than half
the 18th & 19th century churches in the state and add to it each month.
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Dutch Reformed Church at Second River
Belleville, Essex County
Once part of Newark, this church in Belleville was known as the Second
Reformed Church at Second River (the Passaic). It was organized in 1697
and this Gothic Revival-influenced building was erected in 1853. William
Kirk was the architect.
Compare this to the First Reformed church
in Hackensack to see
how Gothic elements crept into church design, even for a denomination
with strong ties to Dutch traditions. The congregation was organized
in 1697, which makes it perhaps the oldest Reformed congregation in
Essex county, which had been dominated by Puritans in the seventeenth
century. The cemetery behind the church contains the remains of more
Revolutionary War soldiers than any other in the country.