I am so pleased to welcome you to The First Church in Albany. We are a community rooted in Jesus with a long history in Albany and a continuing commitment to ministry in the city.
Since 1642, we have been in ministry in the heart of the city, with the city in our heart. As the oldest church in upstate New York, we are deeply committed to the mutual care of our church community and to the needs of our neighborhood.
The First Church in Albany is part of the Reformed Church in America, a mainline Protestant denomination and one of the oldest active denominations in North America with a continuous ministry since 1642.
The assignment of the word Reformed comes from the Protestant Reformation, which swept across Europe in the 1500's under the leadership of such people as Martin Luther and John Calvin. These Reformers insisted that the church was and is continually in need of being "reformed according to the Word of God."
The Reformed Church began its ministry in North America when the first congregation was established in New Amsterdam (New York City) in 1628. Although Dutch in origin, the Reformed Church in America has for decades included people of many different nationalities and races in its congregations. Today the denomination has more than 900 congregations in the United States and Canada.
Among other things the Reformed Church in America (RCA) is known for its active support of higher education and both local and worldwide mission programs. The Reformed Church maintains three liberal arts colleges and two theological seminaries and supports about 150 missionaries worldwide.
The RCA participates in many ecumenical initiatives such as Church World Service and both the National Council of Churches. Locally, First Church belongs to the Capital Area Council of Churches and is a member of the FOCUS Churches of Albany.