Annandale, New Jersey History

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Annandale Reformed Church


Published by Geroge V Millar, Scranton, PA. Postmarked 1922 - Annandale

The spire on the church was removed between May - October 1895 by J. B. Swick of Germantown

The congregation decided to have it removed because it was struck by lightning.

Robert L. Apgar and the Annandale Church Choir

Image courtesy of Jen Apgar Manns collection

Painted negative from 1940s

Annandale Reformed Church

When this church was built in 1868 the village was named Clinton Station, an important stop on the Jersey Central railroad where eighteen passenger trains stop each twenty-four hours and the freight and coal trains are innumerable.” About the half the members came from the Reformed church in Lebanon when this congregation was organized in 1861. The prominent Tuscan arch and pointed arch on the steeple can be found on several other churches erected during the same period; in fact, the basic design can be traced to the Presbyterian church in Westfield, which was copied rather closed by more than a dozen churches in west central Jersey.



The Annandale Reformed Church was established on June 1, 1866 when four families petitioned the Raritan Classis, the governing body of the Reformed Church, to form their own local church. It was originally named the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Clinton Station. It began with eight people who had until then made the weekly journey to the Reformed Church in Lebanon.

On August 6, 1868 at 11am the cornerstone for the building was laid. Construction was completed by January 1869. Reverend J.A. Van Dorn was the first pastor of the church (1869-1873). In 1887 the first parsonage was built and the church's name was changed to its current one. A system of pew rentals was put into effect in 1870 to cover the operating expenses. A new bell was placed in the belfry in 1896, which still calls people to worship today.

A Women's Auxiliary was formed in 1904 and we still have a very active women's group today.

The first choir was formed in the 1920's. Today it has expanded to two levels: Jr. and Sr. choirs. The original Moller Pipe Organ was installed in 1925 and rebuilt in 1966. Extensive upgrading was completed in 1992 with a three manula consoul with midi capabilities added.

Changes in the building over the years have included removal of the spire, circa 1906, installation of the stained glass memorial windows in 1913, a renovation of the kitchen in the late 1950's and the sanctuary in 1968. The Fellowship Hall was refurbished in 1995. In most recent years the church has added a Memorial Garden committee to enhance the church grounds and witness God's gifts in nature and we are presently installing a ramp to make our church more accessible to those who cannot climb the stairs.

From 1980 to 1990 the Annandale Reformed Church was yoked with the High Bridge Reformed Church, sharing a pastor and several of its ministries, since neither church had the financial resources to support a full time minister. Our church has enjoyed a long heritage and many years of God's blessings as we have continued to minister to our community.

excerpt from History of Hunterdon and Somerset Counties, New Jersey, with illustrations and biographical sketches of it's prominent men and pioneers (1881). (Cornell University Library)

Annandale has had but one church organization, and that has continued to flourish. There was a meeting of the people of the village, June 1, 1866, to nominate oficers of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church "to be formed at Clinton Station. Rev. Robert Van Amburgh presided and George M. Frech was chosen clerk, whereupon Archibald Huffman and John H. Cregar were chosen elders and George M. Frech and George H. Rowland deacons. June 28, 1866, Revs. James Le Fever, Robert Van Amburgh, and P. P. M. Doolittle, with Elders Frederick Frelinghuysen and John A. Apgar, met to organize the church. On that occasion Archibald Huffman, Mary Huffman, John H. Cregar, Anna Cregar, George H. Rowland, Mercy Rowland, George M. Frech, and Barbara Frech presented certificates of dismission from the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Lebanon, and were organized as the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Clinton Station. April 20, 1867, an addition of seventeen was made to the membership, and in 1868 the present house of worship was built.

Rev. J. A. Van Dorn, who preached as supply at the first, was on Sept. 9, 1869, called to be the stated pastor. He resigned April 8, 1873, and was succeeded by Rev. Robert Van Amburgh, to whom, Nov. 12, 1877, followed Rev. George H. Cleaveland, the present pastor.

The church membership, November, 1880, was 111. The deacons were Andrew B. Lare, John Prugh, J. S. Wyckoff, and Millard Prugh ; the elders, William B. Lare, I. C. Harvey, N. P. Wyckoff, and William H. Yauger; superintendent of Sunday-school, B. E. Young.