Our History and Mission

It was back in 1834 that Third Reformed Church was born. It was born in the City of Albany (then with a population of 26,000 people). It was started because of the growth of the city in the southerly direction and was first composed of 19 charter members who moved from South Reformed Church. The date of institution was December 16, 1834. The first pastor was Rev. Edwin Holmes who was installed in February of 1835.

Worship was first held in the Strains building on the corner of Westerlo and Dallius. A few years later land was granted to the church from General Van Rensselaer for one dollar. The land was on the corner of Green and South Ferry Streets. On this site a building was built and finally dedicated in April of 1837. This building (the second used by the church and the first owned by the church) burned down except for the four walls only four years later. The building was rebuilt on the same site. Over the next few twenty years the church began to prosper, and after the Civil War period the church continued to grow until the turn of the century

The change in immigration patterns and movement within the growing city of Albany by the turn of the century caused the church to reach a point at which it had to decide its future. In 1913, in response to the changes in the city, the congregation decided it would follow the growth pattern of the city (and many of its congregation) and moved to its current location in the Delaware Avenue area. Three lots on Stanwix St. and Second Ave. were purchased and a temporary chapel was erected. In May of 1914 four lots were purchased on the south side of Ten Eyck Avenue and the building of the church building and parsonage was approved. At the time, this cost $35,000. The first worship was held in the new building in October 1914 and the building was completed in 1915. The centennial celebration of the church was held in 1934, just 18 years after the building was complete.

Through the long history of this church there have been ups and downs, but the church, but through it all God has remained active and involved with the ministry, and has led us forward. Today we are home to the Olive Branch Thrift Shop, and are looking into other ministries which will be of service to the surrounding community, including hosting various community groups on their request.

Since 1834, this congregation has worship in four locations, in four buildings and one trailer. In the 175 years of its history, the church has had 34 called pastors and a number of interim and/or supply pastors. Through all those years we have continued to promote Christís ministry to the world, and look forward to the future with hope and excitement.