“In consideration for the sum of one dollar in money and in exchange for the promotion of the Gospel in that third ward of Schenectady, they, assign forever that certain parcel of land situated two miles and three fourths south westerly from compact part of Schenectady and on the southeast side of the road that leads past the Old Grist Mill of Johannas Vedder toward Princetown.”
From agreement made on Nov. 27, 1820 between the “Mayor, Alderman and commonalty of the City of Schenectady” with Cobblestone Church (at that time Second Reformed Protestant Church of the Third Ward)
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the church began to actually form, most believe that it was around 1813. A document of incorporation of the church is signed by the Rev. Jeremiah Searle; elders: Lawrence Schermerhorn, Peter Becker, and Oliver Springer; deacons: John Vischer, Phillip DeForest and John Putman; and was dated Jan. 12, 1824.
The names signed on the document are seen all over Rotterdam, especially on street signs. Cobblestone has always been a church that has been immersed in the Rotterdam/Schenectady area. As the area has changed, so has the church.
The church has had two main buildings in its two hundred year history. The first was a modest wooden structure built in 1822. It was remodeled and renovated several times. Our current sanctuary was built in 1895 and dedicated in a three day long ceremony, September 22-25 of that year. The architect was Bradford Gilbert, who worked for the New Central Railroad Station. He obtained the clock from New York Central and donated $800 to build the clock tower in memory of Maria McCauley, who gave up much of her life to work in a mission in New York City. That mission, incidentally, brought John Calvin Knox [minister during time of dedication] to Christ and to the Ministry. The dedication program started with President Raymond of Union College preaching the dedication sermon and Reformed Church Ministers from all over our area taking part.
The former Cobblestone Chapel was built in 1902, enlarged twice, but was burned down in an accidental fire around Christmas time in 1963. Our present education wing, Fellowship Hall, and Hearthroom were added and dedicated 1965.
The area has changed significantly in two hundred years. It transitioned from a rural community to a suburban one and the church had to change along with it. The church has had twenty ministers during this time. The area continues to evolve and change and the church is adapting to the surroundings.
For the past few decades, Cobblestone, like most churches throughout the country, has experienced decline, and this has happened for a variety of reasons. In response to this, the last few years have been a time for Cobblestone to re-discover what it means to be a church in this place at this time.
In this rediscovery process Cobblestone has discerned that one of our greater desires is to be known as a church that cares for the greater community. We have concluded that we want to be a “Christian community working together to serve all people.”
“Working together to serve all people” is our core purpose.
We serve all people through the work that we do in this church and the organizations that we partner with outside of these walls.
As Jesus says “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” so we seek to help first those in poverty. We strive to help those in material, spiritual, relational, and vocational poverty.
We help those in material poverty mainly through our partnership with organizations that are better equipped to help those in need of food, housing, and job training to get out of material poverty. We try to help those in spiritual, relational, and vocational poverty directly with the ministries that we offer.
Our primary interest is to invite people to join us in our mission. We hope that through our service of to people in this community there would be social, economic, and spiritual renewal and revitalization in the area.