A Family of Faith
Who We Are
The Reformed Church of Bronxville is a family of faith, a home for all, at the heart of the community.
We strive to create a community of extraordinary love with Jesus at the center. We do this through gathering in corporate worship, growing in spiritual formation, giving in humble service, and going in Christ-like mission.
Our members and visitors come from many faith traditions: Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal, Roman Catholic—and Reformed, of course—to name a few. Some are just starting to explore what it means to follow Jesus, while others describe themselves as lifelong Christians. Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here.
As a local expression of the Reformed Church in America (RCA), we agree with the denomination’s foundational Reformed theology, though we differ on some issues. RCB welcomes all forms of diversity within our church family.
What does it mean to be “Reformed”?
Our tradition dates back to the early 16th-century, when the Reformation took place in Western Europe. A group of “protestants,” including John Knox of Scotland and John Calvin of France, began to challenge some of the traditions and theology of Roman Catholic church. They weren’t trying to start a new church, but the two groups eventually grew apart.
The Reformers believed in three basic points:
- Authority of Scripture. The foundational guide for faith and life is the Bible, the inspired and authoritative Word of God. The Word (not “words”) is a living Word, interpreted not by a central authority but by the “priesthood of all believers” with the help of the Holy Spirit.
- The Sovereignty of God. God is fully in control. However, this does not mean God created sin, or that there is no free will. Rather, in spite of the world’s brokenness, God in the fullness of time will establish (and is now and has been establishing) complete shalom—ultimate peace and wholeness.
- Salvation by Grace through Faith. We attain this shalom by grace through our faith in Jesus Christ. There’s nothing we can do, or not do, to earn God’s love. It’s a free gift. As we grow in our faith, the Holy Spirit works in us to make us more like Christ (“sanctification”). This yields more and more what Paul called “the fruit of the Spirit”: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
A group of Bronxville residents secured two acres of land at Midland and Pondfield to plant a local Reformed church. Their first building was dedicated on April 9, 1850. On November 5 of that same year, the church was formally organized and 12 women and men joined. Their names are engraved on a marble plaque in the Narthex.
The congregation voted to build a larger church building to better serve its 460 members. They hired New York City architect Harry Leslie Walker, who also designed Bronxville High School (1924) and Bronxville Public Library (1942). This photo shows construction around the first building, whose foundation lies under the grass in the cloister.
The new building was dedicated. It was designed in a Norman Gothic style inspired by English country churches. This photo, taken during a memorial service after the end of World War II, shows the original smaller Chancel before it was elongated in 1956. Today the Sanctuary, including the balcony, holds about 700 people.
The Sanctuary originally had plain leaded windows. Over almost 30 years, they were gradually replaced by stained glass designed by Boston-based craftsman Charles J. Connick, whose work can also be seen in St. Patrick’s and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC. The Sanctuary’s oak woodwork reflects biblical and theological themes—vines, grapes, quatrefoil (four overlapping circles, representing the four gospels), and triskelion (three spirals in a circle, representing the Trinity).
The Reformed Church of Bronxville acquired the lot at the corner of Midland and Kraft Avenues for its education wing, which also houses the nursery school. The wing and Congregational Hall were dedicated in 1957, pictured here. As the congregation continued to grow, the church continued to adapt. In 1974, the Columbarium was dedicated, and in 1999, the Sanctuary was restored and air conditioning installed.
In recent years, RCB has grown from a Village-centered church to a thriving house of worship that draws visitors from throughout Westchester County and the entire tri-state area. Our live streaming ministry serves worshippers throughout the country and world. While our congregation numbers around 900, The Reformed Church retains the intimate, small-town feel beloved by our members — a family of faith at the heart of the community.