© Frank H. Jump
A colleague and myself took our after-school photography program to the Flatlands Reformed Church Cemetery on Kings Highway for a photo-shoot. This is the same organization as Marble Collegiate and one of the oldest churches in Brooklyn.
Founded in 1654, Flatlands’ tradition and history is firmly grounded in the history of Dutch immigration and settlement and Dutch Reformed liturgy and theology. The Flatlands Reformed Church shares the distinction of being the oldest church in Brooklyn with Old First Reformed Church in Park Slope and the Flatbush Reformed Church on Flatbush and Church Avenues. The three congregations were founded on February 9, 1654. There are only two other Reformed Church congregations that are older than those in Brooklyn – the Collegiate Church in Manhattan and the North Dutch Church in Albany (later renamed First Church).
Walking through the tree-filtered late Autumn sunshine, you will recognize many of the names as street names in Brooklyn (i.e. Wyckoff). The sanctuary is a beautiful setting for the fall foliage and there are still a few roses in bloom late this November. Unfortunately there has been some vandalism.
Above is a marriage announcement for the same Teunis J. Bergen that was buried on February 27, 1922 (one of the later burials amongst many from the late 18th century and earlier). Below is a map of the Netherlands from around the time the first settlers came to Brooklyn (Breukelen).