Addisville Reformed Church

Our History

Addisvillle Reformed Church circa 1945

The Addisville Reformed Church is a result of 150 years of arduous labor by early Dutch residents of Bucks County. Its roots go back to "the first Dutch Bensalem and Sammenij" (Neshaminy) established in 1710 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Troubles pursued it, but the little church was persistent in its faith.

In 1737, the congregation moved to the newly erected "Christian Reformed Low Dutch Church of Bucks County", in what is now the graveyard near the Buck Hotel in Feasterville. Increasing numbers of the congregation resided in Northampton Township, and soon there was agitation from them for a collegiate church in their own area. In 1752, their request was granted; a little church was begun in the graveyard across from the present day Addisville Church.

In use for more than 60 years, both churches, needing extensive repairs, were torn down and replaced in 1816 with one centrally located church in Smoketown (now Churchville). However, soon the folks in Northampton wanted their own meetinghouse again.

Ground for the Richboro church was purchased in 1857 from Gilliam Cornell, a familiar name in the area then as now, and a year later construction began on the new building. At first a collegiate church of the Reformed Church of North and Southampton, the congregation petitioned the Classis to become a separate body on May 19, 1864, it began its independent career as the Reformed Dutch Church of Addisville.

A Northampton Township farm map of 1859 shows the church as a little white building with a steeple. The steeple was soon remodeled to take a bell, and everyone within ear-shot was reminded it was Sunday. Twenty years later, the belfry was rocking in the wind, but before consistory could agree on its repair, a late fall hurricane toppled the steeple and broke the bell. It was a year before the congregation was called to worship by a new bell.

The first organ purchased by the church had been on exhibit at the Great Paris Fair in 1874. Around 1915, a new $1,500 pipe organ was purchased due to the philanthropy of the Carnegie Corporation. Soon after, the 8 lovely stained-glass memorial windows were installed and electrical fixtures replaced the gas lights.

Not until 1953 was the church facility expanded, the first time in almost 100 years. A religious education building was added to the rear of the church for use as a Sunday School and public school kindergarten. A porch and new steeple were added in 1964, changing its appearance greatly. A few years later a new organ was placed in the balcony of the church. The old organ pipes behind the pulpit were removed, revealing once more the original design of the apse. In place of the old glass windows found, beautiful stained-glass windows were installed.

As Richboro steadily grew, concern rose for the safety of those crossing the "Pike". The little chapel adjacent to the cemetery, used for so many years for Sunday School and many other activities, was sold and replaced with another addition to the church. The parish Life Building was dedicated in December 1978. With faith and hard work, the church continues to grow.

Condensed from 'A History of Addisville Church' by Virginia B. Geyer.