South Bushwick Reformed Church dates back to 1851 when a group living in the new area known as Brownsville petitioned the North Classis of Long Island to establish a church in their area. Most of the group was members of the old Reformed Church of Bushwick. The petition was granted and the church was organized in November 1851. On September 6, 1852, construction began on the present building and its cornerstone was laid. Church records show that the plans were drawn up by Messrs. Morgan, who combined Greek Revival forms with a Georgian-inspired tower and steeple. The frame building measures 75 feet long by 55 feet wide and provides seating for about 500 persons. The church was then dedicated on February 27, 1853. On January 29, 1854, the church installed its first pastor, Reverend John S. Himrod, for whom the street adjacent to the church would later be named. In 1881, an "elegant and commodious school house was added to provide a chapel and space for the Sunday school. Two years later, in 1883, the church was enlarged. And in 1968, the church complex was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
We believe that God created the world and everything in it, including human beings.
God created a perfect world. In the beginning, there was no sin--no hatred, no disunity, and no death. But God also allowed humans to make their own choices.
The first humans, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God, allowing sin to enter God's perfect world.
From then on, every human has been born with sinful desires that lead to separation from God.
But the story doesn't end there. God loves the world and the people in it - so much, in fact, that he made a plan to take away the guilt of our sin. God sent his son, Jesus, into the world as a human. Jesus gave his life to pay the price for sins he didn't commit. Jesus accepted the punishment for our sins so that we don't have to.
Three days after Jesus was killed, God brought Jesus to life again, defeating the power of death and evil. Jesus still lives today, eternally in heaven with God the Father. One day he will come back to earth to put an end to evil--sin, death, and pain--and renew all things. He will gather all who have believed in him from every time and place to live with him forever.
Our faith is centered in God's love for us demonstrated in Jesus Christ, his son.
When we accept Jesus' sacrifice for us and commit our lives to following him, God sees us as perfect, the way we were first created to be. We cannot manufacture such faith on our own; it is the result of God's Spirit working within us.
In the Reformed view, the final authority is the Bible - the Holy Scriptures, the Word of God.
The Reformed perspective is centered in the overwhelming love of God toward us.
We believe that God is three in one - God the father, God the son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.
We believe that we are saved by grace alone through faith, not by what we think or do to earn God's favor.
Our good works don't earn our salvation, but are a way to thank God for this free gift of salvation.
The Reformed Church in America celebrates two sacraments: baptism and the Lord's Supper.
They remind us of God's promises to us and help us to claim those promises as our own.
The Reverend James E. Steward II is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He felt the call to ministry at an early age, which led to him preaching his initial sermon entitled "New Birth" under the pastoral leadership of the Rev. Dr. William T. Coles.
Pastor Steward has a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and a Master of Divinity degree from New Brunswick Theological Seminary. While in seminary, Pastor Steward completed his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) internship at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City where he served primarily as chaplain at the Morgan Stanley Babies and Children’s Hospital. Subsequently, Pastor Steward completed his CPE residency at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway where he was assigned as chaplain to the Pediatrics, Labor & Delivery, and Maternity units in the hospital as well as chaplain in the Bishop Maclean and Hucles nursing homes. Pastor Steward is a Board Certified Clinical Chaplain and pastoral counselor with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP).
Pastor Steward serves in bi-vocational ministry as the lead pastor of the South Bushwick Church in Brooklyn, New York as well as the Director of Pastoral Care and Education at South Nassau Communities Hospital on Long Island.
Pastor Steward is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America; the oldest Protestant denomination in North America.
Pastor Steward is married to the love of his life Mrs. Myeika L. Steward. They are the proud parents of three children; Maia Eliana Steward, James Edward Steward III, and Michelle Elise Rose Steward.