FRC Leaves Impact

On the day of President Obama’s second inauguration, Lolly, Gary and I hosted a table for our church at the Bush Campus Visitors’ Center of Rutgers University. We were one of 14 stations inviting Rutgers students to volunteer in the community. Activities like these are very successful. In 2012 alone, we had four volunteer work days with Rutgers students. They helped paint the Sexton’s House, the upper hallways in the Church House, and the interior of the breezeway. They cleaned up the cemetery, washed doors and polished furniture. They were wonderful. And in doing their selfless work, they learned about First Reformed Church and its involvement in the founding of Queen’s College, now Rutgers University. The students are always amazed at the rich history intertwining the church and the university. Some of the facts we explained repeatedly at the fair:

  • Rutgers commencement ceremonies took place at First Reformed Church until 1873.
  • Four Rutgers presidents are buried in the church’s cemetery;
  • Three of these presidents served simultaneously as pastors of the church
  • Two of the presidents are well known by students today: Rev. Dr. Jacob Rutsen  Hardenbergh as the first president of the college, and Rev. Dr. John Henry Livingston whose work had secured the ecclesiastical and academic independence of our American denomination from the mother church in The Netherlands.

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About Rev. Dr. Hartmut Kramer-Mills

Hartmut Kramer-Mills, a native of Jena, Germany, began his theological education at Heidelberg University. After the Middle Exam in 1986 he received a scholarship from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches for McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He graduated from McCormick with a Master of Divinity in 1988. He graduated from Marburg University in Germany with the Ecclesiastical Exam in 1990, and received a Dr. theol. from Greifswald University, Germany, in 1997. From 1990 to 1991 he was vicar at St. Wenzel in Naumburg, Germany. He was ordained minister of word and sacrament in 1993 through the Protestant Church of the Church Province of Saxony. From 1993 to 1998 he served as assistant pastor in Stoessen, Goerschen, and Rathewitz, Germany. At the same time he was lecturer for Church History at Erfurt College in Germany. From 1999 to 2000 he served the Spotswood Reformed Church in New Jersey as interim pastor. Since 2000 he and his wife serve the First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, as co-pastors.
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