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But a celebration is in order, given the congregation's illustrious past dating from the early 1850s.
This passage has been widely accepted as the first extra-Pentateuchal reference to the patriarchs, with the dating accorded it usually more or less that of the time of the prophet Hosea, mid 8th century BCE.The Dutch Reformed Church was the oldest Reformed church in the Netherlands and before the demise of the Dutch Republic enjoyed status as the 'public' or 'privileged' church.Contrary to popular belief it was never a state church, although the law demanded that every person in a public position should be a communicant member of the Dutch Reformed Church.The earliest churches still used for worship date from the 1890s; all are African American Protestant bodies.Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Congregations grew, flourished, and declined as their upwardly mobile members moved to newer subdivisions or more distant suburbs, where spacious new homes with gardens on tree-lined streets beckoned.Finally, the mother churches followed their members and sold the beloved edifice to other ethnic groups.Oranjestaad is the capital of the small island of St.Eustatius – more commonly known as Statia - in the Netherland Antilles.This is a charming town that gives a great sense of what life in the Caribbean must have been like in the past – the pace is slow, the people un-hurried and there are few tourists.Oranjestaad has plenty to interest those who like a bit of history. Along the waterfront by the harbor are buildings dating from the colonial era and the best beach on the island; together, these comprise the Lower Town.