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Commission on History

The Commission on History advises the General Synod on the collection of official records and documents of the RCA, its churches, assemblies, and agencies. It promotes research on, interest in, and reflection on the history and traditions of the RCA. The commission is responsible for the complete oversight of the Historical Series books. It also informs the RCA of the relevance of the denomination’s history and traditions to its ministries and regularly reviews denominational resources that present the church’s history. The commission provides a “history center” by regularly reporting on the activities of the RCA’s educational institutions as these relate to the history and traditions of the denomination (BCO Chapter 3, Part I, Article 5, Section 5).

The Commission on History has its roots in the Committee on History and Research, which was proposed by the Progress Council in 1928 in order that “the facts concerning the origin of the General Synod, Particular Synods, Classes, Consistories, Congregations, Pastors, etc. may be gathered and preserved” (MGS 1928, p. 875). The name was changed to the Commission on History in 1966. Supervision of the RCA Archives was transferred to the General Synod Council in 1993. The establishment of the Historical Series of the Reformed Church in America in 1968 began a new phase of the commission’s life. The series now consists of over 100 published volumes, and the commission spends a major part of its time on the evaluation, planning, and production of manuscripts to printed volumes.


The six members of this commission must have both knowledge of and interest in the history of the RCA.  Having some professional competence in this field is also preferred.  There is a considerable amount of reading each year.  Together, members collaborate to establish effective ways to preserve our denomination’s history, support the church’s archives, and creatively share the stories of God’s faithfulness for the last four centuries.

Please consider whether service on the Commission on History is something to which God is calling you. If it is, provide the Commission on Nominations with information about yourself by completing a profile form.

Complete a profile form