The present-day Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS) is the continuing remnant of the German immigrant denomination of the same name which was founded in 1725 by the Rev. John Philip Boehm. The old RCUS continued as a separate denomination until 1933-34 when the larger part of it united with the Evangelical Synod of North America to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church. This new church merged with the Congregational Christian Churches in 1957 to form the United Church of Christ.
One classis-the Eureka Classis-refused to participate in the 1934 merger. This classis continued as a separate entity for the next five decades. During this time, several congregations of like mind have become part of it. The North Dakota Classis dissolved in 1936 and its ministers and churches joined the Eureka Classis. During the 1950s, congregations at Menno, SD; Manitowoc, WI; Garner, IA; Sutton, NE; and Shafter and Bakersfield, CA, which had either left the Evangelical and Reformed Church or had been independent, joined the Eureka Classis. The 1970s welcomed the arrival of several churches from the General Association of Regular Baptists that had become Reformed. In subsequent years, several groups (some as whole congregations) have left the UCC to join the RCUS. Today, the RCUS numbers about forty congregations.
The RCUS does not follow unwritten traditions. It has an objective body of doctrinal statments of faith or standards which define and limit what we teach. We are committed to the historic Christian Creeds and the Confessions of the Reformation. Specifically we are committed to the Three Forms of Unity: the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort.
The unity of the Reformed Church in the U.S. (RCUS) consists to a large extent in its faithful adherence to a common faith and doctrine. The denomination affirms the great creeds of the early church—the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds—which define historic Christianity. It also subscribes to key doctrinal statements of the Protestant Reformation—the Belgic Confession (1561), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), and the Canons of Dort (1618–19), which together are called the Three Forms of Unity.
"What, then, is necessary for a Christian to believe?" asks the Heidelberg Catechism. "All that is promised us in the gospel, which the articles of our catholic, undoubted Christian faith teach us in summary," is the reply. Though this creed was not penned by the Apostles, it summarizes their teaching with simplicity, brevity, and beauty. Originally used as a baptismal formula in the second century, it reached its present form in the sixth. It gives a concise expression of the fundamentals of historic Christianity.