Washington Reformed Presbyterian Church has a history of dedication to God’s inspired and inerrant word. It is a Presbyterian Church whose denominational roots can be traced back to the Scottish branch of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Its roots as a distinct congregation in Washington go all the way back to the early nineteenth century. Today, it has a continuing presence in Washington, Iowa characterized by the same convictions.
Adam Ritchey was an Associate Presbyterian (Seceder) Elder who moved with his family and a few other families across the Mississippi to settle in an area called Crooked Creek. Unfortunately, his pastor allegedly had an aversion to the natives there and discouraged the move, reportedly saying, “…The gospel will never cross the Mississippi.” Ritchey went anyway and, of course, the gospel progressed and thrived because it is God who brings the increase. The very next year (1837) the Crooked Creek congregation was organized and was the first outreach west of the Mississippi. On February 7th, 1841 the missionary who was sent for the work (licentiate George C. Vincent) preached the first gospel sermon ever heard in Washington, Iowa. On October 14th, 1841 the Washington Congregation was formally organized. The congregation’s first church building was erected and occupied in the summer of 1844 (though the present Washington Reformed Presbyterian Church building was built in 1901). In 1859, seventy percent of the congregation went into the United Presbyterian Church while thirty percent of the congregation reorganized as a continuing Seceder congregation to maintain its Biblical, and historically Presbyterian and Calvinistic commitment. This minority group united with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America in 1969 (along with the other remaining Seceder congregations) and continues to have the same Reformed convictions until this day. This is the congregation known as Washington Reformed Presbyterian Church. (Historical details come from the article, “History of Washington Associate Presbyterian Church, Observing its 100th Anniversary This Year” by Ann Dawson printed in 1941, and an anonymous timeline, “Washington Reformed Presbyterian Church Time Line of Our Congregation’s Roots”).
We, as a congregation, still endeavor to remain faithful to Scripture since it is God’s word. We are sinners who are saved solely by God’s grace as He sent His only begotten Son to redeem us. We strive to live to God’s glory and to reach out with His glorious gospel. We have a heart for the community and desire to be there for those in need as they bear God’s image. To God alone be the glory!