Our History

Ark of the Covenant Church of God By Faith Inc., (AOC) was founded in July 2000, by Pastor Nolan J. and Shelia Williams.  The church was originally located at a small rented storefront at 183 Bloss Street in the City of Rochester.  The church began with a small group of parishioners, including Pastor Nolan’s family along with three additional families.  The church continued to thrive and grow and remained at Bloss Street for over 7 years.


From its inception the mission of the church has been to build up the body of Christ through love while reaching out to individuals and families in need.  The church was intended to provide a place of worship and fellowship, spiritual / pastoral counseling, meeting basic needs for food, clothing and shelter, as well as be a safe haven for the youngest members. AOC continues to go above and beyond the call to "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (Luke 14:23)


The church continues to grow steadily to reach out to families in the local neighborhood and surrounding areas. We welcome you in joining us in responding to the call "Therefore said he unto them, the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest." Luke 10:2 


Our Mission

Ark of the Covenant's mission is to; REACHTEACH, and PREPARE parishioners for the challenge of SOUL WINNING FOR CHRIST by:

  1. Reconciling the lost (humankind) to Christ
  2. Provoking humankind to love
  3. Promoting wholeness in the body
  4. Developing a bond of unity
  5. Teaching reciprocal biblical learning
  6. Expanding church growth
  7. Yielding fruit

Until God's love indwells us, we may never be able to express the fullness of the greater love...


Meet Our Pastors



Elder Nolan J. Williams, Pastor


Ark of the Covenant, Church of God by Faith



Pastor Nolan J. Williams was ordained as Elder, under the auspices of the National Churches of God by Faith in December 2001. Pastor Williams is Founder and Senior Pastor of the Ark of the Covenant Church of God by Faith, Rochester, New York. He works as an adjutant to the District and National Examining Board of Ministers for the National Churches of God By Faith Inc.


Pastor Williams received nurturance in Christian fellowship through Bishop Emeritus, J.E. McKnight Sr. In this experience he learned to operationalize the gift of prayer. Prayer is the focus and strength of his devotion to Christ. Through prayer and fellowship, he humbly accepted his vocation in the Ministry. He enjoys spending his leisure time studying the Word of God as well as nurturing and parenting his church and children, respectively.


Pastor Williams is happily married to Co-Pastor Shelia L. Williams. In August 2016 they will celebrate 28 years of love and devotion in this union. Pastor Williams is the father of four children: Jailani, Nolan, Bradley and DeAnna. He is a native of Gainesville, Florida where he received his general diploma from Eastside High School.


Pastor Williams is co-owner of Regency Funeral Chapel, located in Rochester, New York. He serves on staff as a Bereavement Counselor and Eulogist for grieving families. His previous secular employment includes: Meat and Produce Manager for Winn Dixie Foods in Florida and Atlanta Georgia, Installation Manager for Corporate Interiors, Sales Merchandiser for Kraft Foods Inc., and Dairy Assistant Manager for Wegmans Foods.


Pastor Williams has previously served in several leading positions in his local and district church as a dedicated choir member and usher board member. Additionally, he served as Deacon and Associate Minister for New Hope Church of God by Faith, located in Buffalo, New York, under the leadership of Superintendent, Elder Reginald L. Daymon. It was under the provision of Elder Daymon's spiritual guidance, he ventured out into his ministry of hospitality and leadership. He has given himself to serving and equipping individuals and families for discipleship. The purpose and focal point of his ministry is outlined in the book of Isaiah:


"Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward."  Isaiah 58:6-8 KJV


Missionary Shelia Williams, Co-Pastor

Ark of the Covenant, Church of God by Faith 


Co-Pastor Shelia Williams is Co-founder of the Ark of the Covenant Church of God by Faith Inc., located in Rochester New York. She is a fulfilled rib and wife of Pastor Nolan Williams and the mother of three children, Nolan, Bradley and DeAnna.


Co-Pastor Shelia Williams’ educational accomplishments includes: a Diploma in Mortuary Science, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and she has earned a Masters Degree in Social Work, with a graduate concentration in Social Welfare and Psychology.


Currently, Co-Pastor Williams is employed by the Monroe County Human Services Department, where she has worked in different areas for over twenty years. She has served in the capacity as an Examiner, Senior Examiner, Child Protective Caseworker, Adult Protective Caseworker, and currently serves as Preventive Day Care Caseworker.  As an entrepreneur and co-owner, she serves as a Licensed Funeral Director for the Regency Funeral Chapel Inc. 


As early as the age of four years old, Co-Pastor Williams was perceived as being an unusual child, due in part to her gift of discernment, strong-will, and her persistence in exploration of her creative talents. She enjoys the work of the deliverance ministry which the Lord has entrusted in her care.  Her God given talents are demonstrative in her gift of faith, discerning spirits, wisdom and knowledge. These talents allow Co-Pastor Williams the fortitude to disseminate the word of God to all walks of life. Co-Pastor Williams’ ministerial purpose is demonstrated through a life of Christian discipline as exemplified in the life of Christ, and proclaimed in the bible:


“ The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”St. Luke 4:18-19, KJV


"Without the generous support of Ark of the Covenant and its volunteers, I don't know how we would have coped during the holidays. AOC volunteers coordinated sharing of food baskets and gifts for our children. We are so grateful!"



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We're here to welcome you! Please stop by during these hours: 12:00-3:00 M-F



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