Nolan FWB - header

Church Home  Donation Center  Facebook Page  List of Services / Contacts  Our Pastors  Church History 

Our Beliefs    KJV Online Bible  KJV Audio Bible   Nolan Christian Academy

Nolan FWB Church - History

1941 to Present

The Nolan Street Church was organized in 1941 and was first known as the “Welcomeland Freewill Baptist Church of Jesus Christ”.  Throughout the next 20-30 years, it became known as the “Nolan Free Will Baptist Church” because it was a part of the Free Will Baptist Association and was in the community of Nolan. In 2022, the church pulled out of the Free Will Baptist Denomination due to the Denomination becoming too lacks toward the importance of standing on the King James Bible. When the church pulled out of the Free Will Baptist, and because the community of Nolan had been reduced to a street in the Williamson Area. The church simply took on the name of Nolan Street Church.

 The church was officially organized by the Rev. Melvin Sanford, who also served as the first pastor. The Charter members of the Welcomeland Church were Grace and Everette Stevenson, Mr. and Mrs. Ebb Whitt, Lassie and Will Bryant, Tom Jackson, Dave Jackson, Grace Duncan, Mr. and Mrs. Bartly McCoy and Alice Roberts. The first trustees consisted of Mose Muncy, Edward VanHoose and Arlie Joe Ball. Services were first conducted in an old schoolhouse until the congregation erected a church building on the Kentucky side of the Tug River, directly opposite Nolan, sometime during the late 40’s. The congregation then purchased a Methodist Church building which was located at the site of the old church building (which now serves as the auxiliary building/kitchen). The construction of this church began in June 1953 and was opened for services in November 1953. Several years later numerous Sunday School classrooms and a steeple were added to the church. The building and steeple were completed in 1957. The property was deeded from the Methodist Church to the Freewill Baptist Church. Two items from the old Methodist Church, the original, elaborately carved, portable pulpit stand and the church bell were saved and placed in the newly constructed church building. The old pulpit was later used in the Pilgrim Home United Baptist Church at Maher, WV. The old church bell is still a part of our church heritage. Its tolls can still be heard throughout the community each Sunday morning before Sunday School services begin. The “old church” which now serves as our auxiliary building/kitchen, was used from. 1953 until 1986, the year in which the present building was completed. Due to much growth in the church, it became necessary to construct a new building. A parcel of land was purchased from the Everett Thompson family. Construction on this building began around 1984. The steeple was added in 1993. Approximately 7 years later, the church was able to buy the land that the old Nolan Grade School sat on. That land was asphalted and is now used for a parking area. The church membership has increased over the years from the original twelve charter members to one hundred and thirty nine members today. In addition to the Rev. Melvin Sanford, several other ministers have served the church as pastor. They include the Rev. John W. Bryant, Rev. Willie Kirk, Rev. Arlie Joe Ball, Rev. Glenn Ray Moore, Rev. Taylor Cantrell, Rev. Ray Taylor, Rev. Roy “Bo” Bryant and the Rev. John C. Wellman.

The Rev. Ray Taylor served as pastor of the Nolan Freewill Baptist Church from 1957 to 1964. He then assumed the pastorate of the West Williamson Freewill Baptist Church for approximately three years. He then returned to the Nolan Church in 1967 and remained pastor until his death in 2023. He is currently the longest serving pastor of the church. Several members of the church congregation have entered into the ministry. The comment was once made, that Brother Ray Taylor had a hatchery for ministers at Nolan. One of those ministers who came from that hatchery was Rev. Earl White. Rev. Earl White was a deacon of the church, then started to preach in 1985, and was an assistant to Rev. Ray Taylor for many years, and after the death of Rev. Ray Taylor, Rev. Earl White took pastorship in 2023 and remains the current pastor.

The Nolan Church has sponsored various programs for its members through out the years, but the most important is our Sunday Worship service where faithfully the church has gathered together to Worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  God has truly shed His abundant blessings on this congregation of believers, and we pray that he continues to do so, till he comes.


Nolan Christian Academy 2010 - 2022

Nolan Christian Academy

 Nolan Christian Academy was organized in August 2010, after our pastor Ray Taylor met another pastor at a mission revival. This other pastor told of being abandoned as a child and placed in an orphanage, he then told of God calling him into the ministry and starting a Christian school. He expounded how that the Christian School has enabled his church to help others, especially children, by teaching them Christian values, and preparing them for a Christ filled life. Our pastor went home after this service and felt that this meeting may have been appointed by God, and that the Nolan FWB Church, should start a Christian School. This was in March of 2010. In Jun 2010, the church voted unanimously in favor of this decision, and the church worked hard. In August 2010 school began, offering classes ranging from K4 – 12th grade. In the beginning classes were held in the Auxiliary Building of the Nolan Freewill Baptist Church. During the school’s first 2-years, it operated as a satellite school of the Eastern Panhandle Christian Academy, a ministry of the Heritage FWB Church at Inwood, WV. After the second year, NCA went independent.

 In 2012, the church had a vision to build a new school building dedicated to Christian education. Not having the funds to build the building, the church took the little money they had and began to work by faith. Men of the church gathered daily and worked, local contractors donated their time and equipment. People in the community made donations, and church members gave and sacrificed to see this projected through completion. In August 2014, God blessed us to move into our new building fully furnished, bought and paid for, completely debt-free. This new building was designed especially for NCA.

 NCA operated until 2022 in the new building and under the direction of the Nolan FWB Church, during that time the school had the privilege of seeing students graduate, go onto college, and labor for the Lord. NCA students were trained to serve God and they are paying it forward by working in their local churches. Former students who are singing, teaching, and preaching the Gospel, all for the glory of God! Our members and those who supported this school have a part in these students’ ministries!

Special Recognition 

Ray Taylor 

Rev. Ray Tayor - Longest Serving Pastor.

Melvin Sanford 

Rev. Melvin Sanford - Founding Pastor


Nolan FWB Church - Footer