About Dr. Rob Williams


Dr. WilliamsThe Rev. Dr. Robert D. Williams began to serve the United Church of Spring Valley in November of 2006 and was installed as its pastor on October 28, 2007.

When asked about his faith, Rob answers: “I think I can say that the most important elements of my faith are captured in two of Jesus’ parables: the Parable of the Prodigal Son and the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The first portrays for me the vast and unconditional love God has for us all no matter where we are in life. God’s arms are always stretched open in loving welcome. God is eager to throw a party to celebrate us and wants us to enter into that joy. The second parable portrays God’s mission for us. Since God wants us all at the party, then we need to be agents of God’s invitation. As we move through our world and through our lives, we also discover that many around us have taken a beating in life. So we are called to be agents of God’s compassion and justice as well. For me, that’s it in a nutshell, these two parables!”

Before his arrival at this church, Rob served for 21 years at the Marble Collegiate Church in NYC where he was the Senior Associate Minister. Prior to Marble Church, Rob was the pastor of the Heritage Presbyterian Church in Memphis TN for 9 years. Rob was ordained in 1976 in the Presbyterian Church, US and transferred his ministerial credentials to the Reformed Church in America in 1999. In 2007, Rob was also received into the NY Metro Association of the United Church of Christ as a member with dual standing. Rob holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M. Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton MA, and a D. Min. from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur GA. He has also done work toward a Ph.D. in Religion and Psychiatry at Union Theological Seminary in NYC.

Rob is married to Nora Heflin Williams who works as a psychiatrist in private practice in Ridgewood NJ. Together they have three sons. Their son Felder Williams is married to Jennifer Cowher Williams and they have a daughter, Kella Lee Williams. Felder is an attorney serving in the Department of Children and Families in the NJ Attorney General's office. Their son John Williams shares life with his partner Dave McKeown and their Yorkie, Arby, in Edgewater, NJ. John works in marketing for a biotechnology company. Their son Ben Williams lives in Wellington, New Zealand working with lighting and sound in the world of theater.