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Earlier this year, in March, Bishop Allyson D. Nelson Abrams, of Zion Progress Baptist Church in Detroit  and Bishop Emeritus Diana Williams of the Imani Temple of the African-American Catholic Congregation in Washington, D.C, exchanged wedding vows in Iowa. For more than five years, Abrams served as pastor of Zion Progress but on Friday, October 18, 2013, Bishop Abrams  officially stepped down as pastor.

In an interview with News One, Abrams explained that she stepped down to avoid being a distraction in the church. 

From News One:

During her tenure as pastor, Abrams said she always preached about openness and inclusion, but never specifically touched on the subject of same-sex marriage. It simply was something she did not feel the need to preach about. What is unique about her marriage is that this is her first relationship with a woman.

”I been progressive in my theology and I got to the point where I was open to love whatever way that came,” she said.

Abrams, who has three adult children and was once married to a man, told the Chronicle how wonderful a fit her new wife is.

“She is definitely my best friend, a wonderful person and is a support system to me in tremendous ways,” Abrams said. “We have a lot in common. We have similar visions, missions and goals. We complement each other very well in how best to serve God.”

Although Abrams said she received tons of support from other pastors, she’s has received a fair share of negative responses but would rather not focus on those.  Abrams shared her views on black faith and homosexuality with the Michigan Chronicle:

“We are all made in God’s image and in God’s likeness, which means whoever you are, whatever you look like, whatever your gender is, whatever your color, whatever your culture, whatever you orientation (sexual), everybody is made in God’s image.

“There are so many people who are wounded, so many people who are hurt, so many people have been cast out; people have been pushed to the point where they actually have tried to hurt themselves and have even killed themselves because of what the religious community says about who they are.”

She continued, “One of the things that really hurts me is that for so many years, African-American churches, and maybe White churches as well, are saying that these people (gay) are going to hell. Some ministers (male) are being hypocrites because behind the scenes they are right there doing stuff. Many people, especially young people and the unchurched, when they come to church, want to be welcomed and affirmed.

“There is a difference. If I’m affirming you, that means that I am accepting you as you are and that you are free to serve in any capacity in the church as a member. If a same-gender loving person can clean the church, play the organ, sing in the choir, they should be able to lead the church…teach, preach and do all of that.”

As for Abrams future, although she’s not with Zion any more, she does see herself guest speaking at other churches and pastoring again.

Clutchettes, what do you think of Abrams being a gay pastor? 

  • Apple

    Just join the presbyterian and Lutherans . They allow gay clergy

  • jazo

    It is a convenient gospel she is preaching. How about taking the Bible in its entirety and not ignoring the sections we don’t like.

  • http://gravatar.com/yesimthatleah Yes, I’m That Leah

    I’m glad she stepped down in order to live a free life. Keeping stuff bottled up inside will destroy you. I’m thinking about joining the Church of God. They accept gays and stuff. Maybe a different congregation is what she needs.

  • GeauxMuff

    In a way, many people don’t take the Bible in its entirety. Whether someone chooses a same-sex relationship, worries excessively, overeats, has sex outside of marriage, or gets drunk, everyone has a sin they partake in. I’m not excusing her lifestyle, but let’s not be too quick to see her faults and not our own.

  • Yesu re ba

    Jesus is coming!!!!

  • Chelle

    @GeauxMuff

    I totally agree with you. Many people pick and choose which parts of the Bible to live by rather than follow the Word exactly as it is written. It’s so easy for others to judge when they because in their mind, they are only focusing on certain areas of the Bible that they agree with.

  • Azzure

    Welcomed, yes. Affirmed, no. I don’t get how people can pick & choose what parts of the bible they want to live out.

  • apple

    everything is a convenient gospel! they are pastors who are divorced and remarried, newsflash in the bible says YOU CAN’T DO THAT unless the person DIES. then there is all kinda of other ridiculous things that impossible to follow (check Leviticus) like fabric mixing, mixing meat and dairy, putting your children tot death for being disobedient, poisoning for pregnant wife if you think she could possibly be pregnant with another man’s baby, making rape victims marry their rapist and stoning women.

  • Pseudonym

    Everyone on this earth preaches and lives a convenient gospel. Even you, Jazo.

  • Tina

    If she thought she was doing the right thing she would not have hid the ceremony conducted in March from her church. She “disclosed” after church members learned about it on the internet.

    A more detailed article is at the Christian Post.

  • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

    There is not a single solitary soul walking this earth that follows (or even attempts to follow) the Bible to the letter, so chill!

  • http://gravatar.com/ebony82 ebony82

    Lawdy, lawdy.

  • Maude

    Lord have mercy!

  • MyMind

    This article makes me think of something that has been on my mind. Often times, women have deep connections with one another, and the relationship is almost romantic like. The pastor defines her wife as a best friend, wonderful person, shares same goals, etc. Those are good traits for any friend. What is it about the added sexual element to go from a real close, good friend, to a lover? Why is the closeness not enough? Why do thoughts come up, where you want to be sexual with that person? I am not talking for those who have always identified as lesbian or gay, but for those, like the pastor, who have their first same-sex relationship later in life. I ask these questions because I have asked myself and can’t come up with an answer. I have had thoughts, but don’t plan on acting on them. But, I wonder why they are there in the first place. Anyone have any thoughts? One day I want to see a therapist about it.

  • gsutiger2

    Who am I to judge. I’m happy for her and wish her much success in the future.

  • Miss E

    Show me one person who’s taken the Bible in its entirety & I’ll show you a flying monkey. If we were taking the Bible in its entirety, then Black people should have accepted slavery (Eph 6:5), battered wives shouldn’t be allowed to divorce (Matt 19:9), women should shut up & never preach to men (1 Tim 2:12) & you would sell all your possessions & give to the poor (Matt 19:21). I’m a Christian woman dating another woman & I’m comfortable & confident in who I am. I’ve known I like women since I was 4. I don’t believe that God condemns LGBTs. The word ‘homosexual’ was introduced into the Bible in 1946 & I believe that the word ‘arsenokoites’(Greek) used by Paul (& erroneously translated as ‘homosexuals’) referred to pagan temple male prostitutes & pedophiles & not to monogamous, same sex relationships.

  • noodle

    Jesus Christ did…

  • noirluv45

    What a lot of people do not understand about the Bible is the context of what’s written, especially the Old Testament. We must take into account the customs, language, culture and time it was written. The Jews had laws they had to follow. The New Testament did away with the Law when Jesus became to fulfill the Law (I know some may not understand that).

    The Bible is very clear about what is sin. Do we all sin? Of course we do, but that is no excuse to rewrite what’s written in order to justify our desire to continue sinning. Just because mankind eschews the Bible doesn’t make it less valid.

    Note: I realize not everyone believes the Bible, and if that’s the case, then that’s on the individual. Just saying.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    You know what you are correct but according to the Holy Bible those that are called by GOD to be leaders in the Church, namely a pastor over a flock, are held to a higher standard, than the average everyday human being because of the responsibility of the position of leadership in the Church. Although we have seen many that were not called by GOD, who appointed themselves, abuse the positions and outright defy God’s Word in positions of leadership. It is not something to take lightly.
    We all fall short of God’s glory, and all have sinned but all not called to be pastors. Just my .02

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    It seems like there is a trend going on of people bending the rules of religion to fit their needs. I may not be religious but it really annoys me when people do this.

  • GeekMommaRants

    Alfred Kinsey’s research showed that sexuality is not binary, but has a range of sexual preference. There are asexuals (who have no attraction to anyone.) to bisexuals (who are attracted to both sexes). Few are 100% straight or gay. Most are in the middle with social norms and religious belief as a force on how believers should act. Th science of sexuality is very different from what the Bible and other holy books say.

  • GeekMommaRants

    These women know what the bibles says. They also know that they cannot change. Why would thy change? Why would Christians demand they end they’re happiness? It seems that actually living like a Christian may not be sustainable from mental and emotional health reasons. What would be the point?

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    This Kinsey guy was also a pedophile and a liar, just so you know. People are so quick to use his scale, but I question the real motivation behind his justification of blurred lines. There is a ton of information on Kinsey(google it) who many learned individuals dispute as a scientist or anything else.

  • jazo

    doesn’t make it right

  • She

    Nope, he didn’t. The bible, as we know it today, was not compiled during the time of Jesus. Though the Torah, Psalms, and Proverbs were, the entire bible was not compiled until years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus actually preached against many of the legal constraints and rules that held people captive in their religious understanding.

  • Miss E

    To the contrary, it was Jesus who set the blue print for not following the Bible legalistically like the Pharisees did. This was why he broke the Sabbath & touched dead people and lepers (in contradiction of the Torah or Laws of Moses). & so, it is wrong to pick 2 verses in the Bible, which have been paraphrased from Greek/ Armenian & use those verses to condemn an entire group of people, while you gleefully break 10 other verses & justify it. If LGBT pastors must resign then all divorced pastors should resign as well because Jesus categorically stated that everyone who divorces for any reason but infidelity is an adulterer. And female pastors must be abolished as Paul wrote that women shouldn’t teach men. Oh & pastors with houses & cars should sell them immediately because we’re supposed to sell all we have & follow Jesus. So, using the legalistic interpretation, how many pastors will be left standing?

  • dmac

    All kinds of YES!!! to this comment

  • Kam

    What? No one saying “Only God can judge” on this one?

  • MyMind

    Thanks for your response, GeekMommaRants. I have heard of the Kinsey scale, and it would seem that would apply.

  • Keepingitreal

    @She

    First, yes He did. 2nd, you’re Biblically illiterate so spare us your “lecture”.

  • Keepingitreal

    Thank you, Orange Starr Happy Hunting. Seems like people are desperately trying to justify themselves and real scholarship is going by the wayside.

  • Keepingitreal

    So we shouldn’t worry about what the Bible says we should just follow what you have to say? Sorry, you’re not the Creator, you’re not the Savior, you’re not Judge.

  • Karyn

    Agreed. +1

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    That’s only reserved for convicted murderers. lol

  • Lisss

    Well, maybe if those verses were taken within their proper context instead of twisted around to fit certain people’s prejudices against christianity, then maybe you would have an argument.

  • Lisss

    What you failed to mention is that Jesus himself declared that He did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. Therefore, while the Law existed to point out the sin, the cross is the only thing that can erase the sin. Its not the Law itself that Jesus was against but the way the Pharisees twisted it to make themselves feel better…isn’t that what may church folks are doing nowadays, inlcuding the LGBTQ “pastors”?

    As for the divorced and remarried pastors, i totally agree with you. They never should have been allowed to set foot on the pulpit. But then again, that is why there is so much rampage in the church today…people do what they want, when they want and scream the “Only God can judge me” speech. So now anything goes and the Gospel of Truth becomes the gospel of relativism.

    As for the “sell everything you have”….that verse is taken so out of context, its not even funny.

  • Erica

    The Bible also says if a husband or wife commit adultery you can divorce and remarry.

  • BlackBeauty

    Fakes are all over and up in the church.If she thought nothing of it then why the need to hide her partner/relationship?
    Perhaps these two can convince Bernice King and her partner to come out.

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