Baptist Pastor Resigns After Marrying Woman
By Kate Abbey-Lambertz
A pastor resigned after announcing to her congregation that she had married a woman.
Bishop Allyson Abrams, 43, stepped down from Zion Progress Baptist Church in Detroit, according to the Detroit Free Press. She told her congregation earlier in the month that she married Diana Williams in March in Iowa, where gay marriage is legal.
She served as pastor at the church for five years, according to the Michigan Chronicle.
Abrams told the Chronicle that she was not forced out, but chose to resign because she didn’t want to cause a divide within the church.
“It really hurts me because I don’t want to be the reason for the church to split, and potentially for family members to be at odds with one another,” she said. “Therefore, I felt that it was in the best interest of everyone to resign.”
The pastor, who was previously married to a man, told the Free Press she had changed her views a year ago and would not classify herself when it comes to sexual orientation.
“I progressed in my theology and came to the point where I would love whichever came to me,” she told the paper. “I wasn’t just open to (a specific) gender, I was open to love in whatever way the Lord would bless me.”
Abrams told the Chronicle that Williams, bishop emeritus of the Imani Temple of the African-American Catholic Congregation in Washington, D.C. is her best friend and a support system.
Abrams, who has a masters in divinity and a doctorate in ministry from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, goes into detail on her website about how she reached the understanding that same-sex marriage is aligned with Christian teachings.
“The Bible teaches that ANYONE who believes in Jesus Christ will be accepted into God’s realm,” she wrote. “You can be a child of God and living in loving committed relationships with persons of the same sex. For the Bible could not be clearer. Everywhere the Bible confronts loving committed homosexual relationships, they are affirmed.”