Bishop Allyson D. Nelson Abrams resigned from her post at a Detroit, Mich. church after revealing earlier this month her marriage to another woman.
Abrams, 43, Zion Progress Baptist Church’s first female pastor, told congregants on Oct. 6 about her relationship with Diana Williams, a member of the Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation in Washington, D.C., reports The Blaze.
The couple married in Iowa back in March, where gay marriage is legal, according to The Detroit Free Press.
Oct. 18 was Abrams’ final day at the church after serving as bishop for over five years. The pastor decided to make her marriage public after some church members found out about the relationship.
“Recently it became known to many that Bishop Allyson Abrams married her best friend in March 2013. Her best friend is female and many people in the religious community have raised questions about her ability to be able to serve as a pastor being that Her Grace is now in a ‘same gender’ marriage,” a statement on her website read.
Abrams says her resignation is an effort to end the division in the church that has risen because of her love life.
“I know how important it is for congregations to stay together,” she told the Detroit Free Press. “I didn’t want to split the church any further over this issue.”
Abrams said her idea of love and her sexual orientation changed over a year ago, when she felt she would “love in whatever way the Lord would bless [her].”
She also believes there is no conflict between same-sex marriage and the Church.
“The religious community must understand that we are NO LONGER UNDER GRECO-ROMAN LAW,” she wrote on her website. “We have been released from that and have moved into another era and understanding it.”
Rev. Charles C. Adams, presiding pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church supports Abrams.
“She, herself did not seek to make this an issue,” he told the Free Press. “It was an issue that from my understanding was ignited by rumors and innuendos … somebody looking up the marriage certificate on the Internet.”
Others, like Elder Levon Yuille, pastor of The Bible Church in Ypsilanti, disagree, believing that Abrams needs to end her same-sex relationship before continuing to preach.
“To be in accordance with scripture, she would have to give up that type of homosexual lifestyle,” Yuille told the Free Press.
Sources: Detroit Free Press, The Blaze, BishopAllysonAbrams.com