Six months after resigning as pastor of a small church in downtown Detroit over her announcement that she had married a woman in Iowa, Bishop Allyson D. Nelson Abrams has opened a new church in Silver Spring, Md., with the goal of pastoring the kind of ministry she feels God has called on
her to lead.

In October, Abrams said that although no one pressured her into leaving her post at Zion Progress Baptist Church, she felt it was in the best interested of the congregation to move on.

”I could have been like so many people and lied and said it’s not true,” Abrams, 43, told NewsOne in October. “But that’s not how I was raised, and as a Christian, I was always taught to be a truthful individual. So when it came up I said, ‘OK. I need to be honest with my congregation and
tell them the truth about what was a great event for me.”’

Reactions to her marriage announcement were mixed, with many supporting Abrams and just as many denouncing her ideology that people who are homosexual have a place in the church, let alone as leader of a pulpit. She was disappointed to leave a congregation she had led for five years, but
Abrams realized that it would have been problematic for her to be openly gay and lead a ministry in a city where conservative theology reigns supreme. So after entertaining a few opportunities around the country, she settled on Maryland, where same-sex marriage is legal and is in close
proximity to Washington, D.C., where same-sex unions are also protected under the law.

Her ministry, Empowerment Liberation Cathedral, is set to begin in May and will welcome people from all walks of life — regardless of their sexual orientation. In fact, Abrams doesn’t want to be defined by her sexuality, but she appreciates how powerful her presence can be in a region where she says many in the LGBT community have been shamed out of the church.

“You can’t be ashamed of who you are,” Abrams told NewsOne recently. “It’s time out for shaming people and making people feel like they are not loved and that God is not pleased with them.”

You tell us, should Abrams have stayed at her old church? Can you really lead a church and live a same-sex lifestyle?

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