allyson_nelson_abrams.jpgdiana_williams.jpgDETROIT – A Christian leader has resigned from a Detroit church after disclosing she married a woman. The Detroit Free Press reports ( that Bishop Allyson Nelson Abrams stepped down Friday from Zion Progress Baptist Church.

The church's first female pastor told congregants Oct. 6 that she married a pastor affiliated with a Washington, D.C., church.

They married in Iowa, where same-sex marriage is legal.

Abrams says she resigned because she "didn't want to split the church any further'' on the issue. The 43-year-old was once married to a man.

She says she's considering joining two other denominations but declined to identify them. The Birmingham, Ala., native was ordained in 2001.

Abrams married Diana Williams, a bishop emeritus with Washington's Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation. It has separated from the Catholic Church.

Abrams, who holds a doctorate degree in ministry and a degree in mechanical engineering from Howard University, shared scripture with the Detroit Free Press in arguing that homosexual relationships are allowable in Christian practice. She pointed to St. Luke 7:1-10 which speaks to the love a man has for his male servant.

"We all know that we've been made in God's image, and so no matter what you look like, no matter who you are, no matter what your orientation is," people should be free to love who they want, she explained to the Detroit Free Press.

"Love is something that's supposed to be unconditional," she explained. "And as Christians, if anybody is supposed to be loving, we are."

She noted that her theology had evolved over the years and her concept of love and sexual orientation changed "a little over a year ago."

"I progressed in my theology and came to the point where I would love whichever came to me. I wasn't just open to (a specific) gender, I was open to love in whatever way the Lord would bless me," she said.

She also resigned as secretary of the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity, an influential group of African-American Christians in metro Detroit. She stepped down as co-editor of the magazine of the Progressive National Baptist Convention as well, according to the report.

*Pictured above is Bishop Allyson Nelson Abrams, left, and Bishop Diana Williams, right.