In honor of National Coming Out Day, Bishop OC Allen talks about his experience as a same gender loving person and how that intersects with his faith.
Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen is the Senior Pastor of the largest inclusive and “affirming” church in the south, “The Vision Cathedral of Atlanta.” He is the husband of community leader, Rashad Burgess, and the proud father of two adopted children. He previously served on President Obama’s PACHA (Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS). He was recently been appointed by the DNC (Democratic National Committee) as the Southeast Regional Chair for the LGBT Advisory Board.
Originated in 2018, the iElevate Conference was designed to offer many of the country’s great thought provoking thinkers, leaders and voices a platform to safely participate and address some of the most sensitive and salient subjects from a faith point of view. The conference is of the first and only inclusive conferences with a mission to transform, empower and equip people of faith with the resources and tools needed to impact their immediate community and reach their goals. At this year’s iElevate, attendees can expect a diverse and dynamic set of programing designed for all conference goers, including well-recognized events from O.C. Allen, as well as several new initiatives such as an HIV awareness campaign in collaboration with the Prevention From The Pulpit Initiative.
Here are some quick facts about Bishop Allen:
The Vision Church is home to over 3,500 LGBT congregants. (thevisionchurch.org)
Bishop Allen is the 2015 Winner of the Small Business Administration’s ‘LGBT Business Champion of the Year’
Founder of the Pure Heat Community Festival in Piedmont Park during Atlanta Black Gay Pride Weekend.
Bishop Allen and Rashad Burgess are the proud parents of two adopted children.
Rashad Burgess is a native of Chicago and the currently serves as the Community Liaison at Gilead Science (leader in HIV/AIDS medications).
In 2015 Allen and his husband were featured in the BET GLAAD nominated documentary “Holler If Ya’ Hear Me: Black & Gay In The Church.”- http://www.bet.com/video/celebrity/2015/holler-if-you-hear-me/holler-if-you-hear-me-black-and-gay-in-the-church-full-doc.html.
Bishop Allen and his husband, Rashad Burgess, were recently featured on BET.com as a famous LGBT couple – http://www.bet.com/celebrities/photos/2013/10/famous-lgbt-couples.html.
Bishop Allen were also featured on Ebony.com as having a “cool” family – http://www.ebony.com/photos/life/the-coolest-black-family-in-america-no-10-393#axzz3eBE3FWWE