He also shared the importance of understanding people from a philosophical standpoint and how it enables him to be a better pastor. The couple shared how they met at a conference and three years later they became an official couple. On their 7th anniversary they decided to take their relationship to the next level and put it on paper. They ventured to Washington, D.C., one of the few places in the U.S. that allows same sex marriage and were legally married in the presence of close friends.
Bishop Allen stated that the couple always planned to have a child some day and when the opportunity arose via a social worker at their church, they jumped at the chance. Expecting a baby boy as a result of two sonogram confirmations, the Burgess-Allen's were all prepared to raise their son. They had heard so many discouraging stories about raising girls that they were glad their addition would be a baby boy. So you can imagine how they felt when the doctor came out and said, "You have a beautiful healthy baby! Just one little detail: it’s a girl." They were to say the least- shocked! The couple added when thy saw their daughter and how she had so many features similar to theirs, they knew the addition was divinely ordered.
See an excerpt from the interview below:
Eleven-weeks old Caylee LaTanya Burgess-Allen coos as her father holds her. “Little missy doesn’t care that I have an interview to do. You gotta work with me a minute,” Oliver says, laughing. It’s clear that he loves every minute of his new station in life: fatherhood. The Burgess-Allens have no specific examples or true design on which to base their family construct. Nor do they have immediate mentors on which to mirror their professional choices. But when you do it anyway, it is revolutionary. Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen III and Rashad Burgess are ardent innovators.Click Here for the full article
Oliver, from Los Angeles, met Rashad at a conference in 1999. While he was initially struck by Rashad’s beauty, they didn’t become a couple until 2002. Rashad came out to his family between the ages of 18 and 21; he was six years into his liberation when he met his mate. Through his relationship with Rashad, Oliver came out to his own family. Oliver’s family wasn’t immediately accepting.
“My family is close,” Oliver says. “My mother initially didn’t know how to embrace it. After getting to know Rashad, and seeing that he was a responsible man who not only loved me but was willing to take care of me and build a life with me, she developed respect for him.”
In 2002, the two married on the shores of Hilton Head, South Carolina. “Completely private,” Oliver reminisces. “We went out to the beach around five a.m. wearing all white. We had a wooden chest with a Bible in it. We had music playing. We lit two torches on the beach and read our vows to each other. We also took communion together.”