Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen, III, is a religious trailblazer, author, human rights advocate, an international and community leader and entrepreneur. In 2015, Bishop Allen was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). In 2016, he was appointed the Southeastern Chair of the DNC-LGBT Advisory Board and a co-chair of the DNC LGBTQ Policy Group. He has served as the National Ambassador and consultant for the NAACP – Black Church/HIV Initiative. He is the Senior Pastor and Founder of The Vision Cathedral of Atlanta known as “The Vision Church”. The Vision Church has 4 locations, The Vision Church of Atlanta, Vision Church of Raleigh, Vision Church of Los Angeles and Vision Church of Nashville. He is the founder and Presiding Bishop of the United Progressive Pentecostal Fellowship of Churches (UPPC), a socially progressive and inclusive religious organization which oversees senior pastors, ministers, churches and faith-based organizations throughout the United States and abroad.
He is also the Executive Director of Vision Community Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization created to address socioeconomic and health gaps in the greater Atlanta community. The Vision Community Foundation annually feeds over 20,000 families through its “Community In Action” (CIA) program, over 2000 women and children in its local shelters program, provides clothing and toys specifically for homeless children, provides GED training for students completing diplomas, provides Breast Cancer awareness education, and provides HIV/AIDS counseling and testing. The Vision Community Foundation hosts the annual Atlanta Black-Pride “Pure Heat Community Festival,” which provides health education, social services and entertainment for over 30,000 people. He is a member of the Fulton County Task Force on HIV/AIDS.
Bishop Allen has been honored by a host of community and national groups including the Georgia House of Representatives in 2012. In 2014, Bishop Allen inducted into the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. International Board of Preachers of Morehouse College. Bishop Allen hosted the national Economic and Business Conference for LGBT Entrepreneurs in conjunction with the efforts of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Atlanta, GA. He served as a regional spokesperson for the National Black Justice Coalition LGBT Economic Empowerment Tour for communities of color. He has worked closely with the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide support to LGBT and other minority entrepreneurs in the community. In April 2015, the Georgia District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration awarded Bishop Allen the 2015 LGBT Business Champion of the Year Award for his strong advocacy for minority business initiatives and development. Bishop Allen has been featured in numerous media outlets and periodicals to include CNN, BET, The Economist and Huffington Post. He attended Morgan State University, Morehouse College, and Harvard University-Harvard Extension School where he studied Philosophy and Religion. He is a Fellow at the Princeton Theological Seminary Black Theology and Leadership Institute.
In 2018, Bishop Allen birthed the national iElevate Conference. This 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. The conference is of the first and only Black LGBTQI-inclusive conferences with a mission to Black communities with the resources and tools needed to impact their immediate community and reach their goals. The inaugural conference included the first campaign, Prevention From The Pulpit – designed to train clergy how to address the epidemic of H.I.V./A.I.D.S from the pulpit.
In 2018, Allen was appointed to Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ LGBT Advisory Board. This same year, he delivered historic prayer to millions of Muslims as one of the first openly Gay men to participate in the Million Man March Commemoration organized by the Nation of Islam.
He lives in Atlanta with his husband, Rashad Burgess, an Executive Director at Gilead Sciences, and 2 children, Joshua and Caylee.