First Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa has decided to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, making it the first Baptist church in the state to do so.

“Everyone is welcome,” Pastor Dorothy Whiston told CBS News. “Everyone is equal in God's eyes.”

“We see love as valued by God, whomever it's between,” she added.

“It's always wrong to say that there's some group of people, for whatever reason, by virtue of who they are, who are excluded from any opportunity. And I would certainly say that's true of marriage as well.”

The church, which includes about 50 members, already hosts weekly LGBT Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, counseling and workshops.

“I think we are known in the community, in the gay community, as being a friendly place to come,” Whiston said.

Lois Lee, one the church's senior members, said: “It was a long time coming. It's about time.”

The Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay nuptials in 2009.