Pastor Robert Morris of a megachurch in Texas steps down following accusations that he molested a twelve-year-old

The senior pastor and founder of Gateway Church in North Texas, Robert Morris, announced his resignation on Tuesday, June 18, following recent revelations that he had sexually molested a 12-year-old child in the 1980s.
In a statement issued on June 18, 2024, the Board of Elders of Gateway Church, a multi-site megachurch with locations around Southlake, acknowledged Morris’ resignation and said they will “review the report of past abuse to ensure we have a complete understanding of the events.”

Robert Morris was a traveling evangelist in his early 20s who reportedly had sex with a juvenile between 1982 and 1987. On June 14, Cindy Clemishire, whose parents had become acquainted with Morris, publicly accused the pastor of repeatedly sexually abusing her during that time.

The elders assert in the statement that they were not privy to all the details surrounding the alleged sexual assault, such as Clemishire’s age at the time and the duration of the abuse.

The Elder’s Say

“The elders’ prior understanding was that Morris’s extramarital relationship, which he had discussed many times throughout his ministry, was with ‘a young lady’ and not [the] abuse of a 12-year-old child,” the statement continues. “We convey our sincere sympathies to the victim and her family and are devastated and horrified by what has surfaced over the last several days. We are grateful that this situation has been made public for the victim’s benefit. We are sorry, we recognize that this has touched many people, and we realize you are in pain.

We hope and pray that everyone impacted can eventually find healing.”
Clemishire stated that she feels conflicted over Robert Morris’ departure and thinks she is not the only victim.
Clemishire released a statement on Tuesday saying, “Although I am happy that he is no longer a pastor at Gateway, I am disappointed that the Board of Elders allowed him to resign.” “He should have been terminated.”

Church leaders were chastised by Clemishire for being aware of her allegations of sexual assault and accepting “the false narrative Robert Morris wanted them to believe.”
Morris opened the church’s first location in Southlake in 2000. The evangelical church, among the largest in the nation, currently has nine campuses spread over North Texas.

A site that monitors churches in North Carolina called The Wartburg Watch first publicized the accusations against Morris on Friday. The Christian Post released a piece on it on Saturday.
During an interview with The Christian Post, Morris admitted to participating in “inappropriate sexual behavior.”
“When I was in my early twenties, I was involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady in a home where I was staying,” said the individual.

 Although it wasn’t a sexual activity, it was nonetheless inappropriate to kiss and pet. Over the following many years, the same conduct occurred multiple times.” Ten years ago, Morris talked about his sinfulness as a teenager in a sermon.
“I learned to lie and manipulate because I also had rejection, I didn’t want to be rejected,” Morris stated in 2014. “I thus searched for the girls who would be most vulnerable. I was able to recognize that.”
The study will be carried out by a law firm, according to the church leaders.

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