Megachurch Pastor Admits To Past Inappropriate Relationship With Child


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Texas megachurch pastor Robert Morris admitted to previously participating in "inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady" following accusations made by a woman who claimed he repeatedly molested her, beginning when she was 12 years old.

Morris, the founder of Gateway Church, who had previously served as a spiritual adviser to former President Donald Trump, confessed to the Christian Post after Cindy Clemishire told the Wartburg Watch that she was allegedly groomed by the pastor and abused until she was 16.

“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,” Morris said.

“It was kissing and petting and not intercourse, but it was wrong,” he added. “This behavior happened on several occasions over the next few years.”

Morris claims the abuse "came to light" in 1987, at which point "it was confessed and repented of." The pastor said he "submitted" to church elders and the victim's father, who worked as the head of the church he belonged to at the time, and was asked "to step out of ministry and receive counseling and freedom ministry, which I did."

“Since that time, I have walked in purity and accountability in this area,” he added.

Clemishire, 54, said she was "appalled" by Morris descriptor of being a "young lady" at the time of the alleged incidents.

“I was 12 years old. I was a little girl. A very innocent little girl. And he was brought into our home,” Clemishire told the Christian Post, adding that the abuse took her “decades to wrap my brain around as an adult.”

“I was an innocent 12-year-old little girl who knew nothing about sexual behavior,” she said.

Clemishire was also outraged by Morris' claim that her father gave him his blessing to return to the ministry.

“My father never ever gave his blessing on Robert returning to ministry!” she said.

“My father told him he’s lucky he didn’t kill him. I am mortified that he is telling the world my dad gave his blessing!”

Clemishire said Morris abused her in both Texas and Oklahoma, telling his wife at the time that he was providing her with "counseling" before she eventually confided about what was happening to a friend who encouraged her to tell her family. She claims her father told Morris if he didn't "get out of the ministry" he would get police involved, which led to Morris stepping away for two years.

“Of course, we forgive because we are called to biblically forgive those who sin against us. But that does not mean he is supposed to go on without repercussions,” she added.

Clemishire tried to file a lawsuit in 2005, but Morris' attorney blamed her for causing the abuse by being "flirtatious." The defense eventually offered Clemishire $25,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement but she declined. Elders at Gateway Church, which attracts an estimated than 100,000 worshippers weekly, claimed Morris had been biblically restored to ministry after confessing.

“Pastor Robert has been open and forthright about a moral failure he had over 35 years ago when he was in his twenties and prior to him starting Gateway Church. He has shared publicly from the pulpit the proper biblical steps he took in his lengthy restoration process,” the elders told the Christian Post.

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