Admission of Past Abuse

Robert Morris, a prominent Texas megachurch pastor, has confessed to engaging in “inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady” during the 1980s. This admission follows allegations from Cindy Clemishire, who claims Morris molested her when she was 12 years old. Clemishire stated that the abuse began on Christmas Day in 1982 and continued until 1987, when she disclosed the incidents to her parents. The Wartburg Watch, a church watchdog blog, first reported the allegations.

Details of the inappropriate behavior

Morris, who serves as the senior pastor at Gateway Church and was a member of Donald Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board during the 2016 campaign, issued a statement acknowledging his actions without specifying the victim’s name or age. He described the behavior as “kissing and petting” that occurred multiple times over several years. In his statement, Morris recounted how the issue was addressed in 1987 while he was serving at Shady Grove Church in Grand Prairie, which is now one of Gateway Church’s 11 locations.

Church and Personal Response

The pastor explained that after the inappropriate behavior was exposed, he confessed and repented, submitting himself to the church elders and the young lady’s father. He stepped out of ministry and underwent a two-year “restoration process” that included professional counseling and freedom ministry. Gateway Church confirmed this process in a statement to WFAA, emphasizing that Morris has been transparent about his past and has maintained purity and accountability since then.

Future Leadership

Despite the family’s forgiveness, Clemishire expressed that they never supported Morris’s return to ministry, stressing the importance of protecting congregants. In 2025, Morris’s son, James Morris, is set to take over senior pastor duties, with Robert Morris remaining as a primary weekend speaker. CNN is seeking further comments from Morris, Gateway Church, Clemishire, and her attorney regarding the situation.

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