Texas Megachurch Pastor Admits to Past Sexual Misconduct Amid Accusations

 Texas Megachurch Pastor Admits to Past Sexual Misconduct Amid Accusations

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Pastor Robert Morris, currently leading Gateway Church in Dallas-Ft. Worth once a member of Donald Trump’s spiritual advisory group, has publicly admitted to engaging in inappropriate behavior with a minor following accusations from Cindy Clemishire. She alleges Morris sexually assaulted her when she was 12 years old.

In an interview with The Wartburg Watch, Clemishire recounted the incident from 1982 when Morris, then 20, allegedly touched her inappropriately while staying with her family. She described feeling coerced into silence, fearing the consequences of speaking out about the abuse.

Responding to the accusations in a statement to the Christian Post, Morris confessed to “inappropriate sexual behavior” with Clemishire during his early twenties, specifying that it involved kissing and petting over multiple occasions in subsequent years.

“In March of 1987, this situation came to light,” Morris acknowledged. “I confessed and repented, submitting myself to the Elders of Shady Grove Church and the young lady’s father. They required that I step out of ministry and undergo counseling and freedom ministry, which I completed.”

After undergoing counseling and a period of reflection, Morris eventually returned to ministry and went on to found Gateway Church in 2000. The church has since grown to become one of the largest megachurches in the United States, with an estimated weekly attendance of around 100,000 members.

The Daily Beast reported that Clemishire endured years of abuse before confiding in a friend, prompting Morris’s temporary withdrawal from ministry. His eventual return and the establishment of Gateway Church marked a pivotal moment in his career, despite the shadow cast by past misconduct.

Morris emphasized in his statement that since addressing the incident in 1987, he has lived a life of “purity and accountability” in both personal and professional domains. He expressed remorse for his actions and reaffirmed his commitment to transparency and healing.

The revelations surrounding Pastor Robert Morris highlight ongoing challenges within religious communities concerning accountability for historical misconduct. The response from Morris and the congregation at Gateway Church underscores the complexities of addressing such allegations within the context of faith and leadership.

As discussions unfold, this case serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of handling allegations of abuse with sensitivity and thoroughness. It calls for ensuring justice and support for survivors while promoting transparency and accountability across all levels.

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