Megachurch Leader Admits to ‘Moral Failure’ Amid Abuse Allegations

Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church has publicly acknowledged a “moral failure” following allegations of sexual abuse made by a woman who claims the incidents began when she was 12 years old.

The senior pastor of Gateway Church, which serves over 100,000 members across multiple campuses in the Dallas–Fort Worth area, is facing severe accusations, as reported by The Wartburg Watch.

The allegations come from Cindy Clemishire, a 54-year-old grandmother from Oklahoma, who asserts that the abuse by Morris began in 1982 when she was a child.

The article highlighted Clemishire’s detailed account, including a description of the clothes she wore during the first incident. This underscored the long-term impact and the importance of telling her story.

Childhood abuse victims often internalize blame, only to realize in adulthood that they were not at fault. Clemishire recognized the nature of her abuse at age 35 while watching an episode of Oprah, where a guest discussed grooming behaviors.

The Wartburg Watch recounts how Cindy and her family met Morris at a youth revival in Tulsa in 1981. Morris, then a 20-year-old evangelist, became a close family friend, often staying at their home and accompanying them on family trips.

This friendship took a dark turn in 1982, according to Cindy, who recalls being in her pink pajamas when the abuse started, lasting over four years.

In a video from 2014, Morris admitted to “inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady” during his early twenties but did not specifically reference Clemishire’s case. He described the behavior as “kissing and petting” but emphasized it did not involve intercourse.

Following this confession, Morris stepped away from ministry for two years, resuming his pastoral duties in 1989.

Gateway Church, founded in 2000, has seen significant growth under Morris’s leadership. His programs reach a global audience, and he has authored several bestselling books.

These revelations come shortly after Dr. Tony Evans stepped down from his role at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship due to “historical sin,” Carl Lentz of Hillsong, New York City, detailed his ministry downfall in a recent podcast.

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