• Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Gateway megachurch pastor Robert Morris admits abusing girl

Gateway megachurch pastor Robert Morris admits abusing girl


Robert Morris, founding pastor of Gateway megachurch and onetime spiritual adviser to Donald Trump, has admitted to “inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady” during the 1980s.

The “young lady,” now a 54-year-old grandmother, was 12 when it started. Morris was in his early 20s, and married with a child, when his family stayed at the home of then 11-year-old Cindy Clemishire. The abuse started one Christmas night.

“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 in a statement to the Christian Post after it approached him about Clemishire’s allegations. “It was kissing and petting and not intercourse, but it was wrong. This behavior happened on several occasions over the next few years.”

“I’m, of course, just appalled,” Clemishire told the Christian Post of his description of her. She had first gone public with her allegations in a blog that catalogs church abuses, The Wartburg Watch.

“I was 12 years old,” she told the Christian Post. “I was a little girl. A very innocent little girl. And he was brought into our home. He and his wife, Debbie, and their little boy, Josh, and trusted and preached at the church that my dad helped start and then began grooming all of us to do this, which took me decades to wrap my brain around as an adult.”

US President Donald Trump, right, and Pastor Robert Morris are pictured at Gateway Church Dallas Campus in Dallas, Texas, on June 11, 2020. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump, right, and Pastor Robert Morris are pictured at Gateway Church Dallas Campus in Dallas, Texas, on June 11, 2020. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

Although Morris said they had not had intercourse, “he did touch every part of my body and inserted his fingers into me,” Clemishire told the Christian Post. “I was an innocent 12-year-old little girl who knew nothing about sexual behavior.”

Morris turned to church counseling and repented, he said in his statement, and had “walked in purity and accountability in this area” ever since.

He would found Gateway in 2000.

In 2016 Morris served on Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board and hosted a campaign roundtable at Gateway, leading a prayer beforehand. He is not involved in the 2024 campaign, according to CNN.



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