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Pastor Robert Morris Admits to ‘Inappropriate Sexual Behavior With a Young Lady’ in His 20s; Survivor Says She Was 12

Robert Morris Gateway Church
Robert Morris screengrab via YouTube @Gateway Church

Editor’s note: This article relates details of child sex abuse, which some readers might find triggering and/or disturbing.

Robert Morris, founder and senior pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, has been accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old in the 1980s. Morris was 20 at the time of the alleged abuse.

According to the church’s website, Gateway Church is a multi-campus church that was founded in 2000 and has an average weekly attendance of more than 100,000.

In addition to serving as the church’s senior pastor, the 62-year-old Morris is also the chancellor for The King’s University, a private evangelical university located in Southlake, Texas. He is the author of nine best-selling books and has a television program that airs in nearly 200 countries, as well as a radio program that is broadcast in more than 6,800 cities.

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Morris has been married to his wife, Debbie, for 44 years and has three children, all of whom are married. He has nine grandchildren.

On Friday, June 14, The Wartburg Watch released the testimony of Cindy Clemishire, who accused Morris of sexually abusing her when she was 12 years old. Clemishire shared that the abuse started on Christmas Day in 1982 and didn’t stop until 1987 when she told her parents about it.

According to Clemishire, at the time the abuse started, Morris was a traveling evangelist who was married to Debbie, and the couple had their son, Josh.

In 1981, Morris met the Clemishire family through his travels. He regularly preached at their church on Sunday and would often stay at their house. Clemishire shared that their families became so close they went on trips together and that she felt “safe” around Morris.

According The Wartburg Watch, on a Christmas night in 1982, the “Morris family came to visit and spend some time there. [Clemishire] sat in the back seat of the car with Robert. He asked her to visit him in his room that night. She shared a room with her sister.”

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Clemishire recalled that after going into the room with Morris, Morris allegedly told her “to lie down on her back and touched her stomach. He told her to close her eyes. Then he touched her breasts and felt under her panties.”