Home Christian News Robert Morris Resigns as Gateway Church’s Senior Pastor Following Sexual Abuse Allegations

Robert Morris Resigns as Gateway Church’s Senior Pastor Following Sexual Abuse Allegations

Robert Morris Church of the Highlands
Robert Morris screengrab via YouTube / @Gateway Church

Robert Morris, founder and senior pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, announced his resignation on Tuesday (June 18), four days after allegations came to light that he abused a 12-year-old in the 1980s.

Morris was in his early 20s at the time of the alleged abuse.

The board of elders of Gateway Church said in a statement that the church has accepted Morris’ resignation.

“In addition, the Board has retained the law firm of Haynes & Boone, LLP, to conduct an independent, thorough, and professional review of the report of past abuse to ensure we have a complete understanding of the events from 1982-1987,” the board added.

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Gateway Church’s elders said that they did not previously have all the facts relating to Morris’ “inappropriate relationship” with the survivor, “including her age at the time and the length of the abuse.” The testimony of survivor Cindy Clemishire was published by The Wartburg Watch on June 15.

The elders said that their “prior understanding was that Morris’s extramarital relationship, which he had discussed many times throughout his ministry, was with ‘a young lady’ and not [the] abuse of a 12-year-old child.”

“[Even] though it occurred many years before Gateway was established, as leaders of the church, we regret that we did not have the information that we now have,” the elders said.

“We are heartbroken and appalled by what has come to light over the past few days, and we express our deep sympathy to the victim and her family,” the elders continued. “For the sake of the victim, we are thankful this situation has been exposed.”

The statement concluded, “We know many have been affected by this, we understand that you are hurting, and we are very sorry. It is our prayer that, in time, healing for all those affected can occur.”

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In her testimony released on Friday, Clemishire accused Morris of sexually abusing her when she was 12 years old. Clemishire shared that the alleged abuse started on Christmas Day in 1982 and didn’t stop until 1987 when she told her parents about it.