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Gateway Church Learned of Robert Morris’ Crime in 2005, Says Abuse Survivor Cindy Clemishire

Robert Morris
Screengrab via YouTube @Gateway Church

Sexual abuse survivor Cindy Clemishire released a statement yesterday (June 18) after Gateway Church announced that Robert Morris had resigned as its senior pastor.

In her statement, Clemishire refuted the claim that the Gateway Church elders were unaware that she was 12 years old at the time of Morris’ “inappropriate relationship” with her.

In her testimony, which was released on Friday (June 15), Clemishire said Morris started abusing her on Christmas Day in 1982 and didn’t stop until 1987 when she told her parents about the abuse.

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

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.”

“Regretfully, prior to Friday, June 14, the elders did not have all the fact of the inappropriate relationship between Morris and the victim, including her age at the time and the length of the abuse,” the elders’ statement said. “The elders’ prior understanding was that Morris’ extramarital relationship, which he had discussed many times throughout his ministry, was with ‘a young lady’ and not 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,” they added.

Clemishire shared that she has “mixed thoughts” and “feelings” following the announcement of Morris’ resignation.

“Though I am grateful that he’s no longer a pastor at Gateway, I am disappointed that the Board of Elders allowed him to resign. He should have been terminated,” she said.

Cleminshire said that she has been asking for years that Morris be held accountable and removed from “ministry leadership.”

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

Clemishire informed the public that in 2005, the leadership at Gateway Church “received actual notice of this crime” when she sent an email directly to Robert Morris’ Gateway email address. Clemishire indicated that “former Gateway elder Tom Lane received and responded to my email, acknowledging that the sexual abuse began on December 25, 1982, when I was 12 years old.”