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‘I Was 12’ — Robert Morris of Gateway Church Claims ‘Moral Failure’ After Woman Alleges Molestation

Gateway Church pastor Robert Morris has admitted to a “moral failure” after a woman claimed he began molesting her when she was 12 years old and he was in his 20s.

Morris states in a report by The Christian Post:

“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. It was kissing and petting and not intercourse, but it was wrong. This behavior happened on several occasions over the next few years.

“In March of 1987, this situation was brought to light, and it was confessed and repented of. I submitted myself to the Elders of Shady Grove Church and the young lady’s father. They asked me to step out of ministry and receive counseling and freedom ministry, which I did. Since that time, I have walked in purity and accountability in this area.”

The exclusive CP report published June 15 states that Morris returned to ministry two years later, having received “the blessing of the survivor’s father and the elders of his church.”

“I asked their forgiveness, and they graciously forgave me,” Morris told the publication.

The victim, however, says she was no young lady when the Christian minister abused her.

The woman, Cindy Clemishire, is now 54 years old. She told The Christian Post:

“I was 12 years old. 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.

“It went on for many years. He says there was no sexual intercourse, but he did touch every part of my body and inserted his fingers into me, which I understand now is considered a form of rape by instrumentation. I was an innocent 12-year-old little girl who knew nothing about sexual behavior.”

Clemshire went on to state that, contrary to the minister’s claims, her father never gave Morris his blessing to return to the pulpit.

She also explained her attempts at legal recourse over the years, which were unsuccessful.

In the face of allegations that Morris sexually abused a child, Gateway Church elders continue to support him.

The elders described the alleged abuse as “a moral failure” and said Morris has had “no other moral failures” since the period of alleged abuse in a statement to CP.

“Pastor Robert has walked in purity, and he has placed accountability measures and people in his life. The matter has been properly disclosed to church leadership,” they said.

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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