Robert Morris: Texas Megachurch Pastor Resigns Days After Admitting He Sexually Abused Child as Victim Says She Has 'Mixed Feelings'

Clemishire, now 54, alleged that Morris' abuse began when he stayed at her family's home in Tulsa during Christmas in 1982.

The pastor of a Texas megachurch and former advisor to Donald Trump has resigned from his ministry after admitting that he sexually abused a 12-year-old girl in the 1980s. Robert Morris, 62, founder and senior pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake, which has a weekly attendance of 100,000, resigned after facing allegations from former family friend Cindy Clemishire.

Previously, Morris admitted to engaging in "inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady," without specifying Clemishire's age. She alleges the abuse occurred between 1982 and 1987 when she was between the ages of 12 and 16. Gateway Church's Board of Elders also confirmed on Tuesday that they have accepted Robert Morris' resignation.

Disgraced Pastor Resigns

Robert Morris
Robert Morris X

Morris has not made any public statement regarding the matter. Previously, the church had supported Morris, stating he had been "open and forthright about a moral failure he had over 35 years ago."

However, in their latest statement, they now describe the behavior as unacceptable after learning about the age of the victim.

"The elders' prior understanding was that Morris's 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," they said.

"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."

Cindy Clemishire
Cindy Clemishire X

According to Fox 4, the church is hiring an independent law firm to review the accusations.

Clemishire, who went public with her accusations and her identity on Friday, said that Morris was a traveling preacher when he met her and her family at their church in Oklahoma in 1981.

The two families, which included Morris' wife and son, became close. Clemishire, now 54, alleged that Morris' abuse began when he stayed at her family's home in Tulsa during Christmas in 1982.

She described a situation where Morris asked her to come to his room to talk, and then asked her to lie on his bed.

Cindy Clemishire
A young Cindy Clemishire in the 1980s Facebook

Morris began to touch her inappropriately, Clemishire alleged, starting with her stomach, then her breast, and then under her pants.

"I remember vividly everything I was wearing and how the pajamas felt. They were light pink, and it was a little top with bloomers, and I had on underwear and bloomers and the little top and a robe that snapped up over the top," she said.

Horrifying Experience

Clemishire also claimed that after the alleged abuse occurred, Morris "told me I could never tell anyone, because it would ruin everything." She said that he continued to isolate her and abuse her for the next four and a half years before she finally spoke out, first to a family friend and then to her parents.

Robert Morris
Robert Morris X

Clemishire's father demanded that Morris be removed from ministry, and she claims he was removed for two years for "restoration." Morris returned to preaching in 1989.

Morris, on his part, admitted to some wrongdoing but did not admit that Clemishire was underage at the time in a statement to The Christian Post on Saturday.

"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," he said.

Clemishire released a statement on Tuesday expressing "mixed feelings" about Morris' resignation. "Though I am grateful that he is no longer a pastor at Gateway, I am disappointed that the Board of Elders allowed him to resign," she said in the statement. "He should have been terminated."