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Restoring the Church.

Gateway Pastor Robert Morris Admits ‘Moral Failure’ After Allegations of Sexually Abusing 12-Year-Old

By Sheila Stogsdill
robert morris
Pastor Robert Morris preaches at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. (Photo: Facebook)

A blog recounting the alleged sexual abuse of a woman when she was 12-years-old by Gateway Church Pastor Robert Morris has prompted the Texas-based megachurch to acknowledge decades-old “moral failure.” However, in a statement to staff, the church did not note the age of the woman at the time of the “inappropriate sexual behavior,” referring to her simply as a “young lady.”

Gateway Church was founded in 2000 by Morris and has more than 100,000 people attending each weekend at their nine sites and online.

On Friday morning, The Wartburg Watch published a story, alleging that Pastor Morris had sexually abused Cindy Clemishire, a 54—year-old grandmother of three from Oklahoma, beginning in 1982, when she was 12.

Around 4 p.m. yesterday, Executive Lead Pastor Thomas Miller sent a statement from Gateway’s elders to church staff via the messaging platform Slack, according to sources close to the church. Those sources also provided The Roys Report (TRR) with a screenshot of the message from Miller and the elders’ statement.

In the statement, Morris admitted that “in my early twenties, I was involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady in a home where I was staying.” Morris described the behavior as “petting and not intercourse” and said it happened “on several occasions over the next few years.”

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He added, “Since that time, I have walked in purity and accountability in this area.”

robert morris

According to Clemishire, who spoke with TRR and gave us permission to use her name, Morris’ abuse began when she was 12 years old—on Christmas night 1982.

A young and charismatic traveling evangelist, Morris was invited to host a youth revival in her hometown in northeast Oklahoma and quickly became friends with Clemishire’s parents.

“He and his wife, Debbie, were family friends and often stayed in our home when he was preaching at my dad’s church,” Clemishire said, revealing how the alleged abuse continued until she was 16 years old. “We even went on trips together.”

Clemishire noted that she was “not a ‘young lady,’” as Gateway’s statement said. “I was a child. I was an innocent little girl.”

At the time of the alleged abuse, Morris was 21 to 25 years old. He also was a pastor of Shady Grove Church, which now is Gateway Church-Grand Prairie Campus.

robert morris
Robert Morris, then a youth evangelist, preaches to a youth group at an unidentified location. (Photo: Facebook)

Clemishire said she shared a bedroom with her older sister at the time. But when Morris visited, he allegedly slept in the girls’ room, while Clemishire and her sister slept in another room.

On Christmas night, Morris allegedly asked Clemishire to come into her bedroom and spend some time talking. During this visit, Clemishire said Morris sexually assaulted her.

“It was so innocent,” the woman said. “I was wearing pink pajamas with bloomer pants over my underwear, and I had on a snap up robe.”

The accuser described her childhood growing up in Oklahoma in the 1970s and 1980s as picture perfect with a loving family.

“He told me, ‘Never tell anyone because it will ruin everything,’” Clemishire said.

“It didn’t ruin anything for him, but it ruined everything for me,” she added. “This was always in the background.”

Clemishire said she was 17 years old when she told her parents of the years of abuse that had escalated from inappropriate touching to rape by instrumentation.

“Years later, when my father found out what happened, he told the lead pastor at Shady Grove Church that if Morris didn’t get out of the ministry, he would report him to the police,” Clemishire said.

After years of counseling, the woman reached out to a high-profile criminal defense attorney to file a civil lawsuit against Morris.

robert morris
As a youth evangelist in the 1980’s, Robert Morris preaches at Shady Grove Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. (Photo: Facebook)

The statute of limitations for authorities to file criminal charges had expired in Oklahoma. However, Clemishire confirmed to TRR that the abuse also took place in Texas, which has no statute of limitations for child sexual assault.

“I just wanted someone to pay for the years of counseling I went through,” she said.

Clemishire said Gateway offered her $25,000 if she would sign a non-disclosure agreement, which she refused.

 “I wasn’t wanting money,” she told TRR. “I wanted him to pay for the counseling I had gone through.”

In Morris’ statement, he says he “confessed and repented of” his actions and stepped down from his ministry’s position for two years in March 1987. He said he also received counseling and returned to the ministry in two years later with the blessing of the “young lady’s” father.

However, Clemishire said her father did not “bless Morris returning to the ministry.”

“We are instructed to forgive – but that does not mean my father gave his blessing. He wanted to kill him,” Clemishire said.

TRR reached out to Gateway Spokesman Lawrence Swicegood for comment but did not immediately receive a response. 

In his message to Gateway staff, Pastor Miller stated that he was sending the statement from the elders “to empower (staff) with a response if someone inquires, not as something to proactively sent out to people.” 

The email further told staff to direct congregants who want “to talk further about anything” to a campus pastor, and to direct media to Lawrence Swicegood.

Gateway Church Statement – June 14, 2024 

*This story has been updated to note that the alleged crimes against Clemishire also took place in Texas, which has no statute of limitations for child sexual assault.

Sheila Stogsdill is a freelance print journalist and digital reporter, primarily covering crime issues for KSN/KODE.



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178 Responses

  1. As if the SIN isn’t hideous enough, he/they compound it by LYING.
    Such is the PRIDE in such people.
    A 12 year old is a CHILD, not a “young lady”.
    Shame on them all!

    1. Respectfully 12 yr olds are called ‘Young Ladies ‘ it’s a Southern thing. TRUTH Triumphs Everytime Hallelujah. You who are without Sin cast the First stone 🪨 I certainly AM Not 🚫.
      If Pastor Robert Morris who has been clean since 1987 isn’t given GRACE What hope is there for the Rest of US. It was on a need to know basis. 37 yrs we didn’t need to know.

  2. In current ministries, Evangelicals sign NDAs and make any payments to the people who signed the NDAs.

    Then a lame PR announcement is made from the ministry indicating that the leader is stepping away for a few months and will return after full restoration.

    No further questions are answered. The only people who get in trouble are the poor souls who ask too many questions about what is going on in the ministry?

    NDAs have become the wonder weapon in the Evangelical church. If a church wants to get rid of a pastor, force an NDA and jettison the pastor. Or if a ministry wants to keep a leader after moral failings, just sign an NDA, it will eliminate any questions.

    It seems Morris was just a little too early to the ministry game, when NDAs were not a big thing.

    1. Yes, NDA’s are immoral. They signify the “church” priorities are businesslike not Christlike.
      Isn’t it wonderful that Cindy didnt agree to a Gag Order or Hush Money?
      Isn’t it wonderful God is giving courage to all these women coming forward despite threats?
      Maybe now Morris and other immoral “pastors” and their minders be shut down for life not just slink to the other side of the country and reinvent themselves.

      Let’s hope more women come forward EVEN IF they signed an NDA.

      What church would dare stand on that in the face of this groundswell of natural anger at such abuse? They’d hide or scurry like rats from a sinking ship.

    2. “In current ministries, Evangelicals sign NDAs and make any payments to the people who signed the NDAs.”

      Commonly called “Gag Order with Hush Money”.
      Few people know that NDAs do NOT apply to covering up criminal activity.

  3. There are a whole lot of “judgmental” Christians in these comments throwing the first stone.

    Who appointed you as accuser and judge over this man? He has a Judge and definitely isn’t you.

    You conform yourselves to the manner of this world with your judgementalism. Repent.

    1. My regular self check is how would I handle this if different people were involved.
      Carlos, would you be as defensive of a perpetrator if they were atheist, or maybe Muslim?

      Your reply smacks of enablement thinking. ‘we cannot judge’ but yes we can to protect the flock from a man who repeatedly assulted a child. This is not one night of temptation in a consentual adult context. This is a child. And the actions repeated over years. This is pattern of behaviour.

      1. I agree with you, no really godly man would respond in his comment defending a pedophile. He made a shocking and horrible comment. Matthew 18:6 comes to my mind every time people defend pedophiles.

    2. “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
      St Paul

    3. It’s curious, isn’t it, that people who love to quote the “cast the first stone” line NEVER quote Jesus commanding – in the same passage in John 8 – to “GO AND SIN NO MORE”.
      (He obviously wouldn’t have said it if it’s “impossible” so is their beef really with Jesus?).
      They also don’t quote the verses where Paul lists the requirements for elders and uses the word “BLAMELESS”. It means no charge can be brought against you.

      That ISN’T the case with Morris, Lenz, Evans and others who apparently concealed and/or misrepresented their sin for months and years.
      They were NOT irreproachable while preaching in the pulpit.
      Therefore they should and OUGHT to be called out.
      (It would be hypocritical if they were called out by someone hiding sin but I assume that’s NOT the case in these comments sections).

      PS Why not quote 1st John 3:7-9?

      1. I totally agree with you. This can be forgiven but he should not have been restored back to ministry. That tells me he hasn’t been walking in God’s plan because he just doesn’t qualify biblically.

    4. I call this the “who cares that the man who I worship (trust) and that I give my hard earned mammon to has been accused of molesting a child of 12.” This is absolutely absurd. Had he been molested by a preacher man at 12 no doubt he would feel very differently. This is not the comment of a disciple of Christ but of someone supporting the worst kind of pharisaical hypocrisy. Someone who does not read the words in Red for himself and does not know Jesus at all. What a sad state of affairs. This is also a troll type of comment.

      1. Ever heard of “Sunk Cost Fallacy”, AKA “the con man’s friend”?

        A form of Grooming, i.e. Get the suckers so emotionally invested in the con that even when they KNOW they’re being taken to the cleaners they won’t back out. They CAN’T back out, because that would mean admitting to themselves (and those around them) that they fell for the con.

        Some suckers (like in the “Heirs of Francis Drake” con some 80-100 years ago) even defending the con man with all their money and being.

        1. What you are stating is driven primarily from pride. The humble man knows he can be easily fooled and too frequently has been. The proud man never admits his own faults. He is like a runaway train where the conductor has fallen asleep and cannot be awakened. “No one can fool me. I am much too clever for that.” He stays on the tracks and does nothing until the inevitable crash kills him.

    5. While there is forgiveness for Robert, and deliverance available, 1Tim requirements for pastors, does not fit his behavior. He should not be a Pastor of a church. According to God. I might add that his therapy in 2016 that he went to counseling for his own sexual abuse shows you he is still struggling with this. He would be in prison if the authorities knew, so that’s God’s grace, however it’s interesting that he got the best councilor for him while he would not even pay for the full costs of his victims counseling expenses? That isn’t repentance.

    6. Carlos… words and stones are not the same thing. No one has stones in there hands ready to take the life of Robert Morris. He(Morris) committed a sex crime by law. He is permanently disqualified from ministry. It’s Scripture ignorance and poor judgement, that puts a man like him back in ministry, one that causes damage to thousands, and defames the name of Jesus. As God’s People we have right to know and a right to ask questions.

      1. Thank you for speaking truth. He has disqualified himself from ministry, and has been disqualified, for the past 40-some-odd years. Titus 1:6. Where is the accountability?

    7. Judgemental?!? How about criminal activity! He ruined a child’s life for his sexual satisfaction.
      He needs prison and true repentance. And his defenders should apologize for enabling a pedophile.

    8. When it is known that a grown man felt entitled enough to force himself on a child, that man should be shamed, his horrific behavior should be called out and the church should be furious. Yet, here is another man, shaming the people calling out an egregious act. Yeshua described what should be done to anyone who touches children…He described a whole lot more than just speaking against the perpetrators.

    9. Morris is a disgrace and embarrassment to the church. He is despicable and should be in prison.

    10. Your Righteous Anger and Virtue-Signalling has been duly noted.

      Throw a stone into a pack of junkyard dogs, and the one that YELP!s is the one who got hit.

  4. The more I think about this the more i evil and sinister it is. Is this not the very definition of a wolf in sheep’s clothing? He didn’t just prey on a child he preyed routinely on another PASTORS CHILD. A pastors church whom he was being trusted to preach to. He stayed in their home. If that does not speak to the level of evil and predator behavior that was within this man. We need to protect our children more than protect any pastor

    1. You’ve got to be kidding me!! So one crazy person counsels another crazy person so one of them gets help?? This creep showed ZERO remorse, shame guilt, or embarrassment for his disgusting behavior!

      1. Do you remember the one about how a lot of shrinks & counselors are themselves as crazy as a bedbug and got into Psychology/Psychiatry to self-medicate/self-treat in secret?

        Additionally spoofed in the South Park episode “Mmmmm Mmmmm” (the parody of both Steven King’s “Children of the Corn” and OT Star Trek’s “Miri”).

    2. I personally believe it should have been dealt with back when it first happened! This is horrible and look what has happened to the lady. She is pretty well suffering the rest of her life!
      My thought is “does she have fear and anxiety that he will try it again?”. If that is the case I can fully understand!
      Rather than making her sign a non disclosure agreement he should rather sign a NO CONTACT AGREEMENT! That is he should agree to NEVER in any size, shape or form ever contact this now grown lady and even go this far. That he will under no circumstance go within a 50 mile radius of where she lives for the rest of his natural life!
      And yes pay all of her counseling fees in full!

  5. The Bible is full of ” reports” like this and they were all true. God is bigger than any evil a man will do and His mercy is new every morning. The gifts and calling are without repentance. I feel sorry for the victim because it put her in a prison that only God can set her free. Sadly she has not received the freedom awaiting her. I know many similar stories and many much worse. There is freedom for every captive. God’s loving kindness is better than life itself.

    1. Rene Carlson- where did you get the idea that the victim of 4 Years of Clergy Sexual Grooming & Sexual Abuse has not received the freedom awaiting her? She got married, had a family & is the grandmother of three. It seems to me that you are inaccurate in your assessment of things.

      This was not a one time sexual slip; this was 4 years of repeated abuse of the daughter of another pastor’s family where “Pastor” Morris stayed to minister to a local church. The behavior is reprehensible.

      1. And put other children at risk, the elders are going to have to answer to Jesus about that one. Sad…

    2. “The gifts and calling are without repentance.” This is a common misunderstanding of what Scripture actually says. The verse about calling refers to “THE NATION OF ISRAEL!” The Jewish calling cannot be revoked. It says nothing at all about this or that gift. I have seen men with gifts get old, have strokes or other severe health problems, and lose their gift for the rest of their life. This is reality.

  6. Evangelical Christians’ long-standing fetishism for rock star pastors and ministry leaders continues to provide a target-rich environment for abusers, chomos, and lovers of mammon. Apparently, the cost is acceptable to most people because they keep supporting the same type of rock star pastors and ministry leaders without ever demanding accountability or using their feet to vote “no” to the antics. We left a church like that when the new pastor persuaded the elder board and congregation to vote to remove by-law-imposed accountability rules. The pastor and elders became accountable to themselves only.

  7. I was a member of this church. I gave thousands of dollars to them when I was a struggling student. I feel sick. They blocked comments on their social media to hide. So much for shining a light in the darkness. People are still praising his name. It’s sick! A house built on lies.

    1. God sees you, remember the Lord saw your sacrifice. So glad you don’t go there anymore. I hope other children didn’t become silent victims…

    2. The Lord will reward you for your faithful worship and service to Him, and will deal with perpetrators/defenders of evil. Just continue to expose this where you can. Maybe eyes will be opened.

  8. This is really gross and disheartening. But I’m asking myself…why did God seemingly bless this man to become one of the most prominent teachers and pastors in America? Either his entire ministry is nothing more than carnal soulish human talent and all who followed were duped OR God saw fit to use him anyway. Let me know what you decide.

    1. Outward success is not a very good way to measure God’s blessings or sanction of a leader.

    2. Mark, maybe God did not bless him? Maybe he was just successful? Maybe he just “played the game” that the church culture required and was rewarded for it?

      I reflect on what Jesus said, back in a cultural context where wealth and status were a visible sign of someone being “blessed”; I wonder if, more than ever, we need to be reminded of the following,

      “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
      Blessed are those who mourn,
      for they will be comforted.
      Blessed are the meek,
      for they will inherit the earth.
      Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
      for they will be filled.
      Blessed are the merciful,
      for they will be shown mercy.
      Blessed are the pure in heart,
      for they will see God.
      Blessed are the peacemakers,
      for they will be called children of God.
      Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    3. I asked myself why would God still move with a man raped a child over the course of se weak years. As he was at that time a PASTOR. My first thought was He makes all work for good for those who love him. He’s the true shepherd of the church and the miracles that have happened and salvations should be attributed only to God and God alone. It’s unexplainable but I think the focus in times like these needs to shift to God was still able to move in spite of the predator in the pulpit.

    4. I think you are describing success based on the worlds system. GOD is looking in our hearts. Character, values, love, faith, humility. Mean more to God… He doesn’t belong as Pastor.

    5. Who says that God is the one who blessed him? How many evil man got rich and powerful by doing things that according to our scriptures are wrong? Did God bless Hitler, or Stalin, or Putin or fill in your favorite dictator? Could it be that Satan is the one who blessed him with all that he has? Does Lucifer not mean “Angel of Light?” Is Satan not master of twisting scriptures in order to make them more palatable to carnal man? The scripture speaks that not many of the believers were rich at the time they were being written. Where does the word say that God gives riches and power to men on earth in this age? Satan is the God of this world and the most common name for him is “Mammon.” Jesus did say that you cannot serve both gods. You cannot serve God and Satan (Mammon) at the same time. The devil blesses his children just like he did when Jesus walked the earth. The Pharisee Spirit is still with us and it is full of hypocrisy, greed and abuse.

      1. “Mammon” is actually a synonym for “Money” and/or “Greed”.
        Like Bezos’ tunnel vision on becoming The World’s Richest Man at all costs.

    6. Did God bless him? or is he just great at manipulation and speaking. It really doesn’t take much to draw crowds and money.

    7. Don’t the Mormons have some pretty big churches? Did God bless them.
      The biggest religious pilgramage in the world must be the Hajj to Mecca – the size argument doesn’t work.

    8. It’s Satan that gives people worldly “success” (see Matthew chapter 4).
      It’s Satan that offers them gold for “serving God” (see Acts 3:6).
      Morris is a multi millionaire.
      I have never met a regenerate Christian who desires to be a millionaire.
      Satan has no problem with unregenerate and depraved people pretend “serving” God.
      What he’s *truly* afraid of, and will fight tooth and nail against (see 2 Timothy 3:12, Matthew 10:22 etc) is JESUS being present on this earth working through CONVERTED (TRANSFORMED!) hearts (2 Corinthians 13:5).

      Transformation FROM and TO (see below) is an integral part of the Gospel (Good News) and only those who haven’t been transformed and who are hiding sin will refuse to preach it.
      Beware of them.

      Having money, power, staff and popularity was the LAST desire on my mind after CONVERSION (transformation).
      I only wanted to be like Jesus and Jesus makes it clear in passages like Matthew 20:25-28 how he wants us to be. And it’s the antithesis of Morris and his ilk.

      1. Yes, I so agree with you! Our LORD came into this world and lived the life of a pauper, a homeless man who sacrificed himself to save us from sin and self. These mega church pastors, millionaires are selling the gospel for worldly profit and fame.

      2. In this case, it’s much more likely Morris blessed himself by manipulation and “conmanship”.

        Pointing the finger at SATAN is just too convenient (and spiritual) a way to shift blame.
        Too close to the Geraldine Defense (i.e. Flip Wilson’s character tag line).
        Humans are capable of some really dark Evil all on their lonesome.

    9. The second of your choices. A large church and celebrity is not necessarily a work of the Holy Spirit. Never has been. Charisma and good marketing with a little bit of grifter thrown in is all one needs.

    10. “One of the most prominent pastors and teachers?” Never heard of him before I read about this. It sounds like you’re into celebrity worship.

      1. Typical Christian presumptuousness. You think you can call me an idolater so easily because of my attempt to describe what I perceive about a particular mans noteriety? Stop back handing people and lern to ask more questions before you show your inner Pharisee.

    11. Mark, financial success and a collection of sycophants is not proof of “God’s blessing.” The leaders of the Church of Scientology fit that description. The Ayatollahs of Iran fit that description.

  9. The church system that put him back in ministry after he admitted to sexually molesting a child is the overall issue with the church. It needs to be demolished. WHO vetted this man before he became a member of ARC and had access to hundreds of other churches to build his platform and his wealth? He advised our former president who clearly doesn’t follow Christian doctrine and is helping to destroy public education in Southlake. It’s beyond time for these churches to shut their doors especially if they aren’t going to pay taxes!!

    1. I agree completely, the elders of the church will have a responsibility when they see Jesus. They should have helped, counseled but never should have put him back in leadership. It’s not biblical. 1Tim

  10. If the principal at your school routinely abused children, would you allow them ever back in your school? Just not reporting it to authorities is mandatory, and necessary. NDAs are manipulate and shouldn’t the abuse. All elders are men, and this is abusive that they “cleared” him and not a court.

    1. Great point.
      If the student counselors at your child’s school admitting to sexuality abusing a 12 year old girl over 4 years. Would you feel comfortable with that person ever being in a position to guide your child?
      I would hope not.

      1. Amy, that school counselor would still be in prison. ONGOING felony sexual abuse of a child is the most serious felony in the state of Texas, just under capital murder. That “counselor” would also be on the Sex Offender registry for the rest of his life. He could not be in close proximity to ANY children, when he is finally released from prison.

  11. It just hit me. The irony behind Robert morris and his message of generosity and giving above and beyond and he offers 25k? To a child who just wants him to pay for the help she needed to get on with her life after being systematically preyed upon for years.

    25k ? It seems Mr Morris needs to tap into his own generosity message.
    Because that isn’t even bare minimum Pastor Morris.
    There is hypocrisy in all of this.
    Wake up church.

  12. Because Robert ‘and friends’ have hidden these important details all these years, what else might be being hidden from the public? Curiously, James Robison was traveling with Robert during that time. In another article, the victim shares more detail of her experience and how Robert’s lawyer tried to depict the little girl as the seducer. This man has no concern or empathy for the damage he has done. How does he qualify to pastor, care for and lead congregates when he disregards an innocent person he was intimate with for four years? His recent cover up and downplaying show the ‘current’ state of his character. He can seek counseling and restoration if he’d like, but he should not be allowed to continue in ministry.

  13. The larger your flock, the bigger the audience when the truth finally comes out. I don’t see such a large ministry as God’s blessing in these contexts, I see that as that much bigger of his punishment. The fame that used to be what they wore as a badge of honor- they probably couldn’t go anywhere in American megachurch Christendom without being fawned over- now has an equal and opposite reach when it comes to their fall from the stage. God has His mysterious ways of flipping the script on prideful humanity.

  14. It makes sense that a spiritual advisor to Trump would have a history of grabbing girls by the genitalia. It fits the pattern of American evangelicals who don’t really care about any kind of morality. They only care about power. Nothing they say can be trusted or believed on any topic.

    1. You know, Tim, comments like yours is why people consider Christians to be [lacking intelligence]. And Joe Biden calls himself a Catholic, go figure.

  15. Given his long history of health issues (he had THREE major surgeries last year alone, including open heart surgery), this is how things MAY play out:

    1. Morris never preaches during the summer. He always takes off and either has underlings do the sermons or lines up guest speakers. This is when he does his family vacations (and gets them paid for by lining up guest speaker opportunities for himself). So, him not preaching this summer isn’t unusual.
    2. BUT, given his history of health issues and recent events, he may decide to step down (claiming it to be “for the good of Gateway Church”, and likely will use his health as the “official reason”). His middle child, James, has in recent years been taking more of the leadership reins, and probably will be named his successor. (To my knowledge, James doesn’t have any dirt on him, which may keep some of the members from bailing out.)

  16. Jesus said there is nothing that is hidden that wont be revealed. Jesus also said be sure your sins will find you out. Now I don’t condemn the Pastor, but I believe biblically he MUST be made step down form the pulpit as he has disqualified himself from a leadership role in the church. Also his actions should have been reported to the police by the girls father. There is forgiveness for what he has done if he is truly repentant. Unfortunately I would say that by the simple fact that he did not come forward himself to confess what he had done and take full responsibility for it tells me that more likely than not he has not truly repented.
    Lets not forget that Jesus said that on the day of Judgment (many) would say to Him ” Lord Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and do many mighty works in your name” Jesus will reply ” depart from you worker of lawlessness I never knew you”. I believe many Pastors in the pulpit today haven’t even been called by God to the role of Pastor. Many are in it for all the wrong reasons.
    What’s worse is that the unsaved world looks at the church and all they see are hypocrites and liars. This is what’s wrong with most of the Christian community today is that we don’t live above reproach and we defame the name of Jesus to a lost and dying world that so desperately needs Him. I hope and pray that Mr. Morris will truly repent and come clean and not make lite of what he has done. As for me I must make sure that my walk with Jesus is genuine daily. Lest I deceive myself.

  17. I spent from 1992 to 2011 researching ‘American Christianity’ across several states. I was gobsmacked!! I wrote a book as a result, declaring God’s true message of salvation & His plan to bring total healing to America, making her a shining city on a hill again. It’s all clearly proclaimed in any bible. Amazon or B & N have ‘A Nation Broken’ ready to ship to you. I had a back & forth with someone on this sire or one similar recently & he threatened to get my book & leave a scathing review., He is a man of his word! I’ve requested Amazon to remove it, bc it is full of lies.

    1. Colin,

      Before you use this story of child abuse as an example of how modern America has lost its way and needs to return to its Christian foundation, you should realize that Morris’ sexual abuse of a 12 year old girl would not have been illegal in Colonial America.

      The founders of our Christian nation set the age of consent between 10 and 12 years old. In Delaware they decided 7 years old was old enough.

      So regarding child sexual abuse, contemporary, secular America has more of a righteous response than our nation had at its founding.

      What Raising the Age of Sexual Consent Taught Women About the Vote
      Before many women could vote in the United States, they lobbied male legislators to change statutory rape laws and gained political skills in the process

      Kimberly Hamlin

      Historian, Miami University

      August 26, 2020

      The very first bill ever proposed by a female lawmaker in the United States came from Colorado state representative Carrie Clyde Holly in January 1895. Building on a decade of women’s activism, Holly’s ambitious legislation sought to raise the age of consent in the state to 21 years old. In 1890, the age at which girls could consent to sex was 12 or younger in 38 states. In Delaware, it was seven…

      Based on English Common Law dating back to the 1500s, American lawmakers had selected 10 or 12 as the age of consent to coincide with the onset of puberty, as if once a girl menstruated she was ready to have sex. Men accused of raping girls as young as 7 could (and did) simply say “she consented” to avoid prosecution.,she%20consented%E2%80%9D%20to%20avoid%20prosecution.

  18. I see this as a line in the sand issue. If Robert Morris can’t be forced out of ministry over sex crimes involving a minor over a period of years, then what crime permanently disqualifies a man from ministry?

    1. Answer: none. Another celebrity beats up a woman putting her into the hospital for weeks. Yet he still has followers, some of which were women who might have driven the very car he hit. We live in an age of lawlessness where people who claim to be Christian say shame to anyone and everyone calling out for simple, plain justice. Those followers do not want justice because of the personal consequence involved. What have they done that would put them into jail or hell? It is just itching ears.

      1. Ralph, silver-tongued manipulators are not new; they are not endemic just in the time we are living. Jesus himself encountered the Pharisees, the Romans, and undoubtedly, many that were never reported. Pews and pulpits are filled with wolves and the apathetic. Wheat and tares. Sexual deviants are not new, and this sin and those who refuse to truthfully label it as a CRIME, are not new.

  19. 40 years in “the work” and I am convinced that there are precious few who “get it”. Many so called leaders are wolves, imposters, grifters, deviants or just have found a good gig. Our Lord was so correct in noting that “few they are that find it.”
    I despair that weak teaching and self justification is a product of opening the church doors to every slick tongued viper who calls themselve a leader. And I believe that a leader caught in sin,can, after much reflection and repentance be restored to fellowship but never, never to leadership.

  20. I hope that he doesn’t think he can still be in the church hierarchy, sure laity, but such a man is forgiven, but doesn’t get his old position back. Better a mill stone.

  21. Isn’t this the same guy who’s had financial/church funds misuse issues? (Gambling as well or was that someone else? – like him?)

  22. While I agree with you that he SHOULDN’T be in any leadership position (he should be in jail for child molestation) he’s already proven that he CAN still be in the church heirarchy, because when this happened, they had him take 2 years off and get some counseling to be “restored” to his place at the head of the church. he’s spent the last 40 years PROVING that you can molest children, get caught, AND STILL be a pastor.

    God’s judgement on the white american evangelical church will make the churches in Revelation look like saints.

    1. “God’s judgement on the white American evangelical church will make the churches in Revelation look like saints.” The same issues that existed for the 7 churches still exist today. There are two types of good, and five types of error leading to warnings that candlesticks will be removed. It must be noted that a simple search for the same 5 cities that were rebuked reveals that all of these cities no longer exist. They all lie in ruin, implying that, just like us, they never really repented. Those churches do not exist because the towns they lived in were judged and destroyed in wars. It took centuries before they were, but they are all gone. It is a warning not only to our churches today but also the places where they currently exist.

  23. First step, dismissal from church. Second step, victim needs to file a report in Texas naming him and his crimes. Third step, charges pursued, arrest made, trial. If he is judged guilty then he can specialize in prison ministry from the inside.

  24. Morris’ comment about “a moral failure” is deeply disturbing, as are many of the confused and conflicted comments in this thread. Morris committed an incredibly serious criminal act. Shoplifting is a “moral failure.” ONGOING, criminal sexual assault of a child is the highest level of felony in the state of TEXAS, just under the seriousness of capital murder. Morris would have, and SHOULD HAVE, been convicted and sent to prison for 20 years. He should never have been allowed to be a “pastor.” The astonishing failure of the victim’s parents to call the authorities and report the serious felonies he had committed against their daughter is difficult to comprehend. BUT, those so-called pastors and elders who colluded to “restore” him chose to defy the law, aid and abet a very serious crime with dozens of incidents, and enable a criminal to evade criminal culpability. Each of those “pastors” and “elders” should be criminally charged; they were ALL MANDATORY REPORTERS under the law. Each of them should have served a sentence and paid hefty fines. Morris would have been on the sex registry for the rest of his life as the predator that he clearly defined himself to be.

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