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A Texas megachurch pastor, Robert Morris, recently admitted to having engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with a young girl starting when she was 12 years old. The abuse continued for four years until she was 16. Cindy Clemishire, the accuser, stated that she was allegedly groomed for abuse by Morris. The pastor described the behavior as kissing and petting, but not intercourse. He claimed the abuse was confessed and repented of in 1987 and that he received counseling and stepped out of ministry as a result.

Morris stated that he submitted to church elders and Clemishire’s father at the time, who was the head of the church he belonged to. He claimed that he received counseling and freedom ministry as part of his repentance and recovery process. Morris asserted that since the incident in 1987, he has walked in purity and accountability in this area. However, Clemishire expressed her disbelief and outrage at Morris’ portrayal of the events, especially his description of her as a “young lady” rather than a 12-year-old girl. She also refutes claims that her father ever gave his blessing for Morris to return to ministry.

Clemishire revealed that Morris abused her multiple times in Texas and Oklahoma, with Morris allegedly telling his wife that he was providing her with counseling during the abuse. The abuse came to light when Clemishire confided in a friend, who encouraged her to tell her family. Upon learning of the abuse, Clemishire’s father threatened to involve the police if Morris did not step out of ministry, leading Morris to step away for two years. Although forgiveness is important, Clemishire believes there should be consequences for Morris’ actions.

In 2005, Clemishire attempted to sue Morris, but his attorney claimed she was flirtatious and suggested that she caused the abuse. Despite this, Morris offered her $25,000 in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement, which she declined. The elders at Gateway Church, Morris’ church, have stood by him and stated that he has been biblically restored to ministry after confessing to the abuse. They claim that Morris has not had any other moral failures since then and has implemented accountability measures in his life.

The church leadership emphasized that Morris has been transparent about the moral failure that occurred over 35 years ago. They stated that Morris publicly shared the steps he took in his restoration process and has maintained purity and accountability in the years following. While the church believes in forgiveness, Clemishire remains adamant that there should be repercussions for Morris’ actions. She hopes that by speaking out about her experience, she can bring awareness to issues of abuse within religious institutions and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.

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