Oklahoma Woman Shares Story Of Alleged Sexual Abuse From Texas Megachurch Pastor

A Texas pastor of a popular mega-church has resigned following allegations of sexual abuse. Pastor Robert Morris served on former President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board. The woman who brought the allegations is from the Edmond area.  

Saturday, June 22nd 2024, 7:04 am

By: News 9, Jordan Fremstad


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EDMOND, Okla. -- A Texas pastor of a popular mega-church has resigned following allegations of sexual abuse. Pastor Robert Morris served on former President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board. The woman who brought the allegations is from the Edmond area.  

On Tuesday, Morris, who founded Gateway Church near Dallas, resigned after Cindy Clemishire shared allegations of sexual abuse from Morris. It is too late for Morris to be prosecuted. However, Clemishire agreed to share her story to inspire other potential survivors to share their stories. 

"It’s too much for a child,” Clemishire said. “There is a lot of guilt and a lot of shame.” 

Clemishire has memories that took time for her to understand. 

“Eighteen years to really discover and embrace what he did to me,” she said. 

Clemishire’s family was close with Morris in the 1980s. 

“Robert and Debbie were like part of our family,” Clemishire said. 

Clemishire said Morris traveled as a paster to different communities. He visited her Hominy home in Osage County on Christmas night in 1982. Clemishire was 12 years old at the time. 

“That’s when he started sexually abusing me,” Clemishire said. “He told me that night, I could never tell anyone because it will ruin everything.” 

Clemishire sought restitution in 2005. In an email to Clemishire, Morris said, “My attorney advises that if I pay you any money under a threat of exposure, you could be criminally prosecuted.” 

“A lot of anger at that time,” she said.  

A 2014 sermon reveals Morris sharing a personal story of sexual misconduct. 

“I learned to lie and manipulate,” said Morris, to his congregation in 2014. “I didn’t wanna be rejected. “I looked for girls who did not have a good relationship with their father.” 

Clemishire shared in detail the four and a half years she said Morris abused her with the religious watchdog blog The Wartburg Watch. Four days later, Morris resigned. 

“I was not deprived from the love of a father,” Clemishire said. “I was an innocent child. For me, it’s about, ‘let’s find out who all knew.’” 

According to CBS News and the Associated Press, Gateway Elders said in a statement they will launch an investigation to “have a complete understanding of the events” from 1982 to 1987. 

“It’s very tough,” Clemishire said. “It’s still tough.” 

Clemishire moves on the best way she can. She didn’t do it by herself. 

“Thankfully my faith has stayed strong,” Clemishire said. “I’ve had a great family my whole life.” 

Stories can heal and remind. Clemishire said she was proud she came forward.  

“I hope and pray that any victim that hears this can realize it wasn’t their fault,” Clemishire said. 

Clemishire believes more testimonies exist and she’ll be there to listen. 

“Come forward,” she said. “I believe you. You won’t be alone.” 

In a statement to The Christian Post, Morris admitted to "inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady." News 9 contacted Robert Morris for a comment on this story. Morris did not respond by the Friday night news deadline. 

Morris has never been charged or investigated by police in this case. The statute of limitations has expired. Clemishire said she is working with lawmakers in Oklahoma and Texas to change the statute of limitations and help survivors find justice. 

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