Robert Morris Has Resigned. Thanking God for Cindy Clemishire.

 

 

Robert Morris announced his resignation.

Here is the statement from the elders.


More to follow tomorrow. Thanking God for Cindy Clemishire.


Comments

Robert Morris Has Resigned. Thanking God for Cindy Clemishire. — 214 Comments

  1. Will the elders not also be held accountable? The initial statement they released in support of Robert Morris was in response to the Christian Post article AFTER this blog outlined in great detail Cindy’s experience.

    In addition to that, beginning tomorrow Gateway Southlake campus will host a student conference for youth 7th-12th grades…same age range as Cindy. Are they not humble enough to press pause on the event or do you guys think it’s okay to continue with it?

    I’m not saying “everyone” should resign but it is apparent that additional resignations from others would be appropriate.

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  2. Because let me also add…it appears Gateway elders and leadership…those with decision making authority were nonchalant and slow to take action when they thought the story to be limited to this blog and the Christian Post….not until the barrage of mainstream media brought the story to greater awareness which then resulted in public outrage did they step it up. So that should be noted as well and speaks to the potential level of arrogance some of these entities have as it relates to taking care of one of their own. When instead the priority should be God first and what is in the best interest of those they influence and lead

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  3. ANNNDDDD if Robert Morris’ son, whom he raised, influenced, groomed, prepared is the one who takes over then is Robert Morris “REALLY” gone? Has he “REALLY” no longer with Gateway or just took a small step back??? How could he not influence and impact his son’s decisions for leading and shaping the church? How could he not eventually come attend as a “member” once the attention dims? As long as a Morris family member is leading Gateway the Robert Morris has likely not gone anywhere…they just accelerated the timeline for letting is son step into the role.

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  4. That Gateway Church is saying it didn’t know Cindy was 12 when the abuse began is very concerning. The church elders clearly didn’t do their due-diligence when they found out. They needed to probe. But either they didn’t, or they are now lying and playing a cover-up game. Either way, it is not out of the realm of possible that there are other victims. And, if there are other victims to come forward, the church is culpable. The police needed to be contacted immediately and Morris should have been arrested and prosecuted. Instead, 35 years went by. This is an egregious situation not unlike what happened in the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts. Gateway should be brought to its knees.

    Cindy, thank you for standing tall and strong. You are not alone. You are believed. You are loved by many.

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  5. Debby: How can the elders say they did not know of all the facts? Cindy talked with them in 2007

    “Regretfully, prior to Friday, June 14, the elders did not have all the facts …”

    I assume they mean June 14, 2024. Or perhaps, the current elders are not the same elders that were in place in 2007? Something is still not right here.

    I figure Mr. Morris is stepping aside a bit early to get out of the heat of the kitchen and allow his son to assume Gateway leadership (he was already anointed to do that in 2025). But the elder Morris will be in the background to steer the ship. The elders need to seriously reconsider their transition plan to pass the baton to young Morris. Nothing against him, but considering the exit situation of his father, this is just not a good idea. The Morris years need to be over at Gateway, so the church can move on.

    Deception never ends well.

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  6. Jill,

    Jill it’s everywhere and included in the initial reports that brought attention to it. Dee posted it on this blog and it’s featured on The Christian Post. The issue with today’s statement from Gateway’s Elder board is even if they weren’t aware of the specific details prior to June 14, 2024 on that day those horrific details were brought to their attention and they were asked to comment on it and their initial statement was their official statement which was in unanimous support of Robert Morris. If you notice they only mentioned the law firm investigation of the events Cindy shared but not investigating the elders deplorable mishandling of what they indisputably knew as of Jun 14, 2024 when they responded to the Christian Post seeking comment about the allegations…the entire board should be accountable and resign

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  7. “If you notice they only mentioned the law firm investigation of the events Cindy shared but not investigating the elders deplorable mishandling of what they indisputably knew as of Jun 14, 2024 when they responded to the Christian Post seeking comment about the allegations…the entire board should be accountable and resign.”

    At the risk of sounding cynical, this is probably the most significant issue for Gateway. Many people made a lot of money and have a lot of power and prestige. They all knew that Morris was their cash cow, whom they needed to protect in order to keep that money, power, and prestige flowing.

    Now, the goal is figure out how to keep what they have, which might mean pushing Morris under a bus.

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  8. The Gateway elders sounded quite sure that they had all the facts when they put out the initial statement a couple days ago:

    “Pastor Robert has been *open and forthright* about a moral failure he had over 35 years ago when he was in his twenties and prior to him starting Gateway Church. He has shared publicly from the pulpit the proper Biblical steps he took in his lengthy restoration process.” emphasis added

    The elders at Gateway made an absolute statement about Morris a few days ago and now say they didn’t have the facts. They spread a lie (he was anything but open and forthright), even if unknowingly, because they were so sure of themselves that they didn’t bother to do due diligence before putting out their statement. That is 100% on them, whether they were deceived or not. At that point, the right thing to do would have been to put out a statement saying that the allegations were very grievous and they would be treating them seriously. Then they could have read Dee’s blog, contacted the Shady Grove Elders, reached out to Cindy, her family, or attorney, etc. and gotten the facts.

    So they made a false statement because either 1) they didn’t do the smallest due diligence and just accepted his word (or the word of the Shady Grove counselors?) or 2) they did had some idea and this new statement is an attempt to spin it so that they are innocent parties, he’s the “bad apple,” and now that he’s resigned, everything is fixed.

    Pro tip for church leaders and congregants: the word “inappropriate” when followed by words such as “relationship” or “texts” etc. covers a multitude of sins. Because it is a word that can refer to a minor social faux pas, it is useful when leaders want to minimize the seriousness of a leader’s actions for PR and image management.

    So if you hear the word “inappropriate,” find out what exactly it means before you “forgive” (a pastor asking congregants to “forgive” some vague, unspecified sin), before you tell others it’s not important because it happened years ago, before you reflexively defend a good speaker, before you restore someone to leadership, before you trust. And if someone tells you it’s none of your business, take that as your cue that truth-telling is taking second place to image management.

    A “young” lady. The word “young” is something that needs to be specified, too. Senior women can be called “Young lady” in the South, so like “inappropriate,” the choice of words is deliberate obfuscation, a magician’s trick to make your mind go to the place the magician wants it to go so he can pull something over on you.

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  9. Dale Rudiger: Anyone concerned about the qualifications and independence of a large firm specializing in corporate law conducting the investigation?

    Everyone who didn’t just fall off a turnip truck! Also, people in the congregation who are terribly confused and in the process of resolving cognitive dissonance about a pastor in their church. They are going to want to believe that the elders are doing the right thing. Whoever pays for the investigation is the client of the attorney investigating.

    In contrast, when it comes to physical and sexual abuse, if a church hires GRACE to do an investigation, their contract will specify that they will report any crimes they uncover and that the victim(s) will get a copy of the final report from GRACE. This prevents a church from withholding findings about whether there was physical or sexual abuse because the victim is free to release the report.

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  10. Debby:
    How can the elders say they did not know of all the facts? Cindy talked with them in 2007

    It was in 2005 when she asked for renumeration. Likely in the 19 years between then and now, the entire elder board has turned over outside of Morris and a couple of other pastors. Even though under their structure, the elders choose their own successors, that doesn’t mean they tell them everything they know.

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  11. R’as al Ghul:
    And now the CYA of the church elders begins. How long before they start throwing each other under the bus to reach the lifeboats of the rapidly sinking Titanic that is Gateway Church?

    They’ve already started doing that. They’re claiming that Morris told them it was “a young lady” (implying a young adult), not a minor.

    Plus, given that 19 years have passed since Cindy requested renumeration, only to be given a cheap counteroffer with an NDA attached, likely the entire elder board – outside of Morris and maybe a couple of others – has turned over. So, they can claim they knew nothing of the claim or the proposed “settlement”.

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  12. Dale Rudiger: Anyone concerned about the qualifications and independence of a large firm specializing in corporate law conducting the investigation?

    My thoughts exactly when that name popped up. There are organizations which specialize in areas like this (e.g. GRACE) which provide a true “independent” investigation in a discipline they know best. Gateway can afford them. I don’t like the avenue they have selected to “investigate” Morris. Gateway just needs to be done with this mess and move on without a monkey wrench thrown into the works.

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  13. Max: My thoughts exactly when that name popped up.There are organizations which specialize in areas like this (e.g. GRACE) which provide a true “independent” investigation in a discipline they know best.Gateway can afford them.I don’t like the avenue they have selected to “investigate” Morris.Gateway just needs to be done with this mess and move on without a monkey wrench thrown into the works.

    But they won’t. They are hoping to ride this out. They fail to realize that a small rock starts an avalanche. Gateway Church will implode over the next few months.

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  14. Max: “Regretfully, prior to Friday, June 14, the elders did not have all the facts …”

    I assume they mean June 14, 2024.Or perhaps, the current elders are not the same elders that were in place in 2007?Something is still not right here.

    I figure Mr. Morris is stepping aside a bit early to get out of the heat of the kitchen and allow his son to assume Gateway leadership (he was already anointed to do that in 2025).But the elder Morris will be in the background to steer the ship.The elders need to seriously reconsider their transition plan to pass the baton to young Morris. Nothing against him, but considering the exit situation of his father, this is just not a good idea. The Morris years need to be over at Gateway, so the church can move on.

    Deception never ends well.

    The problem is the church structure. As Morris writes in The Blessed Church, their elders choose their own successors. So, the 2024 elders -if not the same people as in 2005 – would be as loyal to Morris as those back then.

    Also, one of the biggest weaknesses of the megachurch model is that once the founder leaves – regardless of the reason – the successor has a hard time maintaining the momentum. What Joel Osteen has done at Lakewood – and, to a lesser extent, Jack Graham at Prestonwood – are the rare exceptions to the rule.

    If you recall, about two decades ago there was an ABC expose on three DFW-area megachurches: Eagle’s Nest (W.V. Grant), Word of Faith (Robert Tilton), and Church on the Rock (Larry Lea). Grant went to prison for tax evasion and sold his campus to T.D. Jakes. Church on the Rock dwindled to the point where it ended up swapping properties with another church and eventually closed (the church with which it swapped, Lakepointe Church, is having its own issues). Tilton’s church was demolished for a youth hockey rink. THIS is what usually happens to megachurches.

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  15. Ex member:
    So the elders didn’t know his crime was with a child? Are they underestimating the intelligence of their congregation? Did any elders from Shady Grove move over to GW? Many thanks to Cindy, and all who are responsible for shedding light on this darkness.

    Shady Grove Church became Gateway’s Grand Prairie campus. Olen Griffing, I believe, became one of Gateway’s “apostolic elders” (as I understand their structure from Morris’ book The Blessed Church, the apostolic elders get involved if the regular elder board can’t come to a decision on a matter).

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  16. AF: Not once these last couple of days have the Elders shown Cindy any grace and compassion. And Robert Morris certainly hasn’t.

    As the media attention picked up, Gateway leaders felt the empire coming apart and went into damage repair. Doing the Christian thing in regard to Mrs. Clemishire wasn’t on their radar, although the Elders did express “deep sympathy to the victim and her family” in today’s statement. I doubt that they communicated that directly to Mrs. Clemishire … they should have.

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  17. Mark R: As Morris writes in The Blessed Church, their elders choose their own successors. So, the 2024 elders -if not the same people as in 2005 – would be as loyal to Morris as those back then.

    The “Inner Ring”, populated with yes-men in which the culture never changes. It’s a set-up familiar to TWW, designed to secure the Gateway kingdom in the hands of Mr. Morris … until the past came rushing in to expose the center of the inner ring.

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  18. nmgirl: The law firm’s specialty is ‘crisis management’, ie pr and spin.

    And there you have it! Their job is to protect the church organization from liability, which is not what most people will understand is happening when they hear there is going to be “an investigation.” The investigation will identify potential points of liability and recommend ways the church can respond. Only the leaders will see the report unless they want to release it for PR reasons.

    I bet TWWers could create a decent approximation of what any portions of the report that will be public will say. We’ve seen the spin so often.

    If there are victims other than Cindy (and statistically, it is likely that there are) they should consider contacting Boz Tchvidjian or someone he recommends. There is a reason that defense attorneys aren’t the ones to whom victims of crimes tell their stories. This is a similar situation. When you choose to tell your story, tell it to someone who has your best interests and healing at heart, and not to someone representing the interests of those who participated in your harm.

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  19. “Clemishire released a statement Tuesday saying she had “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.”

    Clemishire added that she had repeatedly disclosed the abuse to church leaders and pastors, including at Gateway, but it was not until she spoke publicly that action was taken.”

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/robert-morris-resigns-gateway-church-child-sex-abuse-allegation-rcna157806

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  20. Just look at how much damage the Elders at Shady Grove Church have caused. Morris abused a child, they failed to report it to the proper authorities, and they restored him to ministry. The consequences of their bad decision will ripple through the church for years to come. Likewise, the Gateway Elders are at fault for ignoring Mrs. Clemishire’s cries for years.

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  21. Bob M:
    This blog is going to get a ton of traffic. I am seeing it mentioned all over major media websites. I am not a prophet or son of a prophet, but I’m just saying it is going to happen. I am already seeing posts with over 250 replies.

    @Dee I applaud you.

    You will not believe how many views we are getting per hour. I am slammed. It’s hard maintaining a community in the midst of it all. Pray I handle it well. Todd and David have been so helpful.

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  22. Max:
    “Clemishire released a statement Tuesday saying she had “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.”

    Clemishire added that she had repeatedly disclosed the abuse to church leaders and pastors, including at Gateway, but it was not until she spoke publicly that action was taken.”

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/robert-morris-resigns-gateway-church-child-sex-abuse-allegation-rcna157806

    “You can’t fire me! I quit!”

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  23. Jill,

    Try to get it from the church. I have not been able to get through to anyone there. Maybe if you are a member, (and not me :)) it will be esier.

    Chris:
    I just looked and as of 7:43 cst pm 06/18/2024 the image of Robert Morris still appears on the homepage of Gateway Church. I took a screenshot with timestamp

    Can you keep an eye on this for me? I have a theory about something and it has to do with who owns what.

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  24. Mrs. Clemishire’s attorney is Boz Tchividjian. Thus, GRACE will be on it after all.

    “Clemishire told The Roys Report that she had previously notified at least one pastor and one elder at the church that the abuse started when she was 12. She said she and her attorney, Boz Tchividjian, want to see the scope of the review expanded in case there are more victims.”

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2024/june/robert-morris-resigns-gateway-church-abuse-allegations-tx.html

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  25. dee:
    Jill,

    Try to get it from the church. I have not been able to get through to anyone there. Maybe if you are a member, (and not me :)) it will be esier.

    Can you keep an eye on this for me? I have a theory about something and it has to do with who owns what.

    Maybe Morris has the title and deed to the property (and business name) and has set up his church’s LLC accordingly. Calvary Chapels do the same thing. If the church owns the building or land, it is in the pastor’s (Moses Model) name as I understand it. Likewise Calvary Chapel title (aka Business name) is held by the pastor. The pastor basically owns the franchise.

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  26. dee: You will not believe how many views we are getting per hour. I am slammed. It’s hard maintaining a community in the midst of it all. Pray I handle it well. Todd and David have been so helpful.

    Dee,

    I think you just hit the big leagues. From this point forward, numerous news investigative journalists will bookmark your site and get your various blog/social media feeds. This is a good thing. This means there will be a lot more lights shining in the darkness and a lot more rocks turned over. And even more abusive cockroach pastors, leaders, and churches will start scurrying.

    Yo paraphrase a certain fisherman who became a rock, perhaps it is time that judgement begins in the house of the Lord.

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  27. “Today, June 18, the Board of Elders of Gateway Church, accepted the resignation of Robert Morris …”

    Accepted his resignation?! This was not a regular run-of-the-mill resignation, a “time for me to go bye-bye” moment, a gentlemen’s agreement recognizing that one’s tenure is over. With (supposedly) newfound knowledge that he had abused a child not a “young lady” and had lied about it for years, the Elders should have looked him in the eye, refused his resignation and fired him on the spot! Doesn’t sound very Christian? It would, indeed, be the Christian thing to do … in my humble, but accurate, opinion.

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  28. I am not surprise at all that it is going “ a bit crazy at Dee’s place”…….
    In some ways, what is happening is the summation of TWW for the last 15 years…. TWW slowly builds some credibility, and victims will start to come forward, this time it was a BIG, rich, powerful, MEGA….

    However, unlike the RCC train wreck, Dee and TWW is not the Boston Globe… And, as we see time and again, these cases are not unique. As long as Church act like “corporations”, instead of the “body of Christ” as the Gospels present it, we will see this….

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  29. Max: When it comes to abuse at the hands of church leader, NEVER call the church office … call 911!

    This is an important point. Just 3 years ago a church in my small town hired a youth pastor from out of town. Within 3 months he was assaulting a 13 y o girl, and within 6 months was arrested. He’s now doing 20 years. This happened because the girl’s mother called the police. God only knows what might not have happened if she’d called the church.
    I still have questions for which I’ll probably never get an answer. The perp was 45 years old. One would assume he’d been a youth pastor elsewhere, maybe for a long time. It would seem strange he’d offend so immediately if it was his first offense. Did the church do their due diligence checking his background? Did they have protocols in place to protect their children? Were there coverups or “restorations” at previous churches?

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  30. I understand mega churches aren’t God’s intent bc he wants a shepherd to care for and know the flock. However, there is a shortage of churches preaching the Word!!! There is a shortage of churches making room for Holy Spirit and His move and way. How in a metroplex of 8.5 million people are there so few solid Word and Spirit churches? Where is the Anointed preaching of the Word not celebrity circuit preachers with self help how to be a better person? Tell me about Jesus, who I am in Christ and what I can do bc I am in Christ. Pastors are to equip the flock to do the work of ministry! How many churches equip their flock to evangelize?

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  31. There is little doubt the church elders were not fully aware of this situation when they elevated a young, charismatic preacher who could draw crowds. They rationalized and reasoned the word of God to get exactly what they wanted. Robert Morris has a post on Facebook page from 2020 praising his 40+ year friendship with Jimmy Evans. Jimmy Evans may have left Gateway a few years ago but he always kept his friend’s secret. I suspect that was true of all the elders. They impression managed exactly how the congregation viewed Robert Morris and his family to ensure we did not see the truth. I certainly feel deceived, disappointed and sad. My heart goes out to the victim and her family. I am praying for to God to reveal all those that are false teachers of his word.

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  32. Dave A A: Did the church do their due diligence checking his background? Did they have protocols in place to protect their children? Were there coverups or “restorations” at previous churches?

    Obviously, no, no, and yes.

    Church enterprises propping up pedophiles in their communities seems to be common practice.

    Good for the mom who phoned LE who did due diligence so the DOJ could put away and out of business the 45yr old pastor pedophile predator. Churches promoted the predator in their communities for over two decades. It took:
    1. A parent
    2. Local LE
    3. Their local DOJ
    to end the crimes of the criminal promoted by the churches in the community.

    Parents didn’t hire the guy.
    But a parent was the beginning of the end to the criminal’s life of crime.

    Will a church hire and “restore” the predator preacher pedophile when released?

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  33. Max: Mrs. Clemishire’s attorney is Boz Tchividjian. Thus, GRACE will be on it after all.

    Boz is a private attorney focused on representing sexual abuse victims.He founded GRACE and used to be on the board, but has recently stepped down from that, Had he still been on the board, it would likely be a conflict of interest for GRACE to investigate

    The church itself would need to hire GRACE, which I think we all have learned from experience is unlikely. If the congregation was in an uproar and demanded it, they might. But the congregation is in a state of cognitive dissonance and we can see from this blog, many are defending Morris on the grounds of repentance and forgiveness as absolving him from the consequences of his deeds years ago. Obviously lying about it for all these years is not evidence of repentance.

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  34. Muff Potter:
    So when is the DA gonna’ file charges against Morris for child molestation?
    Child sex abuse is a FELONY in all 50 states.

    Muff, we shall see. I think for a state DA to file charges it would have to be for crimes he did to others later on (discovered during further investigation or someone else comes forward). Of course, if he took her (or any other girl) across state lines or even used a telephone, US mail, etc. with the intent to commit immoral traffic he is looking at Federal Mann Act charges. With no statute of limitations. I think the Federal angle may have a better shot at getting an indictment.

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  35. Eyewitness: But the congregation is in a state of cognitive dissonance, and we can see from this blog many are defending Morris on the grounds of repentance and forgiveness as absolving him from the consequences of his deeds years ago.

    Indeed, Gateway Members are defending Morris. I sympathize with them because they’ve listened to Robert for decades, and they’ve grown to love him and his family, as evidenced by calling Robert’s son to be their next pastor. Gateway Members are thinking with their hearts, not their heads. Truthfully, they should examine for potential other victims, even family members of pastoral staff, for in my experience, repeated, years-long sexual abuse of a minor is like alcoholism. It never “goes away” but can only be managed.

    The deep scars from pain enforced upon Cindy at the age of 12 are scars she has carried throughout her life, still overcoming, still healing, and still pressing ahead in her love for Jesus and His people. I’m proud of her.

    I can empathize with Gateway. As a pastor myself of a large church (1992-2022) who ministers to convicts, I wrote a post to emphasize how you can love Robert Morris while at the same time advocating his removal as pastor and supporting a state conviction of child sexual abuse. I would not be surprised to see Texas and Oklahoma law enforcement authorities enter the picture – especially since Oklahoma Attorney General Getner Drummond is a friend of Cindy’s, and laws about “statute of limitations” have been changed. Their mitigating circumstances, in this case, make it even more egregious criminal behavior (more later on in that subject).

    With all that said, I wrote a post explaining why Robert Morris is forever banned from any professional Christian Ministry. I pity Robert and his family, but I love them. They’ll get through, but the scars of his crime will now need to be healed in his own family in the same manner they have had to heal in the Clemishire family.

    See “Robert Morris’ Ministry Has Died” – https://istoriaministries.com/robert-morris-ministry-has-died/

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  36. Max: “Clemishire told The Roys Report that she had previously notified at least one pastor and one elder at the church that the abuse started when she was 12. She said she and her attorney, Boz Tchividjian, want to see the scope of the review expanded in case there are more victims.”

    The “we didn’t know” leaders are liars. Fullstop.

    The followers of the lying leaders are fools following the devil’s servants running the “church”. 2nd fullstop.

    Despot followers excuse themselves with “we were just following our leaders.” WW2. Yes, even a nation, let alone a megachurch, can get it wrong, with a few Bonhoeffers and ten Booms who got it right AND PAID WITH THEIR LIVES.

    That Following the Leader excuse NEVER works among God’s people. “My sheep know my voice and follow me,” Jesus said.

    Time for the fools to have their Come to Jesus moment and follow Him, if they want to keep calling themselves followers of Jesus and end the hypocrisy of taking Jesus’s name in vain. With repentance, a 180, and the Zacchaeus practice of the fruit of repentance, are required. No slipping in the back door.

    Matthew 3:8 and Luke 3:8:
    Matthew 3:8: “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance”
    Luke 3:8: “Bear fruits worthy of repentance”.

    God wants everyone to thrive. But Jesus has a great deal to say about wealth. Tithing $117M to a preacher has red flags flying higher than the 4th of July displays going up.

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  37. Wade Burleson: They’ll get through, but the scars of his crime will now need to be healed in his own family in the same manner they have had to heal in the Clemishire family.

    Disagree on this.

    The predator’s koolaide drinking cabal (if family, $117M cabal), are in no way in the same situation as those assaulted, violated.

    Jesus healed the assaulted. They never volunteered for any of this.

    Jesus called to repentance the foolish followers, friends, and families of predators.

    We don’t heal from sin and foolishness, even when we are caught up in association with a predator.

    Association and assault are NEVER one and the same.

    Halt the pity party for the association caught up in the predator’s lies.

    Jesus said, “My sheep hear me and know MY voice.”

    Have faith in the fact that Jesus’ Word and the Holy Soirit having been working overtime to stop the lies.

    Thank God 3 people finally listened and acted: Wade, Rachel, Dee.

    —–

    At a murder trial when it’s said two families suffer the same, that is false. The family of the dead have lost their family member to Eternity, period. End of story. Only memories. The family of the murderer have their family member who will live out their life that they can visit in jail endlessly. The murderer lives on.

    NOT THE SAME. Having a family member murderer is in no way the same as having a family member murdered.

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  38. Church Girl:
    Will Gateway Church survive?What are your guys thoughts?

    If I was place a wager right now, I say probably not. At least in its current (and much larger form). This was the personal empire of Robert Morris and depending how many of the elders were in on the cover-ups, lies, etc. many of those will be sacked or forced to leave. Also, Morris’s son will not be able to stem the bleeding (especially if it is found out if he knew any this). Remember Edward Longshanks (Edward I) was known as the Hammer of the Scots. His son Edward II, not so much, considering he lost all of Scotland in 1314.

    Remember there are more shoes likely to drop over the coming weeks and months.

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  39. Ava Aaronson,

    I have observed Spin ( effectively lying) throughout my time in organized Christianity…. I could go on and on about it, and I think it contributes to part of my “feisty” nature and one of the reasons I am active on TWW…. I.e. I really dislike BS from those in authority, especially “relgious authority”

    When the truth is routinely “stretched”, typically for the “cause of Christ”…. it is not “hard” for cunning leaders, that have a ready audience, to “stretch” the truth to cover up nasty things…. Like calling a 12 yr old girl a “young lady”…

    I have further observed in my old ( but not as old as Max) life, that the same is true in politics…. Hence the old adage of not brining up Politics and Religion in certain situations..

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  40. Church Girl: Will Gateway Church survive?

    It will be a tough row to hoe for Gateway, Church Girl. When churches are built around the personality of a leader, they typically don’t survive when the leader leaves for whatever reason. When Mark Driscoll fell, Mars Hill was dissolved … when Bill Hybels fell, his Willow Creek model of doing church fell out of favor … when James MacDonald fell, Harvest Bible Chapel became a mere shell of its former self … following the announcement of Mike Bickle’s moral failing, IHOP is now in a state of confusion … etc. etc.

    But, here’s the good news! The Kingdom of Heaven on earth in the here and now is alive and well. It’s doing just fine without Mars Hill, Willow Creek, Harvest Bible Chapel, and IHOP. It will survive Gateway’s exit from the scene if that happens. In the days ahead, keep your eyes focused on Jesus not mere men. They will disappoint you; Christ never will.

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  41. Jeffrey Chalmers: not as old as Max

    I resemble that remark!

    Here’s the deal, Jeffrey. Age doesn’t necessarily equal wisdom, but it helps. I’ve lived the better part of a century … most of it maneuvering my way through what we call “church.” Along the way, I’ve come to discern things greatly amiss in the American church. When you put a man in the pulpit, rather than Jesus, it never ends well … when entertainment becomes more important than the spoken Word, repentance, and prayer, folks go home unchanged … when church leaders are authoritarian overlords, the people of God will always be abused in one way or another … when flesh trumps Spirit in a ministry, anything can happen.

    We desperately need revival and spiritual awakening in America. But I don’t see much movement in that direction. Church folks just don’t want to humble themselves, pray as they ought, repent, and seek God … it’s so much easier and fun to do church our way. So, we will be back here on TWW soon dealing with yet another “Man of God” who has gotten himself and his church in a mess.

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  42. Pingback: Loose Ends – Phoenix Preacher

  43. For the record: Robert did view the church with a corporate model of operation. It came straight from his lips when I attended a class he offered on the prophetic many years ago at SGC. He said he would run a church like a corporation. We never knew about Robert’s crime. Ever. Neither did the members. We were a very close knit congregation and it was like a family with no secrets. But he was a superstar at “the Grove” – as most of us called it. Even then, everyone sought him out.

    We chose to stay at our church when he left. I could write a book. But then again, hasn’t he written enough of them now? My focus is on the crime of the present. And I say the present, because girls who are abused never really get over it. They learn coping skills. AS a registered nurse, I can attest to the aforementioned.

    I have great sympathy for Cindy, who watching from the sidelines for years and not believed by the men, ignored by the women; and if watching her abuser on line knowing that he got away with it. He did. For three decades. Crime does not degrade with time. Distance doesn’t matter, folks.

    I hate lawsuits. Isn’t it Hosea that states they are like poisonous weeds in a garden? But I support a lawsuit against the Gateway corporation. Some church leadership will never change, unless the wallet is threatened. This needs to be painful – necessarily painful – so that a powerful lesson can be learned. Sadly, innocent people suffer for the crimes of others – day in and day out. None of us are exempt.

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  44. Dee,

    I see you have scrubbed your website: e mails don’t send, disabled telephone, images of you and the other blogger and bio’s now removed. Undoubtedly you are under tremendous pressure right now. Let me be plain spoken. You did the right thing, and perhaps at great personal cost, in being a platform for Cindy.

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  45. Why did it take the church board longer than two minutes to fire him instantly when they found out? Every board member should also resign IMMEDIATELY for their failure in this.

    While it’s not his fault, James Morris should also step down because the church cannot move forward under any Morris family member’s leadership. Every time a congregant looks at the stage and sees a Morris, all they will think about is the abuse.

    Do we believe his wife didn’t know the truth all along? She was in the initial confrontation and had to turn a blind eye to reality that a 12-year-old girl was asexually abused.

    It’s important to note legally that because Robert Morris left the state of Oklahoma, the 10-year statute of limitations tolled (paused), and despite the length of time, he can still be charged if the prosecutor so chooses. While I believe in and practice mercy, it should be tempered with justice.

    Finally, any pastor with a net worth of $117 doesn’t understand the Gospel. I’m not against having nice things, but that level of extravagance is not Christ-like!

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  46. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    Why did it take the church board longer than two minutes to fire him instantly when they found out?
    Dr. Kevin Harrison,

    Because the rock thatGateway is built on is Robert Morris, not Jesus Christ…….. and I think the elders knew it.

    And with the end of the Robert Morris empire, Gateway will sink like the Titanic. All efforts by the elders and Gateway at this point are simply re-arranging the deck chairs.

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  47. Ed note Another comment by a person who is not trauma informed, naive, Biblically illiterate and who supports a person who confessed to molesting a 12-year-child.

    Let’s start off with some questions! Do you think God made a mistake that day on the road to Damascus when he changed Saul? Do you think Jesus made a mistake when he didn’t join the others when the woman was caught committing adultery? Now my take on this! Was what Morris did right? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Let’s go back to the end of March 1987 when Cindy Clemishire finally told her dad. I’m guessing she’s probably around 16 at this time. Started at 12 & lasted 4 years. When confronted Morris admitted to it & stepped down. He went into counseling & apparently got better. 2 years later he asked to rejoin the pulpit & said he had repented. As far as it is known this was the only person that Morris has done this to. Yes even 1 is too much. He has remained pure in this area for over 30 years. Unless others start coming out, who am I to play God & say that he hasn’t? Another question! Where were the adults in this girl’s life? The dad knew! He was even quoted as saying “ I’m handing you over to God! You’re lucky I didn’t kill you.” The elders of the church knew. Her therapist knew. Why did NO ONE report & file charges? If they had, Morris would be on a sex offenders list. I feel like the dad didn’t do it because of embarrassment. The elders didn’t do it because it would ruin the church. Cindy Clemishire from what I’ve read started trying to file charges in 2005. That’s almost 30 years later. Now back to my question about Saul/Paul. What if by the grace of God Morris did change as Paul did & was leading people to Christ through his ministry. What this lady is doing now by bringing it out publicly could be the cause of some not being led to Christ. The lawful action should have been taken years ago by the adults. Especially her dad! I’ll end with this, I’m sorry for what happened to her. But if he has truly repented & is now leading people to Christ & has remained pure in this area for 30 some odd years don’t ruin his ministry. Now if he’s still doing this or more come out! Blast his ass! Cindy Clemishire is upset about his following. So what if he has a huge following. Is he leading people to Christ? I know this will not bring back her childhood but I truly believe Cindy Clemishire needs prayer more than Morris does. Prayer for her heart to find forgiveness & get rid of the bitterness. Prayer that she learns to forgive like God does.

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  48. Another comment by a person who is not trauma informed, naive, Biblically illiterate, and who supports a person who confessed to molesting a 12-year-child.

    Haley:
    Will the elders not also be held accountable? The initial statement they released in support of Robert Morris was in response to the Christian Post article AFTER this blog outlined in great detail Cindy’s experience.

    In addition to that, beginning tomorrow Gateway Southlake campus will host a student conference for youth 7th-12th grades…same age range as Cindy. Are they not humble enough to press pause on the event or do you guys think it’s okay to continue with it?

    I’m not saying “everyone” should resign but it is apparent that additional resignations from others would be appropriate.

    Everyone is missing one important point. The BIBLE clearly states that when Saved believers forgive,they are also to forget any wrongs done to them. Cindy never forgave him that is obvious by how vicious she has been. I have been an evangelist for over 45 years, I’ve never even heard of anything like this! It breaks my heart! If Robert has went all these years after this act,with nothing else ever happening. It is obvious to those of us who read and truly live by the BIBLE that what was supposed to happen according to the BIBLE did happen for his forgiveness and restoration to the church body. However, and this is what is sad to me, when he committed adultery against his wife he permanently barred himself from ever again being in the pastoral ministry! There is no discussing that. I pray for Cindy that she will truly be able to forgive Robert for her sake. If she doesn’t he owns her forever. I pray for healing for everyone involved.The LORD judge for the wrongs that were done here.

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  49. Ed note: Another comment by a person who is not trauma informed, biblically illiterate,uneductaed to the facts, and who supports a person who confessed to molesting a 12-year-child.

    I disagree. Robert Morris has an anointing. He has turned from his sin and walked in purity and humility since. This is from the past where he has admitted failure and repented meaning to turn the other way. Do you guys ever sin and fall short? Do you want to be bothered 30-40 years down the line wit all of your moral failures. God worked through that man of God. Let’s not forget how David was an adulterer and killed the prior husband of Bathsheba but how God used him and loved him. He was a man after Gods own heart. Sit with that.

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  50. Ed note: Another comment by a person who is not trauma informed, uneducated to the facts, mean spirited and who appears to support a person who confessed to molesting a 12-year-child.

    I’ve seen no mention of the applicable prosecutors on Oklahoma or Texas being held accountable for their failure to prosecute Morris. Did the parents or church officers not tell them that this happened in a timely manner for prosecution or did they conspire to keep it from being prosecuted?

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  51. So sad that it seems like Elders or Deacons cannot be trusted to make good and godly decisions these days. I am sure there are some, but now who is truly protecting the sheep from these wolves in sheep clothing? It is up to us. Ask questions. Ask questions. And then ask more questions. I am doubting I will ever be a member of another church in my life time. Attend church, yes. Be a member? No. I want to cut and run when the light is shown on the dark secrets of the church. I wish I didn’t feel this way.

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  52. Tammy Swofford:
    For the record:Robert did view the church with a corporate model of operation.It came straight from his lips when I attended a class he offered on the prophetic many years ago at SGC. He said he would run a church like a corporation.We never knew about Robert’s crime. Ever.Neither did the members.We were a very close knit congregation and it was like a family with no secrets. But he was a superstar at “the Grove” – as most of us called it. Even then, everyone sought him out.

    We chose to stay at our church when he left.I could write a book.But then again, hasn’t he written enough of them now?My focus is on the crime of the present. And I say the present, because girls who are abused never really get over it.They learn coping skills. AS a registered nurse, I can attest to the aforementioned.

    I have great sympathy for Cindy, who watching from the sidelines for years and not believed by the men, ignored by the women; and if watching her abuser on line knowing that he got away with it.He did.For three decades.Crime does not degrade with time. Distance doesn’t matter, folks.

    I hate lawsuits.Isn’t it Hosea that states they are like poisonous weeds in a garden?But I support a lawsuit against the Gateway corporation.Some church leadership will never change, unless the wallet is threatened.This needs to be painful – necessarily painful – so that a powerful lesson can be learned. Sadly, innocent people suffer for the crimes of others – day in and day out. None of us are exempt.

    Temera, thanks. your posts carry grace, concern and compassion, and reasoned thinking.

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  53. Dr. Kevin Harrison: While it’s not his fault, James Morris should also step down because the church cannot move forward under any Morris family member’s leadership.

    Agreed. But I don’t see Gateway moving “forward.” Gateway = Morris (the names are synonymous) … no Morris, no Gateway. The mother ship will eventually sink, the satellite campuses will become independent and rebrand themselves … we’ve seen it before when the mega-man leaves his mega-church.

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  54. Another comment by a person who is not trauma informed, biblically illiterate, grammatically challenged, mean spirited and who appears to support a person who confessed to molesting a 12-year-child.

    I hope all of you commenter’s sins get blasted and that you lose your lively hood for your bad choices. ALL gave sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
    Robert’s sin came into the light, he went through what was required and he was restored. His walk since has brought countless souls to salvation. Thankfully Jesus will not condem him.
    Why, now, after almost 40 years was this put on the news. “Exposed” by Christ haters!? Oh, wait Pastor Robert is wealthy…. oh and their is a request to pay reparations. Greed never ceases to amaze me.
    All Christians that are posting negativity and hate should remember what Jesus told the crowd that brought the permiscious woman before Him. Those WITHOUT sin should cast the first stone.
    Pastor Robert we are praying for you in this time of trial. Thank you for your service to the Lord!!

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  55. Another comment by a person who is not trauma informed, who is ill educated, mean spirited, biblically illiterate, and who supports a person who confessed to molesting a 12-year-child.

    Let those among you without sin cast the first stone as Jesus Christ said, this broad, and I mean that needs serious help, and holds a problem for 35 years before she lies and says a pastor said or did something, hope she’s happy that she destroyed some ones life, maybe we can look into this bitch to actually tell what kind of a woman she is, and for you idiots to put her on a pedistal is very discering, she’s full of BS and every Christian knows the truth, besides she also turned down a cash off, so what does that say about her. One other thing if she remembers this at the age of 12, then she knew full well what she was doing, besides why didn’t her dad contact the police or sheriff, sounds like a bitter old woman, that needs a excuse to destroy someone, just like the old woman that accused trump of raping her that never happened, and she wasn’t satisfied with what she was awarded, she wanted more

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  56. Sarah: I think her parents (if they are still living) and the church board that originally decided to go above the law and create their own punishment should be held accountable too. Why did no one stand up for her as a child and take this to the law!?

    I think the situation is complicated for parents of a minor. They have to decide what is best for her, and it appears from everything she’s said that she believes they acted to protect her. Think about it this way: many adult women who are raped never report to authorities. Why not? Because the cost of reporting is so high. You will be interviewed by multiple employees of the justice system, repeatedly describing a traumatic, highly personal event (or series of events in Cindy’s case.)

    So you’ve read Cindy’s story. Imagine her telling person after person in detail what she endured. If you tell your story in therapy, the therapist allows you to tell it in pieces, to go at your own pace, and her goal is your healing. The goal of LEO listening is to see if there is evidence to build a case that is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Cindy’s dad did defend her. He believed her (the most important thing) and as soon as she told him, he went to church authorities to make sure Morris had to step down. (He took steps to prevent others.) I think it is understandable for parents to not report a case to police unless their daughter is in a place where she’s willing and able to testify. (Otherwise, there is no case.) You do what you think is best for your daughter.

    The elders, on the other hand, share guilt in not permanently removing him from leadership.

    Statistically, it’s very likely that there have been other victims. Some may not have come forward. Others may have signed NDAs.

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  57. Since statistically, it’s unlikely that a man willing to sexually assault a minor has only one victim, if anyone reading this is also a victim, please seek support and legal help if you are thinking of coming forward. You may have signed an NDA, but an attorney can tell you whether that is valid if it was to cover up a crime. Or you may never have told anyone and not have signed an NDA. An advocate or attorney can help you understand the process of coming forward and can be there to support and protect you through the process. Boz Tchividjian bozlawpa.com is well-known for his effective legal representation. You can also see if your area has a rape crisis center. Their volunteers are trained to support victims, no matter how long ago it occurred. Contacting someone does not mean you are making a decision to come forward publicly. You can explore the options you have and take the path that is best for you. Peace and strength to you.

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  58. BigTex: I haven’t heard of anything about James Robison in a quite a while

    He still has a televised program in our area … I remember seeing Morris on there a lot over the years. It’s my understanding that they were in ministry together for awhile after Morris left Shady Grove. Didn’t Robison attend Gateway at one time? Just thought Robison might have commented about this that Texas media would have covered.

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  59. Concerned,

    Thanks for sharing this. It is a breakdown of the timeline. It shows how RM has been toxic from the beginning of being in a pulpit. The higher they go, the harder they fall. He is being reminded that he is the perpetrator…..not the victim. It also confirms what we have always thought about James Robeson.
    The elders had a moral obligation to fire him before he could resign. I respect Cindy for persevering through this. Judgement begins in God’s house.

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  60. R’as al Ghul: Maybe Morris has the title and deed to the property (and business name) and has set up his church’s LLC accordingly. Calvary Chapels do the same thing. If the church owns the building or land, it is in the pastor’s (Moses Model) name as I understand it. Likewise Calvary Chapel title (aka Business name) is held by the pastor. The pastor basically owns the franchise.

    Texas doesn’t provide a ton of information on its Corporation Commission page. All I could find out was the following:

    GATEWAY CHURCH
    Texas Taxpayer Number 17528708062
    Mailing Address 500 S NOLEN DR STE 300 SOUTHLAKE, TX 76092-9171
    Right to Transact Business in Texas ACTIVE
    State of Formation TX
    Effective SOS Registration Date 03/23/2000
    Texas SOS File Number 0157592301
    Registered Agent Name DAVID O MIDDLEBROOK
    Registered Office Street Address MIDDLEBROOK|GOODSPEED, PLLC 611 S. MAIN STREET, SU GRAPEVINE, TX 76051

    There’s no information about who is part of this corporate entity.

    The location of the mothership, 700 Blessed Way in Southlake, Texas, is under this entity per the Tarrant County tax records. And why yes, these two parcels are not subject to property tax. But here’s the 2023 value:

    30,627,655 GATEWAY CHURCH-114 CAMPUS BLOCK 1 LOT 1R2 LESS AG
    10,482,398 GATEWAY CHURCH-114 CAMPUS BLOCK 2 LOT 1
    41,110,053 Total

    I’m just going to point out that one of his sons was scheduled to take over as pastor next year. And his daughter and her husband are on the payroll. We have no idea how much they get paid or if there’s shenanigans with the finances, because religious organizations do not have to file Form 990.

    You do you with your money. Me, I want to see documents first.

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  61. Max,

    Yes, he still has a TV program, but I don’t watch tv very much. He attended gateway and was an “apostolic” elder at the church for a few years

    Not sure what happened but, a few years ago he was no longer listed on the gateway website and he wasn’t mentioned at the church

    Since I don’t watch it, not sure if Robert still appears on the show or not

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  62. Dale Rudiger,

    Thanks for the link. That may explain why Robison is not saying anything. I didn’t know that about him.

    I repeat … the American church is a mess. As frequent TWW commenter “Jack” said once “Stay home on Sundays and save 10%.”

    Folks, are we to the point to take 2 Chronicles 7:14 seriously yet? Things ain’t going to change until we do.

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  63. R’as al Ghul: Maybe Morris has the title and deed to the property (and business name) and has set up his church’s LLC accordingly.Calvary Chapels do the same thing.If the church owns the building or land, it is in the pastor’s (Moses Model) name as I understand it.Likewise Calvary Chapeltitle (aka Business name) is held by the pastor.The pastor basically owns the franchise.

    I thought about this. If/when gateway inevitably tanks, they’ll sell off the assets, Robert will profit and ride off into the sunset into obscurity.

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  64. BigTex: I thought about this. If/when gateway inevitably tanks, they’ll sell off the assets, Robert will profit and ride off into the sunset into obscurity.

    Unless of course, various civil suits force him to liquidate and pay out (kind of like some RCC dioceses). And there are more victims out there I am sure.

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  65. Editors note
    This is the sort of comment which is posted by people who have not taken the time to be trained in the trauma of child sex abuse. The person who did this is Robert Morris, no one else. Most victims of child sex abuse cannot deal with the trauma for decades. Cindy is within the normal time frame for victims of sex abuse to come forward. Morris sexually abused Cindy for 4 1/2 years and now admits it after claiming she was a “young lady.” It is not normal for a man to seek sexual satisfaction in a child which should be a warning. What is fishy here is for someone to attempt to defend a child molester. It makes me wonder if the commenter has difficulty in this area. Of course, the commenter is unwilling to share his/her name. I wonder why?

    Would love to know who is wanting to start a church in the area of Gateway? Would love to hear from the original board members and of course the victims father about why they didn’t just simply pick up the phone and call the cops, or I don’t know, make Morris die of lead poisoning? What do you mean, my father didn’t give his blessing for Morris to go back into the ministry? It’s called, CALL THE SHERIFF! One call would have ended the ministry before it started. Besides all the horribleness of what happened to a 12-17 year old minor. Something is fishy here, smells like money is to be made or some other benefits of knocking the Morris family out.

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  66. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    Wade Burleson,

    Thank you Wade for posting this, and the link to your blog…..
    This further reinforces my belief that so many churches are actively covering up for depraved actions….
    I.e. many churches are guilty of racketeering…..IMHO what your blog describes is such an example…..

    Perhaps various RICO statutes can be used against them (either Federal or State).

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  67. Muslin fka Dee Holmes,

    Middlebrook is an attorney who has worked for Ed Young Jr. over at Fellowship. And they are notorious for taking over churches and selling them off, keeping the proceeds for themselves.

    Now prior to this, whenever Gateway would take over another church, they folded them into the Gateway orb, but they never sold off any of them (in fact, they would put money into renovations to make them attractive to visitors). They may have to sell off some now to keep Southlake alive.

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  68. Max: It will be a tough row to hoe for Gateway, Church Girl.When churches are built around the personality of a leader, they typically don’t survive when the leader leaves for whatever reason.When Mark Driscoll fell, Mars Hill was dissolved … when Bill Hybels fell, his Willow Creek model of doing church fell out of favor … when James MacDonald fell, Harvest Bible Chapel became a mere shell of its former self … following the announcement of Mike Bickle’s moral failing, IHOP is now in a state of confusion … etc. etc.

    But, here’s the good news!The Kingdom of Heaven on earth in the here and now is alive and well.It’s doing just fine without Mars Hill, Willow Creek, Harvest Bible Chapel, and IHOP.It will survive Gateway’s exit from the scene if that happens.In the days ahead, keep your eyes focused on Jesus not mere men.They will disappoint you; Christ never will.

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  69. There are several people with significant experience in this area on this site.
    Would someone be willing to do a myth-buster post? Unfortunately, there appears to be a groundswell of people willing to defend Morris. Some of the statements include:
    It happened so long ago that it doesn’t matter anymore.
    Since she waited so long to go public, it must be because…
    Her family and church made decisions about his repentance and then forgave him. Why is she changing her story now?
    If God wanted Morris to have been punished, he would have. Instead, God made Morris successful.
    Punishing Morris will cause collateral damage to innocent Christian people around him.
    Who is really behind this defamation of a great man?

    This list goes on.

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  70. Ed. Note: Another comment by a person who is not trauma informed, hasn’t been educated and who supports a person who confessed to molesting a 12-year-child.

    The Phoenix,

    I’m sorry she was abused. Abuse is very damaging. Since her parents were the ones who made the decision to not report this to the police, shouldn’t her and your anger be towards them? Why didn’t she go to the police 35 or 30 years ago when she became an adult? Why did she wait until this pastor was successful and then sue him for a lot of money? As an abuse survivor of worse, I would never go back decades later and try to destroy my abuser ESPECIALLY if he had asked me and my family for forgiveness, repented, got counseling, repeatedly confessed his sin, and made efforts to make sure he never hurt another 12 year old, teenager, woman, etc. My abuser never did any of that. I’m thankful someone helped me to pray and forgive him in 1986 even though he never asked. I have walked in freedom since. Are there consequences? Yes. Do I hold malice? No.
    Remember, Cindy’s father is the one who allowed Robert Morris to return to the pulpit and become a pastor at the church that Cindy says her father founded. One article inferred that her father was the pastor at the time, I don’t know if that’s true, but even Cindy admits her father was influential in determining Morris’ terms of discipline. By her father’s actions it appears he was satisfied that Morris had repented of his sin.
    Why bring it up thirty-seven years later. She needs to forgive her father, mother, and the original elders who knew all the details.
    I doubt the current elders were the same elders from 2007, let alone the elders at Cindy’s father’s church in 1987. Why hold the current elders accountable? Why destroy the church or his family? Why say that Morris should not go to church services as a member? Will any of this help Cindy heal? Malice destroys and keeps us victims. Forgiveness heals and gives us victory over the past abuse from others.

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  71. Editors note:There is one person, and one person only that is responsible and that is Robert Morris.Stop trying to deflect. Cindy loves her family and understands nuance, unlike so many who comment here.

    When about her own parents? They knew about it, she was still a minor, they didn’t do anything about it. They should be held accountable as well then if that is the case. he came out clean to her family back then, her legal guardians at that time, not hiding or lying after that, they worked it out, if even her own parents didn’t think it was worth escalating further…

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  72. Mark R: self-perpetuating elder board …

    … has been the root of evil in some churches. Authoritarian pastors with a band of yes-men elders have done great damage to the cause of Christ.

    A Scriptural argument can be made that congregational governance of the church was the divine plan, not elder-rule polity.

    There’s so much awry in the American church, I don’t know if we will ever find our way back to the expected course.

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  73. Haley:
    Will the elders not also be held accountable? The initial statement they released in support of Robert Morris was in response to the Christian Post article AFTER this blog outlined in great detail Cindy’s experience.

    In addition to that, beginning tomorrow Gateway Southlake campus will host a student conference for youth 7th-12th grades…same age range as Cindy. Are they not humble enough to press pause on the event or do you guys think it’s okay to continue with it?

    I’m not saying “everyone” should resign but it is apparent that additional resignations from others would be appropriate.

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  74. R’as al Ghul: Dee,

    I think you just hit the big leagues. From this point forward, numerous news investigative journalists will bookmark your site and get your various blog/social media feeds.This is a good thing.This means there will be a lot more lights shining in the darkness and a lot more rocks turned over.And even more abusive cockroach pastors, leaders, and churches will start scurrying.

    Yo paraphrase a certain fisherman who became a rock, perhaps it is time that judgement begins in the house of the Lord.

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  75. GM:
    Morris still has a big presence on the Gateway website. I hope they will continue to scrub his name, sermons, merchandise, etc. completely.

    Morris also is still represented on The King’s University website.Will that come to an end too?

    What? You like revenge too? I don’t understand.

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  76. Mark R: Middlebrook is an attorney who has worked for Ed Young Jr. over at Fellowship.

    Grinning Ed Young of Seven Day Sex Challenge fame?
    That made it into an episode of GCB?
    (A challenge delivered the same Sunday that Western-Rite Liturgical Churches celebrate the Feast of Christ the King.)

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  77. Bob M,

    I found this website from a YouTube video, you are right she is getting a ton of traffic. Hopefully she’s really trying to help people out & not profit from it, you will know if you start seeing ADs on her website.

    MOD: Just to be clear. There is no advertising on this site. And none of the people involved get paid. This blog is a pure expense operations. GBTC

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  78. Merryl Garley,

    “What? You like revenge too? I don’t understand.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    not revenge. relief that accountability and something just is happening.

    My view is the whole of creation sighs with relief when forms of justice happen. There is no reason for sentient beings to shut off this very intuitive reflex.

    It is unwarranted and a mistake to spiritualize this away.

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  79. Abuse survivor:

    “Ed. Note: Another comment by a person who is not trauma informed, hasn’t been educated and who supports a person who confessed to molesting a 12-year-child.”

    The Phoenix,

    “I’m sorry she was abused. Abuse is very damaging.”

    “As an abuse survivor of worse, … My abuser never [repented]. I’m thankful someone helped me to pray and forgive him in 1986 even though he never asked. I have walked in freedom since. Are there consequences? Yes. Do I hold malice? No.

    Did you read what I said? PLEASE do not EVER tell a trauma survivor that they are “not trauma informed.” That is hurtful. We struggle with people not believing us.
    I have lived a life of trauma. Because of the traumatic child abuse I endured, I was suicidal from before I was 5 years old and have fought with suicidal thoughts for over 57 years. I overdosed on children’s aspirin as a small child and tried to get hit by cars. When I was 13 yo my dad tried to kill me and I started being molested by men a few weeks later. I was raped by men starting at 15 yo. My “boyfriend” trafficked me from 17-19 yo. He kept me in submission by drugging and beating me. When I called Reformed churches and abuse shelters to help me escape, they wouldn’t help me because we weren’t married. Finally, I thought I had a chance for escape, but he came back and found me in the motel parking lot as I was leaving and proceeded to beat me to death. A lady called the police and they arrested both of us! I was taken to the hospital and hospitalized for a little over two months because of my head injuries and trauma. Thankfully, he went to prison. I was in counseling and on prescriptions for anxiety and depression for seven years dealing with everything I experienced in the first 19 years of my life. Thankfully, in the midst of that time a ministry team from a church that held to a Wesleyan-Arminian soteriology helped me to pray and forgive my abusers, police, and the “ministries” that refused to help me. I had been trapped by the trauma and God set me free.
    Sadly, I have gone through more trauma and spiritual abuse in my adult life. I was diagnosed with PTSD last year. The only way that victims like me survive and recover is with God’s help, prayer, trusting Him, and walking in His forgiveness for our abusers.
    So, PLEASE don’t say that I’m “not trauma informed” and “uneducated.” I know more about trauma and I’m more educated about the effects of trauma, the Bible, theology, and counseling trauma victims than you seem to be.
    No, I’m not Lutheran or Reformed Calvinist, so therefore I do not believe in theistic determinism (God decreed Cindy’s and my abuse for His glory). I believe that God sovereignly gives everyone freewill. We decide to obey or not obey and forgive as He forgives or not forgive. The soteriology to which most Christians, including me, ascribe, allows for God to transform us into His image by a living relationship with Him. Therefore, I do not have difficulty believing that a surrendered individual can be delivered and their life transformed by God’s power. I also am keenly aware that not everyone who claims to be delivered is truly delivered. Unfortunately, I know men who claim repentance, but continue in their sin. That is where we must rely on the Holy Spirit to help us discern the difference.
    Am I excusing child abuse? NO! Am I excusing sexual abuse? NO! Am I excusing spiritual abuse? NO! Am I excusing any type of abuse? NO! Rather, I am saying that the only way to survive is to “get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander along with every form of malice. Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God, through Christ has forgiven you” (Eph 4:31-32) and give it all to God, “because He cares for you” (1 Pet 5:7). Holding on to bitterness towards our abuser doesn’t hurt the other person. It keeps us trapped in the abuse. Cindy’s parents and church elders thought Robert Morris could be redeemed. They were right. That does not mean that anyone believes that what he did when he was an immature new Christian was right. It was horrible. What men did to me was horrible. What men have done to countless girls and women is horrible. Only God can help Cindy and the rest of us to heal, but we have to let Him. Is it easy? No. Is it necessary for our deliverance? Yes. So, I’m not “supporting a person who molested a 12 year old girl.” I am upholding an Almighty God Who loves us more than we can imagine and has predestined us “to be conformed to the image of His Son”; “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Rom 8:28-39). By His grace, God can use our failures and our pain to make us more like Him when we surrender everything to God.

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  80. Merryl Garley,

    Maybe this verse fits the situation a little better

    1 Cor 5:12-13

    12 What business of mine is it to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

    Morris began living a lie since 1982 when it began. He has lied about it every day since by not telling the truth.

    He lied to the entire world when he characterized Cindy as a “young lady” thereby leading every reader to believe she was an adult.

    The Elders who knew about this have lied – every day – by not taking appropriate action by firing him and then reporting him.

    Luke 12:2
    There is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.

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  81. This whole thing is incredibly tragic. First and foremost, for Cindy herself, whose innocence & trust were violated. Then, trying to get this man held accountable for his actions. This was a crime. There’s forgiveness…but there must be justice. One cannot escape the justice of man’s laws and definitely, there will be no escaping God’s justice when Mr. Morris has to stand before God. There are very few left unscathed because of this. My heart grieves for him, his family, his church, and, of course, for the victim and her family. I also grieve deeply for the whole of Christendom, as this gives non-believers yet another weapon to use against coming to Christ. We cannot change what happened, but we can look to God’s Word to find out how God would like us to react and go forward on the matter. Because, for some reason, He’s teaching us how to handle ourselves, for possibly when something comes up in our own personal lives or in the life of someone close to us. Pray for the whole situation, for all involved, and for each other.

    Holy Spirit, help us. Give us a tender, responsive heart to Your leading, to hear what You are saying through Your Word. Help us grow in our faith by taking on Your ways, not ours.

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  82. Mark R,

    If you use the Wayback Machine as they call it (web.archive.org) you can look up cached copies of webpages. Looking at the elder list from gatewaypeople.com on August 8, 2007 the elders are listed as Robert Morris, Tom Lane, Brady Boyd, George Grubbs Jr., Tom Lane, David Smith, Steve Dulin, Kevin Grove, and Gayland Lawshe. The last three are listed as elders as of today on the current website. Also in 2007 Jimmy Evans is listed as an apostolic elder but don’t know if he was in Southlake. I chose 2007 because the article I read said that was when Morris’ attorney offered $25k with an NDA.

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  83. Editors note” I am getting tried of answering this question. In the 1980s, we were being taught to bring this stuff to the church and let them handle it. And most churches back then did not report sexual abuse. 15 years ago, before the MeToo movement, I started this blog because I saw some pastors ignore and not report things in a church I attended. They denied it, of course. Since Metoo churches have begun to change. back then, if your father went to the church to handle things, you would have been pleased. But, she did not stop fighting for Morris to admit to his crime. In the ned, Morris is the one to blame. I am beginning to think this is the latest “gotcha” by folks who have no sense of history. Did you know that in the 1050s, 19060s, doctors and law enforcement often turned a blind eye to this problem? Please do some reading and get educated.

    A couple things! Why did the father not doing anything back then?! As a woman, I would be so angry if this happened to me!

    Where is Pastor Jimmy Evans through all this? He is the one person that knew she was a child with 100% certainty. He was with Pastor Robert the ENTIRE time. Dee? anyone?

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  84. Mark R,

    Apparently the only pastor that knew and covered it up was Pastor Jimmy Evans of Marriage Today. There is no way for the current elders to have know. Pastor Robert’s Wife Debbie, The father, James Robinson, Jimmy Evans and a maybe a couple elders from Shady Grove. That’s it. Where is Jimmy Evans in all this? He was literally the only one at that place at that time with Robert Morris.

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  85. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Headless Unicorn Guy: Grinning Ed Young of Seven Day Sex Challenge fame?
    That made it into an episode of GCB?
    (A challenge delivered the same Sunday that Western-Rite Liturgical Churches celebrate the Feast of Christ the King.)

    Headless Unicorn Guy: Grinning Ed Young of Seven Day Sex Challenge fame?
    That made it into an episode of GCB?
    (A challenge delivered the same Sunday that Western-Rite Liturgical Churches celebrate the Feast of Christ the King.)

    Headless Unicorn Guy: Middlebrook is an attorney who has worked for Ed Young Jr. over at Fellowship.

    BigTex: Brady Boyd, Steve Dulin, Kevin Grove, George Grubbs Jr., Jeff Drott, Tom Lane and Robert Morris were elders. Jimmy Evans apostolic elder

    Jimmy Evans was the ONLY person with Robert Morris at that time. It impossible for him not to know her age. If they hid this from everyone, I can see that because of time. Saying young lady far different than saying it she was a child.

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  86. Editor’s note: You’ll beginning to sound like your were not taught how to carefully exegete Scripture. We are called to judge both sins and crimes. I wonder…if someone broke into your home, scared you and stole all of your nice possession, might you be willing to “cast the first stone” and get justice or do you just “turn the other cheek” and send the thief your retirement account? What are they teaching these days?

    He who is without sin, cast the first stone.

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  87. Rachel H:
    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Jimmy Evans was the ONLY person with Robert Morris at that time. It impossible for him not to know her age.If they hid this from everyone, I can see that because of time. Saying young lady far different than saying it she was a child.

    At what time? the 80s? Maybe so, but when Cindy approached the church in 2005 Tom Lane responded to her in an email and confirmed the age that she was when the abuse started.

    Tom Lane knew. he was at the church from 2004-2023.

    I can’t assume that the others knew but I’m bringing up that it’s hard to believe that they would not

    a big liability like that on the church is something the elders would probably want and need to know

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  88. Rachel H:
    Mark R,

    Apparently the only pastor that knew and covered it up was Pastor Jimmy Evans of Marriage Today. There is no way for the current elders to have know. Pastor Robert’s Wife Debbie, The father, James Robinson, Jimmy Evans and a maybe a couple elders from Shady Grove. That’s it.Where is Jimmy Evans in all this? He was literally the only one at that place at that time with Robert Morris.

    Again let me know what time frame and place you are speaking about.

    Jimmy was not the only one with Robert in 2005.

    I agree jimmy knew, just pointing out there were most like more that found out.

    Jimmy seems to have been pushed out of gateway a couple of years ago btw

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  89. BigTex: Again let me know what time frame and place you are speaking about.

    Jimmy was not the only one with Robert in 2005.

    I agree jimmy knew, just pointing out there were most like more that found out.

    Jimmy seems to have been pushed out of gateway a couple of years ago btw

    Pushed out because he made waves or because Morris wanted to eliminate a potential witness to his crimes for when the excrement hit the whirling blades down the road?

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  90. Rachel H: Editors note” I am getting tried of answering this question. In the 1980s, we were being taught to bring this stuff to the church and let them handle it. And most churches back then did not report sexual abuse. 15 years ago, before the MeToo movement, I started this blog because I saw some pastors ignore and not report things in a church I attended. They denied it, of course. Since Metoo churches have begun to change. back then, if your father went to the church to handle things, you would have been pleased. But, she did not stop fighting for Morris to admit to his crime. In the ned, Morris is the one to blame. I am beginning to think this is the latest “gotcha” by folks who have no sense of history. Did you know that in the 1050s, 19060s, doctors and law enforcement often turned a blind eye to this problem? Please do some reading and get educated.

    ‘What does this have to do with a FATHER protecting his 12 year old daughter? I am a daughter and in my late 40’s. My dad would be in jail for getting rid of the molester. I promise. Im educated in my house.

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  91. This situation hits so close to home for so many women. I want to thank these brave women for speaking out, on behalf of myself and the many women who have been and continue to be silent about grievous sins committed against them that they have carried alone, confused and ashamed for a lifetime. Even though I don’t believe there will ever be justice I cannot give up on hope for the future. Thank you.

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  92. ed. noteYour pastor did not confess to this crime. He lied when he didn’t tell the truth. He resigned and still didn’t say anything. I feel sorry for you. You seem to equate “reaching millions” with salvation. As I listen to you and those like you I do wonder if you have been had by a master manipulator. Time to find another church and really read your Bible.

    Robert Morris son James did not commit this act. he was mentored by a great preacher, who committed a terrible, sin and crime. I do not hold James accountable to the sins of his father. I would like to see him take over.

    I am thankful that Robert Morris came forward and shared his sin with the church. I was in the congregation, and I respected him for his vulnerability.

    When we put people in prison, it is to pay for their crime and it is also in hopes that they can be rehabilitated. Robert Morris did not go to prison for his crime, but he most definitely was rehabilitated.

    I’m absolutely devastated this happen to Cindy when she was a child and continued until she was a 16 yo young lady. It must’ve been devastating for her.

    As for her abuser, I have absolutely no doubt that he has been restored by God Almighty and he has been used in an incredible way to reach millions of people for Christ and he has impacted my life for the positive.

    This is a tragic story. And it’s sad to see so many Christians turn their back on this man. My question is what does someone have to do to receive forgiveness from Christians? I absolutely know my God has forgiven him. Make no mistake. I am not downplayed in anyway what he has done. I’m thankful that he took responsibility, I’m glad he told me about it as a member of his church. I certainly did not know all the details, but I knew that he had a sexual addiction that he acted out against his wife and his victim.

    But my question still remains how do we Move on from here? Do we turn our back on him? Do we forgive him? I personally am choosing to forgive him, and I will continue to pray for Cindy‘s healing. I have worked on the behavioral health filled all my life, and I know that her walk has not been easy. Why would her father forgive Pastor Robert years ago? Did he turn his back on his own daughter? Did they work through it together? Doesn’t he hold some type of accountability? I hope Cindy can also find it in her heart to forgive, and I certainly hope above all that Robert Morris has apologized to her profusely and confess to her personally the sin that he committed against her.

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  93. I don’t understand this comment. what’s wrong with the Megachurch it means that more people come to kno me Christ and that’s the whole point. I personally love the atmosphere of a small church, but there’s nothing wrong with the mega church. Like the Catholic Church the more exposure you have the more Satan attacks. Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy at every angle he has. Satan is happy. He wants to bring down Christians and have them divide. We should all be joining together to figure this out. Cindy needs our support and love and so does Robert Morris. I ask WWJD. I’m just so thankful to God that He never turned his back on me during my own sin and during my own sexual assault by my own husband on my honeymoon. I’m just thankful I know a God that forgives and heals.

    we don’t have to take sides. We don’t have to hate Robert Morris and we certainly don’t have to be upset with Cindy and not support her and her pain in the horrible ordeal that she went through. You see we can love them both we could come together and show the world what Christians do in the time when things are tough. This is an opportunity for us to show the world what it’s really like to be a Christian but instead, Satan is winning. I personally am going to love them both and pray for them both and hope that both lives can be restored. I cannot imagine my Christian walk without the wise spiritual wisdom of Robert Morris however it would definitely take some healing in my heart to forgive him, knowing the sin that he already confessed was with a child. But I know that I can forgive him because my God is bigger than this situation.

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  94. Muff Potter: I agree.
    Spiritual this and spiritual that.
    It gets old, it really does.

    The rationalization becomes particularly troubling considering Figure 2 in the article at https://www.prri.org/spotlight/prri-2022-american-values-atlas-religious-affiliation-updates-and-trends/

    While some argue passionately about semantics, an ever-growing percentage of Americans are taking their heart and staying home.

    Arguing about how Morris is biblically innocent is probably not the best way to reverse those trend lines.

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  95. Shelley,

    He did not repent. He continued to lie and to deceive. To this day I have not seen that he has made a statement taking full responsibility let alone making Zacchaeus style restitution. If he had fully repented, then he could be restored to fellowship with believers but never to spiritual leadership. Does “above reproach” mean anything these days? When can a child molestor ever be above reproach short of heaven? Even “the pagans” (unbelievers) would never consider such a thing. I am reminded of Paul’s words in 1st Corinthians. I wish more churches would preach on what transformation and holiness actually looks like. There is no greater testament to the work and glory of the Holy Spirit than a truly transformed life marked by humility and gentleness and full integrity.

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  96. Why did Robert Morris continually bring up his “past moral failures”, I. e.-Criminal activity and sin- in sermons? He groomed his congregation in this manner! Cindy tried for years to be heard. She was shut out because of a false narrative Mr smooth talker spun to his church. Thank God her story is out now. May she receive restitution as much as possible on this earth. I recall he spoke about pastors who committed these type of crimes and their punishment. It seems to warrant a Nathan like response: “You are the man!” Morris is the man responsible for many sins indeed. What was the catalyst to get this crime finally out in the open so many years later that it is just now being made public?
    Cindy’s tears have reached heaven. Her cry in the wilderness echoes around the world.

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  97. Kathy S: Of course the Elders are yes men to Morris. How else could his son be a shoe in for the pulpit. To my knowledge the Elders did not take any one else serious to even consider them for replacing Morris.

    Most pulpit transitions to a family member present an opportunity for an ex-pastor to continue to lead vicariously … for his ministry to be effectively extended from behind the curtain. Such plans seldom work out well for the congregation.

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  98. Mark R:
    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    That’s an insult to President Carter to be compared to Morris, even in jest.Disagree with his politics and/or religious views if you must, he faithfully kept his marital vows until Rosalynn’s recent passing.

    I’ve got a lot of respect for Jimmy Carter.
    Just we’ve seen a LOT of Evil Twins scrutinized on this blog.
    Like Patrick Stewart’s Evil Twin Chuckles Mahaney.
    And a LOT of Andrew Tates in pulpits and/or with Theological tomes.

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  99. Max: Most pulpit transitions to a family member present an opportunity for an ex-pastor to continue to lead vicariously … for his ministry to be effectively extended from behind the curtain.

    THE REAL POWER BEHIND THE THRONE.
    Like Ofonius Tigellinus to Caesar Nero, Putin to Lukashenko, or Mommy Dearest to a lot of Turkish Sultans.

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  100. Jeremy,

    Well said. We should be praying for both the Morris family and the victim. We should not judge/condemn. Let’s hope Morris is/has been restored in his relationship with God and the victim has been able to do the same. But just as David was prohibited from building the temple, a church should never let a person with this kind of past lead the church.

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  101. Maybe the real problem is TV ! So many tv preachers, most of them from self made churches, have been found to be major transgressors. I can think of at least 5 offhand, and I’m sure there are many more. There’s a lot of money to be made off religion. And it’s tax free ! Maybe religion should be taken off TV, and put back in churches.

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  102. is there no court of equity where the woman can be seen in esse, and her voice heard by a master of chancery?

    all crimes are commercial; however, the harm that was done to the woman when she was a minor child can no longer be remedied at law through the commercial court system.

    exclusive equity must be sought by both cindy and robert to arrive at the lawful and equitable remedy in the private, beyond the scrutiny of public opinion.

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