Daystar Television removes Robert Morris content from network after child sex abuse allegations

Robert Morris, pastor of Gateway Church in Texas, speaks during a sermon on May 18, 2019.
Robert Morris, pastor of Gateway Church in Texas, speaks during a sermon on May 18, 2019. | Screenshot: Gateway Church

Texas-based Daystar Television Network, one of the largest Christian television networks in the world, has removed all programming featuring Gateway Church founder Robert Morris following his resignation amid an allegation that he sexually abused Cindy Clemishire over multiple years in the 1980s beginning when she was 12.

“We are deeply grieved and saddened by the recent and very serious allegations against Pastor Robert Morris involving the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old minor. In light of these events and a recently released statement by Gateway’s Elders, Daystar’s leadership has made the decision to remove all of Pastor Robert Morris’ programming from our broadcasting schedule,” the network said in a statement released Tuesday on X.

“Daystar unequivocally condemns the actions described in these allegations and remains committed to upholding biblical values as outlined in the Word of God. As we navigate through this challenging situation, we extend our heartfelt support and prayers to all those impacted,” the network added.

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Morris’ programming appeared on the network every day except Saturday. His ministry was featured Monday-Friday at 5 p.m. EST, Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. EST.

Clemishire, a 54-year-old grandmother, reported last Friday that the megachurch founder began sexually abusing her on Dec. 25, 1982, when she was just 12 years old. She says the abuse continued for four-and-a-half years before he was found out. But he was later allowed to return to ministry.

When questioned about the allegations by The Christian Post, Morris only confessed to being involved in “inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady” more than 35 years ago and said he repented and was restored to ministry.

“In March of 1987, this situation was brought to light, and it was confessed and repented of. I submitted myself to the Elders of Shady Grove Church and the young lady’s father. They asked me to step out of ministry and receive counseling and freedom ministry, which I did. Since that time, I have walked in purity and accountability in this area,” Morris said.

Clemishire insisted to CP, however, that she was no young lady when Morris abused her.

“I was 12 years old. I was a little girl. A very innocent little girl. And he was brought into our home. He and his wife, Debbie, and their little boy, Josh, and trusted and preached at the church that my dad helped start and then began grooming all of us to do this, which took me decades to wrap my brain around as an adult,” she said.

“It went on for many years. He says there was no sexual intercourse, but he did touch every part of my body and inserted his fingers into me, which I understand now is considered a form of rape by instrumentation. I was an innocent 12-year-old little girl who knew nothing about sexual behavior.”

In announcing Morris’ resignation Tuesday, elders at Gateway Church said Morris did not reveal he had abused a 12-year-old, and they were under the impression she was an adult. But Clemishire disputes the church’s claim.

"The leadership at Gateway received actual notice of this crime in 2005 when I sent an email directly to Robert Morris' Gateway email address. Former Gateway elder, Tom Lane, received and responded to my email, acknowledging that the sexual abuse began on December 25, 1982, when I was 12 years old," Clemishire said in a statement released Tuesday night by her attorney Boz Tchividjian.

"Again in 2007, my then attorney Gentner Drummond (the current Attorney General of Oklahoma) sent a letter to Robert Morris with the hope that he would help reimburse me for the thousands of dollars I had expended in counseling as a result of this abuse. His attorney acknowledged the dates as well and then attempted to blame me for the abuse," she insisted. "At the very least, both the Gateway pastor and at least one elder had specific notice that I was sexually abused beginning when I was 12 years old. Gateway had the information but intentionally decided to embrace the false narrative Robert Morris wanted to believe."

Though he previously featured prominently in former President Donald Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, a spokesperson for Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign also revealed that Morris no longer has a role in it.

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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