Robert Morris Ministries cancels future radio, television broadcasts after child sexual abuse scandal

Pastor Robert Morris Ministries is no longer featured on Daystar Television.
Pastor Robert Morris Ministries is no longer featured on Daystar Television. | Screenshot/Daystar Television

Following allegations that came to light last month that Gateway Church founder Robert Morris sexually abused Cindy Clemishire over multiple years in the 1980s, beginning when she was 12, Pastor Robert Morris Ministries has now canceled “all future radio and television broadcasts.”

“The elders of Gateway Church learned that Pastor Robert’s moral failure from more than forty years ago involved a minor. We are heartbroken and grief-stricken for this woman who has carried this burden of abuse for decades,” the Board of Elders of Gateway Church and the Overseers of Pastor Robert Morris Ministries said in a joint statement posted on the Robert Morris Ministries homepage Wednesday.

“Pastor Robert’s sin and his lack of transparency to the church’s elders and leadership has disqualified him from continuing in his role as senior pastor at Gateway Church and as leader of Pastor Robert Morris Ministries. As a result, all future radio and television broadcast ministry from Pastor Robert Morris Ministries has been canceled,” the ministry leaders continued.

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The reaction from Pastor Robert Morris Ministries comes some two weeks after Texas-based Daystar Television Network, one of the largest Christian television networks in the world, also removed all programming featuring Morris following his June 18 resignation from Gateway Church over the allegations from Clemishire.

Clemishire, 54, reported last month 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.

A screenshot from the Pastor Robert Morris Ministries website shows no access to radio or television content.
A screenshot from the Pastor Robert Morris Ministries website shows no access to radio or television content. | Screenshot/Pastor Robert Morris Ministries

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, 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 their announcement of Morris' resignation on June 18, Gateway Church elders said they retained the law firm of Haynes & Boone, LLP, to "conduct an independent, thorough, and professional review of the report of past abuse to ensure we have a complete understanding of the events from 1982-1987."

Despite the removal of video and audio content from Morris for the website of Pastor Robert Morris Ministries, the staff said the broadcasts helped many people around the world for decades.

“We are grateful for how God has used Gateway Church and Pastor Robert Morris Ministries to minister to so many people around the world for decades. Countless people have come to Christ, grown in their faith, and been ministered to in their time of need. We are truly humbled by what God has done through these ministries,” they said in their statement.

“Our prayer for you who have watched our television programs, listened to Worship & the Word on radio, and supported this ministry with your prayers and gifts can be found in Scripture. Numbers 6:24–26: ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’”

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

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