Texas Pastor Who Declared 'Spiritual War' Against Porn Resigns Over Molestation Allegation

Texas Pastor Who Declared 'Spiritual War' Against Porn Resigns Over Molestation Allegation

DALLAS — Texas evangelical pastor Robert Morris, who in 2022 vowed to wage “spiritual war” against material he considered pornographic, resigned this week as senior pastor of the megachurch he founded, after the church’s board of elders reviewed allegations that he had molested a parishioner starting in 1982, when she was 12.

In a statement, the Gateway Church board declared itself “heartbroken and appalled” by the allegations raised by Cindy Clemishire, the Washington Post reported.

“Regretfully, before Friday, June 14, the elders did not have all the facts of the inappropriate relationship between Morris and the victim, including her age at the time and the length of the abuse,” the board noted.

The board members admitted they had known about their senior pastor’s “extramarital relationship,” but wrote that they thought it was with a “young lady.”

“For the sake of the victim, we are thankful this situation has been exposed,” the board stated, before removing Morris’s name from the church’s webpage. Morris’ son James is now listed as the church’s senior leader, the Post reported.

In 2022, Morris used his position as Gateway senior pastor to influence the electoral process in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, overtly campaigning for Republican candidates who ran on platforms vowing to “keep pornographic content out of Texas school districts.”

Morris referred to his crusade as “a spiritual war” against books with LGBTQ+ themes, such as Maia Kobabe’s acclaimed graphic memoir “Gender Queer,” which he told his parishioners was “as pornographic as anything you’ve ever read.”

The Republican Party had made purging local libraries of material it labeled “pornographic” a central issue in local races across the country during that election year.

The separation of church and state in Texas has been increasingly affected by the influence of so-called “megachurches” such as Morris’ Gateway.

As XBIZ reported, one of the pastors of another powerful Texas megachurch, the Prestonwood Baptist Church, was reportedly consulted during the drafting of the state’s controversial, virulently anti-porn age verification law, HB 1181, by parishioner and state Sen. Angela Paxton, wife of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Main Image: Disgraced Gateway Megachurch Pastor Robert Morris

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