The following story discusses sexual abuse and may be disturbing to some readers.

A woman who Pastor Robert Morris victimized says that the Texas mega-church he led, knew about the abuse for almost 20 years. 

On Sunday, June 16, Morris released a statement admitting to "inappropriate sexual behaviour with a young lady." Morris, who has been lead pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, resigned as pastor a few days after the release of the statement. 

Elders from Gateway Church have since shared that they didn't have the full story. However, the victim, Cindy Clemishire, who was 12 years old when the sexual misconduct started, says she shared a letter with the church back in 2005. 

"I have many mixed thoughts and feelings upon hearing the news of Robert Morris' resignation," says Clemishire in a statement released to The Roys Report (TRR) this week. "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.  He should have been terminated."

Not only does Clemishire share that she went to Gateway with this information a long time ago, but she and her family presented this information of abuse to prominent churches and well-known ministries. 

"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."

In 2007 Clemishire hired an attorney in the hopes that there would be some compensation for the money she spent on counselling as a direct result of the abuse that lasted for over four years.

"His attorney acknowledged the dates as well and then attempted to blame me for the abuse. 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 them to believe."

The elders of Gateway released a statement saying they didn't have knowledge of the specifics. 

"The elders’ prior understanding was that Morris’s extramarital relationship, which he had discussed many times throughout his ministry, was with ‘a young lady’ and not abuse of a 12-year-old child. Even though it occurred many years before Gateway was established, as leaders of the church, we regret that we did not have the information that we now have."

Believing the church board sat quietly with this information without taking any action, Clemishire says she believes she isn't the only one this abuse happened to. 

"I wholeheartedly and sadly believe I am not the only victim. I encourage anyone who has been sexually victimized by a leader at Gateway Church to take the bold step forward and say something. Now is the time."

Clemishire is hoping that as she speaks up about the abuse, churches and leadership of ministries will move toward protecting children, rather than the predators. 

"Though we are called to forgive those who hurt us, please understand that forgiveness is about you and can take time.  We should expect and demand consequences. To Quote Bob Hamp, 'This scandal is not just about Robert Morris; it’s about larger system dynamics at play that both foster and protect ongoing predatory behaviour. If we miss this larger picture, we miss the opportunity to protect the church and put a stop to an epidemic of abuse.'"

Throughout all of this Clemishire has kept her faith in Jesus and encourages others, including the congregation at Gateway, to do the same. 

"Please remember our faith is in Jesus, not an institution or a man in the pulpit. Keep your faith!"