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Gateway Church founder and pastor Robert Morris accused of sexual abuse in the 1980s

The new Gateway Southlake sanctuary.
Business Wire
The Beck Group
The new Gateway Southlake sanctuary. A woman accused church founder Robert Morris of sexual abuse when she was 12 years old.

North Texas based Gateway Church founder Robert Morris has been accused of sexual abuse in the 1980s of a then 12-year-old girl.

The allegations were first publicized Friday in the religious watchdog blog Wartburg Watch and later in The Christian Post.

The Oklahoma woman said Morris abused her on multiple occasions in both Oklahoma and Texas starting Christmas Day 1982 to 1987.

In internal statement sent to staff, and later posted to X, Morris acknowledged the allegations of "inappropriate sexual behavior." The statement, sent by the elders of Gateway Church, said Morris “has been open and forthright about a moral failure he had over 35 years ago" when he was in his twenties.

According to the statement, Morris stepped away from ministry work and went to counseling before returning two years later in 1989.

"Since that time, I have walked in purity and accountability in this area,” Morris said in the statement.

KERA News reached out to Gateway Church and will update this story with additional comments.

Morris started Gateway Church as a "a Bible-based, evangelistic, spirit-empowered church" in 2000. Gateway has several locations in North Texas, including Southlake, Grand Prairie, Plano, and Fort Worth.

In 2016, Morris was named as an executive board member to former President Donald Trump's Evangelical Executive Advisory Board while on the campaign trail.

Morris, along with other executive board members, were tasked with providing advisory support to Trump on issues important to Evangelicals and other people of faith in America.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE or visit the Online Hotline, y en español en

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Megan Cardona is a daily news reporter for KERA News. She was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and previously worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.