Robert Morris’ Son, Gateway Elders Take Temporary Leaves of Absence

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Elders from Gateway Church and Robert Morris’ son, James Morris, have taken leaves of absence.

On a statement on Gateway’s website, the church noted that this decision came from a recommendation by the law firm they are working with to investigate into the sexual abuse of Cindy Clemishire by Robert Morris, which he has previously admitted to in part.

Thank you for your grace, prayers, and support for all members of our Gateway Church family in recent days,” the statement began. “The Gateway Board of Elders is committed to leading with integrity and humility as we navigate this difficult season together.”

“As Haynes and Boone begins their work,” it continues, “they have recommended that any Gateway Church Elder with a potential conflict of interest take a temporary leave of absence from the Board of Elders. This includes any Elder with a relational conflict and those Elders who were on the Board from 2005-2007. Haynes and Boone made this recommendation consistent with best practices for inquires of this nature. A leave of absence in no way whatsoever assumes or implies that any Elder had any knowledge of the true facts related to this situation.”

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There are three elders who fall into this category. Kevin Grove, Steve Dulin and Gayland Lawshe have voluntarily stepped aside during this time from their roles with the Board of Elders. Gateway makes it clear that “they had no knowledge of the true facts of this situation.”

“In addition, Haynes and Boone has recommended that Pastor James Morris also take a temporary leave of absence from the Gateway Board of Elders,” the statement reads.

It states that James Morris was not an elder during the 2005–2007 timeframe, and did not know the truth surrounding the situation. However, because he is related to Robert Morris, it is seen as the best option for the Pastor James to temporarily step aside from the Board of Elders.

We are grateful to these four Elders for their leadership, their service on the Board, and for their commitment to honoring God and doing what is best for Gateway Church. During this temporary leave of absence, these four Elders will continue their important work as valued staff members at Gateway Church.”

This statement comes as Robert Morris’ son-in-law, Ethan Fisher, shared with the Christian Post what a horrific week their family has experienced as the allegations against Morris came to light.

“It’s been a nightmare week,” Fisher says. “What we’ve had to process and what we’ve had to go through. But we know that we will get the help.”

Fisher also thanked all those who have reached out to them with prayers and love during this time.

“I just simply want to say thank you to every person who has reached out to us. I know that you have been praying for us, praying for the church, praying for us individually, as a family, and I want to say we appreciate it,” Fisher says.

Fisher is the senior pastor of the Gateway Church site in Houston. The Christian Post noted that after resigning, Robert Morris was removed from being an apostolic overseeing elder at the Houston location.

The 2005-2007 years continue to be key in this situation as a supposed phone transcription between Morris and Clemishire from 2005 documented the price it would take Clemishire to stay quiet about the alleged abuse. Other email communication exists from this time period as well.

Continue to pray for Gateway Church and the body of Christ during these tumultuous times.

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Abby Trivett is content development editor for Charisma Media.

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