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Pastor Ethan Fisher reveals father-in-law's abuse scandal created ‘nightmare week’ for family

Photo: Pastor Ethan Fisher, Elaine Morris Fisher, Pastor Robert Morris | Source: social media profiles

The fallout from Pastor Morris's "moral failure" and subsequent stepping away from ministry has taken a toll on the family.

Ethan Fisher, senior pastor of Gateway Church Houston and the son-in-law of embattled pastor, Robert Morris, revealed that his family faced a "nightmare week" following Pastor Morris's inappropriate sexual behavior confession.

Pastor Ethan Fisher is married to Elaine Fisher, the daughter of Pastor Robert Morris and leadership pastor at Gateway Houston. Robert Morris and his wife Debbie have three children together: James, Josh, and Elaine. All three of the Morris children work with Gateway Church, as do their spouses.

54-year old Cindy Clemishire alleges that Pastor Robert Morris sexually abused her for four and half years in the 1980s beginning when she was just 12. The allegations were initially published by The Wartburg Watch, a blog that examines issues in the church, including abuse.

Robert Morris married his wife Debbie in May 1980 when they were just 19 and 18 years old. The alleged abuse of Clemishire began on Christmas in 1982.

Clemishire revealed to The Wartbug Watch that church elders were aware of the allegations, including her age at the time of the alleged sexual assault, as early as 2005 when she sent an email to Morris. Clemishire states that church elder, Tom Lane, even responded to the email.

Clemishire's attorney told NPR that Cindy had attempted to settle the claim against Morris in 2007, but he would only do so if she signed an NDA; so she walked away from the settlement.

Pastor Robert Morris is the founding pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. It is estimated that over 25,000 church goers attend the megachurch's main campus weekly. In total, the church has nine campuses in Texas with two additional locations in Wyoming and Missouri.

Pastor Morris is the author of several book and has regularly appeared on Christian television. In 2016, then-candidate Trump appointed Pastor Morris to his evangelical advisory committee.

In June, Pastor Morris confessed to “inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady” when he was a young pastor. While Gateway elders admitted to knowing of Morris's past indiscretion, members now claim they were unaware of the extent of the sexual abuse, including the victim's age at the time.

Pastor Morris resigned from ministerial leadership at Gateway on June 18, after admitting to abusing Clemishire. Morris describes his behavior as "petting" without penetration. Pastor Morris has not been charged with any crime as of the date of this article.

Pastor Ethan Fisher told his congregation, "We have been obviously grieved and shocked over the child sexual abuse allegations that have been brought to light regarding Robert Morris."

He further revealed to his congregation, "Elaine and I, we're processing it, obviously, as family... we're processing the pain in real-time in the same way I know many of you are."



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