A Texas megachurch pastor has resigned as an overseer to Church of the Highlands (COTH) in Alabama following allegations he molested a child for years, starting in 1982.

Robert Morris, senior pastor at Gateway Church in Texas, has visited COTH on several occasions and has been a featured speaker at events and conferences.

The alleged victim, a now 54-year-old woman living in Oklahoma, claimed she was 12 years old when Morris began touching her at the church where he served as a pastor. She said the molestation continued for four years.

Morris responded by saying he was experiencing "moral failure" at the time and was involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with the girl. Morris, who was in his 20s at the time, claims he has since been "restored." He said he confessed and repented and went to the girl's father and the elders of the church. He stepped away from the ministry for two years while receiving counseling.

COTH trustees said they were unaware of the allegations until recently.

"After being made aware of the disturbing media reports, Highlands trustees and overseers immediately initiated a due diligence process that included reaching out to Gateway's elders," the trustees stated in a letter. "Before the scheduled follow-up meeting to determine changes in our governance structure, Pastor Morris resigned as an overseer of Church of the Highlands."

COTH pastor Chris Hodges has also made appearances at Morris' church. The two participated in a "Restoring Fallen Leaders" special in which they discussed how to respond to fallen pastors. They both agreed there is a path to restoration for all.

COTH has reportedly spent $4.5 million on a lodge to restore fallen pastors, which Hodges has said is a priority for him.

In 2023, the two pastors "switched churches" for a weekend.

Morris, who founded his church in 2000, will hand over the title of senior pastor of Gateway Church to his son, James Morris, in 2025.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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