A group of protesters gather outside of Gateway Church days after senior pastor resigned amid sexual abuse allegations

At the same time people were protesting outside, Elder Tra Willbanks addressed the situation to church members during a 4 p.m. service.

SOUTHLAKE, Texas — A group of people, with signs in hand, gathered at the entrance of the Gateway Church in Southlake on Saturday in support of Cindy Clemishire, who says the former senior pastor molested her when she was 12 years old.

On Tuesday, Robert Morris resigned amid the allegations. The Gateway Church Board of Elders accepted Morris’ resignation and hired a law firm to investigate the allegations.

Emily High was a member of the church for 17 years. She said she would not attend anymore because she felt betrayed by the pastor and because of what happened.

“It’s anger, it’s all the range of emotions,” said High. “Being a pedophile, a molester, that’s not ok.”

Morris admitted he was “involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady,” but did not reference the girl’s age.

While people were outside protesting, Elder Tra Willbanks addressed the situation to members of the church during a 4 p.m. service.

“Abuse in any form cannot be tolerated. And we as Elders have the responsibility to do whatever it takes to learn the truth,” said Willbanks.

Willbanks said as Elders, it’s their responsibility to learn the truth and accountability must be enforced.

After the service, Valentina Hansen, who attended, came out and grabbed a sign to protest.

“Actions speak louder than a person’s words,” she said. “It should not speak of the entire church, because the church is the people, and Gateway’s philosophy is we are about the people.”

The group urges anyone who is a victim of sexual abuse to seek help. The number for the National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-HOPE.

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