Clifford Morris Jr.

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Minister accused of domestic assault

By Jordan Hall
By jhall@wbbjtv.com

HUMBOLDT, Tenn. -- A West Tennessee minister is arrested and accused of assaulting his sister-in-law at a home in Jackson. He is a minister at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Humboldt.

"This man should not be in the pulpit, and that's the way I feel," said Marcina Jelks, who said she was assaulted by Clifford Morris Thursday.

Jelks said the only thing between her and Clifford Morris was a mosquito racquet she had in her hand. She said she beat her with his fists and threatened her with a knife as he told her to leave his home in Jackson.

"I was fearing for my life," Jelks said.

Morris is Jelk's brother-in-law, but according to Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, he serves as one of its associate ministers.

"He should be extremely ashamed. Kids are looking up to him, teenagers are looking up to him, so he should be ashamed of himself," Dominique Turner, a concerned resident, explained.

Ministers at Morning Star said they did not want to comment on the issue, but if Morris is found guilty, he could be expelled from his position at the church.

Jelks said she is concerned for her sister's safety.

"It's time for me to stand up because I'm scared that something might happen to her and I think it's time for her to get out," Jelks explained.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News reached out to Morris and his wife for a comment on the incident but they did not want to talk with us about what happened.

Morris is at home after posting $1,000 bond. He will appear in court in September.