Pastor arrested for rape, molestation

Baptist Press

June 20, 2019

By Diana Chandler

A former Southern Baptist pastor is jailed in Lake Charles, La., after allegedly raping and molesting a pre-teen girl for two years, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) reported June 17

Bellview Baptist Church in Westlake, La., fired 45-year-old John Michael Ward after his arrest, the church said in a statement released yesterday (June 19) by the Carey Baptist Association of Lake Charles.

“Bellview Baptist Church leaders are cooperating fully with the sheriff’s office in the investigation,” the church said in the statement released by Bruce Baker, Carey missions director. “The deacons, in consultation with Carey Baptist Association, unanimously voted to immediately terminate Ward’s employment with the congregation because of his sexual immorality and failure to maintain the high standard of integrity for the office of pastor outlined in the Bible.” Ward had pastored the church since 2012.

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