LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) – Bellview Baptist Church leaders say their pastor has been fired following his arrest on rape charges Monday.
Pastor John Ward, 45, of Westlake, was arrested Monday on 10 counts of first-degree rape, 40 counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile and two counts of pornography involving a juvenile. Authorities say Ward admitted that he had been molesting a girl over a two-year period, beginning when she was 9. Bond is set at $640,000.

Bellview leaders say Ward was fired “because of his sexual immorality and failure to maintain the high standard of integrity for the office of Pastor outlined in the Bible.”

Bellview Baptist released a statement Wednesday through Bruce Baker, director of Missions at Carey Baptist Association. Bellview is a member of the Carey association. [For more on this story, see citation below]