Florida pastor loses job after arrest in prostitution sting

A northwest Florida pastor was arrested earlier this month as part of a prostitution sting.

Michael Steven Ward, of Molino, was arrested Jan. 3 after contacting an undercover officer and offering to pay for a sex act during an arranged meeting in Pensacola, authorities said.

Ward was charged with procuring for prostitution, a second-degree misdemeanor, and released later that same day on $500 bond.

He was dismissed from a leadership position at Atmore (Alabama) Apostolic Church, where he’d been pastor for several years, after his arrest.

Ward also managed a tire shop in Molino.

The Escambia County sheriff’s office arrested 51 prostitutes and customers during the sting, which began at the end of December.