A Cobb County pastor is charged with sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl while she was staying at the homeless shelter his ministry ran.
Danny Wells — founder of the 7 Bridges to Recovery ministry, and known as Pastor 7 — was arrested Thursday morning on charges of rape and aggravated child molestation, according to Cobb County police.
The investigation began in Dothan, Alabama, where the girl told detectives she was abused at The Garden at 2840 Plant Atkinson Road in Smyrna.
"The investigation into this incident is ongoing and there may be additional victims," police said. When asked, the department did not give a timeframe for the alleged crimes.
Anyone with information should contact Cobb's Crimes Against Children’s Unit at 770-801-3470.
According to the shelter's website, The Garden is described as “… a home for 105 women and children and a program for 25 men that have all been rescued from the streets. These men and women continue to go to the streets multiple times a week reaching out to the lost.”
Wells lived at the shelter, according to a Cobb County booking sheet.
"He had built his life around crime, centered on drugs, firearms, money laundering and the mafia. Once caught by the FBI, he was eventually placed in solitary confinement. While in solitary, God came to 7 and whispered in his ear that He would never leave him or forsake him," according to the website.
Then, after "he was released from prison in 2000" and "God told him to go into the streets and under the bridges and love those with this new love he had been given. Eventually, he was given a home and began rescuing men off the streets and bringing them into his house. Then, women and children started showing up wanting help and God eventually provided the Garden, a home for women and children."
The site also explains Wells’ moniker: "7 is the number of completion and that is where the name came from. The Bible says each of us will get a new name when we get to heaven, 7 believes he just got his name on Earth!"
According to the 990 tax form of 7 Bridges, Wells was the CEO and worked 60 hours a week without taking a cent of pay.
The form, filed May 3, says the church recieved $602,966 in contributions and grants this year and $498,731 last year.
The church was not immediately available for comment by phone and did not respond to email.