MARIETTA, Ga. — The pastor of a suburban Atlanta church who founded a homeless shelter is accused of sexually assaulting one of the homeless pre-teen girls who used the place to live temporarily, Cobb County police allege.
Tragically, there may be other victims, the authorities believe.
Danny Wells, who is known as Pastor 7 at The Garden, is accused of raping a 10-year-old girl at the recovery center that he founded in nearby Smyrna, Ga.
The Garden, located at 2840 Plant Atkinson Road, operates the non-profit 7 Bridges to Recovery program.
According to police, the investigation began in neighboring state of Alabama, leading to the interview of the girl. The victim told police she was sexually abused while staying at the The Garden with family. Police determined the alleged offender was Wells.
According to the center’s website, Wells became pastor after discovering God after living a life of crime:
“Pastor 7 is the founder of 7 Bridges. As a homeless runaway since age 10, 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. At that moment, 7 surrendered his life but he didn’t know who this God was that he was surrendering to. He went on a quest to find the truth, studying all the religions he could. Not knowing how to read or write, he was given a Bible and God instantly taught him how to read. He came to know who Christ was and was transformed by His love. With no preacher, no evangelist, no literature and never being raised in the church, God Himself came down and forever changed his heart.
“When he came to know Jesus, God told him he was no longer who he used to be and was a new creation; complete in Christ. 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!
“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.”