'It is now a recovery': Christian diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara, her husband and five other chief members of the Remnant Fellowship Church are 'presumed dead' after their private jet crashes into lake

 A small plane carrying Christian diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara, her husband and five other members of the Remnant Fellowship Church crashed into a lake in Tennessee on Saturday, and all passengers are now presumed dead.

The Cessna C501 left from Smyrna Rutherford County Airport before it slammed into the water in Percy Priest Lake in Smyrna, Tennessee at 10:53am shortly after take-off, officials said in a news release. The plane was bound for Palm Beach International Airport and it was not immediately clear who was piloting it.

'Our efforts have transitioned from that of a rescue effort to that of a recovery effort. Those efforts will be continuing through the night,’ Captain Joshua Sanders with Rutherford County Fire Rescue Department said during a press conference on Saturday night. 

Rutherford County officials had indicated earlier in the day that they had been able to confirm at least one person had died in the accident, though did not reveal who that passenger was.

The plane is registered to Lara and her husband Joe Lara through their company JL&GL Productions LP, WTVF reported.

Elizabeth Hannah, Lara's daughter, sent out an internal text to families of the church telling them the plane 'had to go down for a controlled, quick landing,' WTVF reported.

Hannah's text identified them as her own husband, Brandon Hannah, along with the Laras - and church leaders David and Jennifer Martin and Jonathan and Jessica Walters. Rutherford County officials confirmed those identities in the press release late on Saturday. 

Dive crews were reportedly seen at the lake looking for debris and survivors on Saturday afternoon after a plane registered to Gwen Shamblin Lara and her husband Joe Lara's company JL&GL Productions LP crashed into the water

Dive crews were reportedly seen at the lake looking for debris and survivors on Saturday afternoon after a plane registered to Gwen Shamblin Lara and her husband Joe Lara's company JL&GL Productions LP crashed into the water

A small plane carrying Christian diet guru Gwen Shablin, left, as well as her husband and five other members of the Remnant Fellowship Church crashed into lake in Tennessee

A small plane carrying Christian diet guru Gwen Shablin, left, as well as her husband and five other members of the Remnant Fellowship Church crashed into lake in Tennessee 

A Cessna owned by JL&GL PRODUCTIONS LP, believed to be the one that wrecked, is pictured

A Cessna owned by JL&GL PRODUCTIONS LP, believed to be the one that wrecked, is pictured 

A boat is seen on the Percy Priest Lake in Smyrna, Tennessee after the plane crash

A boat is seen on the Percy Priest Lake in Smyrna, Tennessee after the plane crash

Emergency responders are pictured at Percy Priest Lake in Smyrna as they search for survivors of the wreck

Emergency responders are pictured at Percy Priest Lake in Smyrna as they search for survivors of the wreck

Shamblin Lara, who founded the church in 1999, is the author of the nationally bestselling book The Weigh Down Diet, a diet based in Christian practices. Her status after the wreck is not known. 

Her website describes her as the 'pioneer of faith-based weight loss.'  

The plane, built in 1982, is a fixed-wing plane with two engines and eight seats, according to the website Flight Aware

Dive teams and recovery crews were continuing to search the lake into Saturday night, officials said in the news release. 

Elizabeth Hannah wrote in her plea for prayers to the church's parishioners that: 'My brother and I are asking for immediate prayers right now.'

'We have just gotten word that Gwen and Joe Lara's plane had to go down for a controlled, quick landing,' she wrote.

'More information to come, but be in prayer – and be at peace. GOD IS IN CONTROL, and we will not stop moving forward with WHAT GOD WANTS with this church.'

She added that on behalf of herself and her brother, Michael Shamblin, that they 'love this church and need the prayers of the righteous on this one. 


The Federal Aviation Administration told WTVF that the plane left from the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport just before it wrecked. It was reportedly bound for Palm Beach International Airport

The Federal Aviation Administration told WTVF that the plane left from the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport just before it wrecked. It was reportedly bound for Palm Beach International Airport

This flight-tracker shows the route the plane took before crashing shortly after taking off from Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport

This flight-tracker shows the route the plane took before crashing shortly after taking off from Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport 

The Remnant Fellowship Church is pictured in Brentwood, Tennessee

The Remnant Fellowship Church is pictured in Brentwood, Tennessee


Elizabeth Hannah, her daughter, sent out an internal text to families of the church telling them the plane 'had to go down for a controlled, quick landing'

Elizabeth Hannah, her daughter, sent out an internal text to families of the church telling them the plane 'had to go down for a controlled, quick landing'

Brentwood-based Christian diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara and her husband Joe Lara, who were both reportedly on the plane,  are pictured
Her daughter, Elizabeth Hannah, right, was not on the plane but Hannah's husband Brandon Hannah reportedly was

Brentwood-based Christian diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara and her husband Joe Lara, who were both reportedly on the plane,  are pictured. Her daughter, Elizabeth Hannah, right, was not on the plane but Hannah's husband Brandon Hannah reportedly was

Pictured: Jonathan Walters and his wife Jessica Walters were also reportedly on the flight

Pictured: Jonathan Walters and his wife Jessica Walters were also reportedly on the flight

Pictured: David Martin and his wife Jennifer Martin were also reportedly on the flight

Pictured: David Martin and his wife Jennifer Martin were also reportedly on the flight

Rutherford County Fire Rescue dive teams are working to determine the extent of crash site, examining the debris field, and conducting search and rescue operations

Rutherford County Fire Rescue dive teams are working to determine the extent of crash site, examining the debris field, and conducting search and rescue operations

Rutherford County Fire Rescue dive teams are working to determine the extent of crash site, examining the debris field, and conducting search and rescue operations

Rutherford County Fire Rescue dive teams are working to determine the extent of crash site, examining the debris field, and conducting search and rescue operations

The Rutherford County Fire Rescue tweeted that boaters and private aircraft are urged to stay clear of the area

The Rutherford County Fire Rescue tweeted that boaters and private aircraft are urged to stay clear of the area

Lara also has a grown son named Michael Shamblin - who was also reportedly not on the flight. Michael Shamblin has four children with his wife, Erin, and helps lead worship at the Remnant Fellowship Church.

The Remnant Fellowship told DailyMail.com in a statement that 'authorities have not been unable to communicate with the families of those involved' because no details have been confirmed.

'The Shamblins, Hannahs and Laras appreciate your concern, support and prayers,' the church said in the statement. 

'As has been reported by the media, some family members may have been involved in a plane accident this morning.

'The families are awaiting details from the authorities. Because no details have been confirmed, the authorities have been unable to communicate with the families of those involved,' the statement reads.

'The families will share details at the appropriate time.'

Lara, an avid blog writer, had published a post to her website on Saturday - before the flight took off

Lara, an avid blog writer, had published a post to her website on Saturday - before the flight took off


According to the church's website, it was founded by Lara in 1999 and it has since grown in membership with more than 150 churches in the United States and Canada, and across several continents. 

Lara, an avid blog writer, had published a post to her website on Saturday - before the flight took off - in which she said: 'God does not want us to worry about the food's content.'

The blog post included two verses from the Bible: Mark 7:14-23 and Ephesians 5:3-5.

'So Jesus taught us that it is not the food that defiles us, but rather the attitudes and thoughts that we have in our hearts and in our minds that will corrupt and destroy us. It is the greed in our hearts that leads to overeating and overdrinking,' she wrote. 

Brandon and Elizabeth Hannah oversee and direct and direct the church's youth group. The couple, married in 2003, has four children together: Grace, Gweneth, Gloria and Charles Grantham, according to their biographies on the church's website. 

David and Jennifer Martin, two of the passengers believed to have been on the plane, have been members of the Remnant Fellowship Church since Lara founded it in 1999.

The couple has been married since 1992 and has five children, with the oldest three married and living near them in Brentwood, according to their biography on the church's website. Their role with the church is not immediately clear.

Jonathan and Jessica Walters met as original members of the church in 2000 and were later married at the church in 2002. The couple has three children together and also lives in Brentwood, according to their church biographies. 

'Hearing Gwen Shamblin read from the Bible was like hearing and reading it with completely new ears and eyes. She read it out of genuine love for God first, no legalism, and it made all the difference!' Jessica Walters wrote in her biography.

According to his biography, Jonathan Walters helps lead the church's youth group. His wife's role with the church was not immediately clear. 

'It is now a recovery': Christian diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara, her husband and five other chief members of the Remnant Fellowship Church are 'presumed dead' after their private jet crashes into lake 'It is now a recovery': Christian diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara, her husband and five other chief members of the Remnant Fellowship Church are 'presumed dead' after their private jet crashes into lake Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:49 Rating: 5

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