Seven people are believed to have died in a small jet crashing into a lake in Tennessee on Saturday, including Remnant Fellowship Church founder and Christian diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara.
The Cessna 501 was carrying seven people when it crashed into Percy Priest Lake shortly after taking off from Smyrna Airport in Smyrna, a community near Nashville.
On board were Lara; her husband, William J. Lara; her son-in-law Brandon Hannah; and married couples Jennifer and David Martin and Jessica and Jonathan Walters, a government spokesman for Rutherford County, said in a press release.
In a statement sent to CNN, the Remnant Fellowship Church paid tribute to those on board the plane.
“The seven Remnant Fellowship leaders who lost on May 29, 2021 were some of the best and loving people you would ever meet. During this terrible tragedy, our church would greatly appreciate prayers, “said the church.
Gwen Shamblin Lara was the founder and spiritual director of the Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, south of Nashville. Her husband, who passed away from Joe Lara, was an actor best known for starring in the television series “Tarzan: The Epic Adventures,” which ran from 1996 to 1997.
Gwen Shamblin Lara, a registered dietitian, developed the Weigh-Down Diet, which encouraged dieters to increase their faith in God in order to lose weight. In 1998, CNN’s Lara told Larry King that she believed God made her a dietitian.
“Gwen Shamblin Lara was one of the kindest, gentlest, most selfless mothers and women in the world, and a loyal, caring, and supportive person best friend to all. She has put her own life down every day to ensure that others can find a relationship with God, “said the Remnant Fellowship Church in its statement.” Her wonderful and supportive husband, Joe Lara, will also be greatly missed. “
Elizabeth Hannah, the daughter of Gwen Shamblin Lara and the wife of Brandon Hannah, remembered her mother and husband in a statement released by the county.
” The seven Remnant Fellowship Leaders who met yesterday lost, including my husband and mother, were some of the best, righteous, and loving people I have ever known, “said Elizabeth Hannah.” I like hte that the whole world knows that my mother, Gwen Shamblin Lara, was the kindest, gentlest, most selfless, loving mother and best friend to me and my brother. Their actions and words have changed thousands of lives for the better – and their message of “loving GOD with all your heart” – will live on forever and ever – and will continue to change life for all eternity. My beloved husband, Brandon Hannah, was the first to receive this message of love for God – and he truly was one of the most selfless and loving spouses and fathers on the planet. “
Michael Shamblin, the son of Gwen Shamblin Lara, thanked all first responders and law enforcement officers who worked on the crash site.
” My family is only asking for prayers right now and we hope that everyone affected, especially the children of the other passengers, know they are deeply loved and we hope that we can take special care of their needs in the years to come, “he said in the statement.
According to the Church website, the Walterses and the Martins joined the Church in the late 1990s. Hannah was helping oversee the Church’s youth group, according to the site.
The Church said all were leaders of the Remnant Fellowship, “who were very dedicated to the community and loved by many.” CNN is trying that Asking relatives of those who died in the crash for comments.
The plane flew to Palm Beach International Airport in Florida after the crash, said Ashley McDonald, spokeswoman for Rutherford County.
The aircraft has been registered on a Federal Aviation Administration register with JL & GL Productions LP of Bradwell, Tennessee. JL & GL Productions LP was owned by Gwen Shamblin Lara, according to the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website.
Diving teams have recovered several components of the aircraft and human remains from the lake, officials said Sunday.
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The debris field is about half a mile wide, said Rutherford County Fire Rescue Capt. John Ingle.
Operations at the crash site ceased on Sunday evening and recovery and investigative efforts will resume Monday morning, a district government press release said Sunday evening.
“On behalf of all authorities acting on this If you responded or contributed to the incident in any way, we extend our condolences to the families and friends affected by this tragedy, “Rutherford County’s rescue captain Joshua Sanders said in the press release. “We are determined to work with our federal partners to do everything possible to bring those affected by this incident to a close.”