Christian diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara, and her family and church members, have reportedly crashed in a plane incident that is feared to leave all passengers dead. All the seven passengers on the 1982 Cessna C501 are believed to be dead and rescue efforts switched to recovery efforts.
The plane had left Smyrna Rutherford County Airport in Tennessee on Saturday morning and was headed for Palm Beach in Florida before it crashed over Percy Priest Lake – three miles from its departure point.
“Our efforts have transitioned from a rescue effort to that of a recovery effort,” said Rutherford County Fire Rescue Captain Joshua Sanders. “We are no longer…looking for live victims at this point.”
Sanders reported that an eyewitness had alerted the authorities after seeing the plane going down. He said many emergency agencies are working at the site of the crash on a rescue or recovery basis. He noted that dive teams are also searching designated areas for the plane, and urged all boaters and private aircraft to stay away from the site while the search and rescue operation remains ongoing.
Gwen Lara, 66, is the author of popular books such as “The Weigh Down Diet,” “Rise Above: God Can Set You Free from Your Weight Problems Forever” among others. She is also the founder of the Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, Tennessee. Her husband, 58-year-old Joe Lara is an actor and acted as Tarzan in the TV series “Tarzan: The Epic Adventures” in the 1990s.
Lara’s daughter, Elizabeth Hannah, reportedly sent out a text message to church members that the Cessna plane was “to go down for a controlled, quick landing” and requested prayers. This established that she and her husband Brandon were on the plane, as well as her mother and father, and Church leaders David and Jennifer Martin, and Jonathan and Jessica Walters according to officials of Rutherford County.
The Remnant Fellowship Church issued a statement after the news of the crash gained ground and asked for prayers and privacy.
“The Shamblin’s, Hannahs, and Laras appreciate your concern, support, and prayers,” the statement read. “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. The families will share details at the appropriate time. In the meantime, the families respectfully request prayers and privacy for all involved, please.”