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A Christian diet guru and six other people are presumed dead after her small plane crashed into the waters of Tennessee lake on Saturday morning.
Authorities were called to the Percy Priest Lake around 11 a.m., not long after the plane took off from the nearby Smyrna Rutherford County Airport. Late Saturday evening, investigators said they believed all seven passengers had perished. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
The plane, a Cessna C501, belonged Gwen Shamblin Lara, founder of the Remnant Fellowship Church and author of The Weigh Down Workshop, and her husband William J. Lara, who went by Joe. The couple lived in nearby Brentwood and had registered the plane via their company JL&GL Productions LP. The aircraft has not been located, but Tennessee Highway Patrol told News Channel 5 that officers located debris consistent with a Cessna C501 and that a small plane had been seen descending into the water near a boat ramp early Saturday.
Lara’s daughter, Elizabeth Hannah, sent a text message to members of the Remnant Fellowship Church saying that her mother and father were aboard the aircraft when it was forced to make a “quick, controlled landing.” All the plane’s passengers had ties to the church, including Hannah’s own husband Brandon, according to her text. The others aboard were David and Jennifer Martin and Jonathan and Jessica Walters, according to authorities.
“My brother and I are asking for immediate prayers right now, as we have just gotten word that Gwen and Joe Lara’s plane had to go down,” Hannah wrote before authorities said everyone appeared to have been killed.
“More information to come, but be in prayer—and be at peace,” the message continued. “GOD IS IN CONTROL, and we will not stop moving forward with WHAT GOD WANTS with this church.”