Gwen Shamblin Lara Had Two Grown-up Children — Facts about the Late Christian Diet Guru

Edduin Carvajal
Jun 01, 2021
07:20 A.M.

Gwen Shamblin Lara, a dietitian, author, and founder of the Remnant Fellowship Church, was involved in controversy for years until she tragically died in a plane crash.


Born in February 1955, Shamblin was a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in food and nutrition. Apart from being a member of the American Dietetic Association, she was an instructor of foods and nutrition at the University of Memphis.

According to her website, she gained 20 pounds during college but lost them after studying “God’s perfect design and naturally thin eaters.”

Gwen Shamblin's sermon posted on YouTube in December 2011 | Photo: YouTube/Remnant Fellowship

Gwen Shamblin's sermon posted on YouTube in December 2011 | Photo: YouTube/Remnant Fellowship


With this knowledge, Gwen Shamblin founded Weigh Down, a weight loss program that avoids dieting, over-exercising, calorie-counting, portion-measuring, appetite suppressors, and pretty much everything regular programs focus on.


The main goal is to help people turn away from destructive vices and undesired behaviors, including overeating and alcohol abuse.

Gwen Shamblin and Joe Lara during an episode of "Life with Gwen and Joe" | Photo: YouTube/ Life with Gwen and Joe

Gwen Shamblin and Joe Lara during an episode of "Life with Gwen and Joe" | Photo: YouTube/ Life with Gwen and Joe

Weigh Down also touches on people’s relationships with God, and through the program, some have reportedly ended years-long battles with addiction.

In a nutshell, Weigh Down is all about eating less and praying more, encouraging people to “feed on the Word instead of the brownies.” By 1995, over 1,300 churches across the country were offering the Weigh Down Workshop.



Shamblin’s life got even better in 1998 when she was named Christian Business Leader of the Year at Lipscomb University. If that wasn’t enough, Shamblin was also a well-known author with 17 published books.

One of them is “The Weigh Down Diet,” which takes a “very different approach” to weight loss as it is not food-focused. Her book and the Weigh Down program are about becoming disciplined enough to eat only when hungry.

In 1999, Gwen Shamblin founded the Remnant Fellowship Church. Over the years, her church spread to several countries and had over 100 locations globally.

Located in Brentwood, Tennessee, the church’s international community is finding “love,” “hope,” and “purpose” by putting into practice Jesus Christ’s teachings.


Destiny had a tragedy prepared for the family.



Not everything was a walk in the park for Shamblin. People heavily criticized the “Weigh Down Diet” because it placed no food restrictions and mainly relied on faith.

In August 2000, things escalated after she wrote an e-mail saying that her ministry believed in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit but had particular views of the Trinity. She wrote:

“The Bible does not use the word 'trinity,' and our feeling is that the word 'trinity' implies equality in leadership, or shared Lordship.”

Following her e-mail, she was labeled as “anti-Trinitarian,” removed from the Women of Faith website, and many evangelical churches dropped her program.

However, Shamblin pointed out that she didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. She added that many ministers of different religions called her to show support.




As per Shamblin’s dating life, she was married to David Shamblin between 1978 and 2018. Together, they had two kids, daughter Elizabeth and son Michael.

“Tarzan” actor Joe Lara married Shamblin shortly after finalizing her first divorce. Unfortunately, destiny had a tragedy prepared for the family.

On May 29, 2021, Shamblin, Lara, Brandon Hannah (Elizabeth’s husband), and four other people lost their lives after their plane crashed into Percy Priest Lake near Smyrna, Tennessee.

They took off from Smyrna-Rutherford County Airport and were supposedly bound for Palm Beach International Airport in Florida. Following Gwen Shamblin’s death, it was revealed that her children would keep her church going.

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