Gwen Lara, founder of the Remnant Fellowship Church, and her actor husband Joe Lara were among the seven victims killed in the crash

By Eric Todisco
May 30, 2021 12:49 PM
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Plane crash, Gwen and Joe Lara
Gwen and Joe Lara
| Credit: Gwen Lara/Instagram

A Christian diet guru, her actor husband, and five others were killed Saturday after their private jet crashed into a Tennessee lake near Nashville, according to multiple reports.

The plane, a Cessna Citation 501, crashed into Percy Priest Lake around 11 a.m. shortly after taking off from Smyrna Airport bound for Palm Beach, Florida, NBC News reported.

Capt. Joshua Sanders of Rutherford County Fire Rescue said in a news conference that authorities initially conducted searches at the crash scene by boat and in shallow water, and later performed dive operations, according to ABC News.

All seven victims were later confirmed dead by authorities. They have been identified as: Gwen Lara, a diet guru and founder of the Remnant Fellowship Church, her husband Joe Lara, an actor, Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters, and Brandon Hannah. The latter five victims were all from Brentwood and were members of Lara's church, according to News Channel 5.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash, per reports.

Plane crash
Credit: News4 WSMV Nashville/YouTube

According to News Channel 5, Gwen's daughter, Elizabeth Hannah, sent out a text to other members of the Remnant Church asking for prayers following news of the crash. In the text, Hannah confirmed who was on the plane and said the aircraft "had to go down for a controlled, quick landing."

"GOD IS IN CONTROL, and we will not stop moving forward with WHAT GOD WANTS with this church," Hannah's text also reportedly read.

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Gwen founded the Remnant Fellowship Church in 1999 after starting up the Weigh Down Workshop, a program that helped fellow Christians lose weight and stop drinking.

Joe, who married Gwen in August 2018, had an acting career that spanned nearly 30 years. His most notable role was as Tarzan in the late '90s TV series Tarzan: The Epic Adventures.