Church Diet Guru Gwen Lara, Husband Joe Lara and 5 Others Dead in Tennessee Plane Crash
Gwen Lara, founder of the Remnant Fellowship Church, and her actor husband Joe Lara were among the seven victims killed in the crash
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.
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.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.
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.