Gwen Henley Shamblin Lara was the founder of a popular Christina diet program called “The Weigh Down” whose followers were instructed to use God as their guide to lose weight and overcome eating issues. This led her to start her own ministry called the Remnant Fellowship which along with her best-selling books and popular online programs and festivals made her a wealthy woman.
For years, she dodged rumors that she ran a cult and took advantage of her followers. On May 29, 2021, she died in a plane crash along with her second husband for Tarzan in Manhattan actor Joe Lara, her son-in-law Brandon Hannah, and several members of her church on their way to a MAGA rally.
HBO Max produced three episodes for a series called The Way Down (two more are due next year) which exposed many of the more unsavory aspects of her life. Today we talk about the mysterious leader with the incredible head of hair and what is happening with her ministry today.
Sources for this episode:
- Gwen Shamblin Lara Wikipedia
- NBC News Nashville October 2021 Reporter Phil Williams
- People Magazine October 2021
- The Tennessean May 2021 Death Announcement
- The Tennessean September 20, 2021, Interview with Documentarian
- Bustle.com 2
- NBC News Feb. 2007
- Baptist Press
- Christian Courier
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution October 2021
- New Yorker 2001
- The Weigh Down Diet by Gwen Shamblin (2002)
- Remnant Fellowship YouTube channel
Trigger warnings: Church cults, eating disorders, and child abuse
Be sure to follow us on social media. But don’t follow us too closely … don’t be a creep about it!