'INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY' What is the Remnant Fellowship Church cult?

The Sun, UK/May 31, 2021

By Jacob Bentley-York

The Remnant Fellowship Church is an 'international community' based in Tennessee.

Here’s some of the key details about the religious organisation.

What is the Remnant Fellowship Church cult?

The Remnant Fellowship Church is a religious organisation based in Brentwood, Tenessee.

The church features "an international community of people who are finding renewed hope, profound love and deep purpose by putting the undiluted teachings of Jesus Christ into practice," according to the organization's website.

"While divorce, depression, obesity and out-of-control children are increasingly the norm these days, at the Remnant we are experiencing healed marriages, increasing joy, restored health, repaired finances and children who love to follow the guidance of their parents."

When and why was the Remnant Fellowship Church cult founded?

The Church was founded in 1999 by Gwen Shamblin Lara, who rose to prominence as a Christian health guru with her series of religious weight loss programs.

It included her bestselling book The Weigh Down Diet, which is "a groundbreaking approach to weight loss," according to the book's description.

"People who have known no end to their hunger and who have no control over their late-night binges have learned through the Weigh Down Workshop that they can remove the irresistible desire for food," according to the Amazon summary.

"This is not a diet like others, because it is not food-focused."

In 2002, Gwen bought 40 acres of land in Brentwood and donated the entire property for the building of the Remnant Fellowship Church.

Ever since, the church has based its ministry on the Bible-based teachings of Gwen Shamblin through Weigh Down Ministries, according to the church's website.

The organisation is known for helping people through problems such as alcohol and drug addiction and to those "weary of the constant battles in today's world."

"Rising crime, financial problems, broken homes, alcohol and drug abuse, rebellious children, disappearing morality - it seems like the world is growing further and further away from God and Christ, and the results are obvious," the church's website reads.

Members who support the church have praised it for helping them through the "hopelessness" in their lives.

Who are the members of the Remnant Fellowship Church cult?

Since it’s inception the Church has grown in membership with more than 150 churches in the United States and Canada, and across several continents.

Although it’s services take place in Brentwood, they are webcast out to over 100 Remnant Fellowship locations worldwide, according to the website.

It also encompasses a number of age groups, with both groups of 'young adults' and 'senior adults'.

The church's global leadership includes a team consisting of 120 shepherds, deacons, ministry leaders, and ministry assistants.

"Any decisions made on behalf of the church are made through the leadership team with much prayer and discussion. Many of the day-to-day operations are handled through the various ministry teams," the church's website reads.

Members of the organisation were said to have been the victims of the plane crash on May 29.

They were; Joe Lara, Gwen S. Lara, Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters, and Brandon Hannah, according to a statement.

David and Jennifer Martin were said to have been members of the Remnant Fellowship Church since Lara founded it in 1999, while Brandon Hannah, alongside his wife Elizabeth, oversaw and directed the church's youth group.

The victims also included Gwen’s husband Joe, whom she married in 2003.

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