Seven people are presumed to have died in Saturday's crash of a small jet into a Tennessee lake, including Remnant Fellowship Church founder and Christian diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara, officials said.
The Cessna 501 was carrying seven people when it crashed into Percy Priest Lake in Smyrna, a community near Nashville, shortly after taking off from the Smyrna airport, officials said.
On board were Lara; her husband, William J. Lara; her son-in-law, Brandon Hannah; and married couples Jennifer and David Martin, and Jessica and Jonathan Walters, a spokesperson for the Rutherford County government said in a news release.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.
In a statement sent to CNN, Remnant Fellowship Church paid tribute to those on board the plane.
"The seven Remnant Fellowship leaders lost May 29, 2021 were some of the finest and most loving people that you would ever come across. During this horrible tragedy, our church would greatly appreciate prayers," the church said.
Gwen Shamblin Lara was the founder and spiritual leader of Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, south of Nashville. Her husband, who went by Joe Lara, was an actor best known for playing the lead role in the TV series "Tarzan: The Epic Adventures," which ran from 1996 to 1997.
A registered dietician, Gwen Shamblin Lara created the Weigh Down Diet, which encouraged dieters to strengthen their faith in God to lose weight. In 1998, Lara told CNN's Larry King that she believed God had led her to become a dietician.
"Gwen Shamblin Lara was one of the world's most kind, gentle, and selfless mother and wife, and a loyal, caring, supportive best friend to all. She lived every day laying down her own life to ensure that others could find a relationship with God," Remnant Fellowship Church said in its statement. "Her wonderful and supportive husband, Joe Lara, will also be greatly missed. "
Elizabeth Hannah, Gwen Shamblin Lara's daughter and the wife of Brandon Hannah, remembered her mother and husband in a statement released by the county.
"The seven Remnant Fellowship Leaders lost yesterday, including my husband and my mother, were some of the finest, most righteous and loving people I have ever known," Elizabeth Hannah said. "I want the entire world to know that my mother, Gwen Shamblin Lara, was the kindest, most gentle, selfless, loving mother and best friend to me and my brother. Her actions and words changed thousands of lives for the better -- and her message of "Loving GOD with ALL your heart" -- will live on forever and ever -- and continue to change lives for all eternity. My beloved husband, Brandon Hannah, took on this message of love for God first -- and he truly was one of the most selfless and loving spouses and fathers on the planet."
Michael Shamblin, Gwen Shamblin Lara's son, thanked all the first responders and law enforcement who worked at the crash site.
"My family is just asking for prayers at this time and we hope everyone who was affected, especially the children of the other passengers know that they are very loved and we hope to take special care of their needs in these coming years," he said in the statement.
The Walterses and the Martins joined the church in the late 1990s, according to the church's website. Hannah helped oversee the church's youth group.
The church said all were Remnant Fellowship leaders "who were very involved in the community and loved by many."
CNN is trying to reach the relatives of those who died in the crash for comment.
The plane was bound for Florida's Palm Beach International Airport when it crashed, Rutherford County spokesperson Ashley McDonald said.
The aircraft was registered to JL & GL Productions LP, located in Bradwell, Tennessee, according to a Federal Aviation Administration registry. JL & GL Productions LP was owned by Gwen Shamblin Lara, according to the Tennessee secretary of state's website.
Dive teams have recovered several components of the plane and human remains from the lake, officials said Sunday.
The debris field is about a half mile wide, Rutherford County Fire Rescue Capt. John Ingle said.
Operations at the crash site stopped Sunday night and recovery and investigation efforts were to resume Monday morning, a news release from the county government said.
"On behalf of all agencies that have responded or contributed to this incident in any way, we extend our sincere condolences to the families and friends affected by this tragedy," Rutherford County Fire Rescue Capt. Joshua Sanders said in the release. "We are committed to working with our federal partners to do everything we can to bring closure to those impacted by this incident."
CNN's Jason Hanna and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.