'The Way Down': Where Are Elizabeth Hannah and David Shamblin Now?

Documentary fans won't want to miss The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin on HBO Max. The gripping docuseries delves deep into the story of Gwen Shamblin Lara, an American author and founder of the Christian diet program The Weigh Down Workshop.

Gwen Shamblin Lara also founded the Remnant Fellowship Church in 1999, which teaches members to "turn away from the love of food and toward a love of God."

The church has over 1,500 members in 150 congregations around the world and according to its website, the members have a combined weight loss of 30,000 pounds. The Remnant Fellowship Church website also states "leaders are PURE...Husbands are kind like Christ, women are submissive, and children obey their parents."

Gwen Shamblin Lara died on May 29, 2021, when her 1982 Cessna Citation 501 private jet crashed into Percy Priest Lake near Smyrna, Tennessee, shortly after takeoff. She died alongside church leaders Jennifer and David Martin and Jonathan and Jessica Walters. Her husband Joe Lara, who was flying the plane, and her son-in-law Brandon Hannah were also killed in the incident.

Shamblin left behind her ex-husband, David Shamblin, once a member of the Remnant Fellowship Church and their two children, Hannah and Michael, who remain part of the Church today. Newsweek has everything you need to know about her remaining family.

Warning: This article contains spoilers about The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin.

Where Are Elizabeth Shamblin Hannah and David Shamblin Now?

In 1978, the diet guru married David Shamblin and they had two children, Michael Shamblin and Elizabeth Shamblin.

The pair divorced in 2018 after almost 40 years together. Gwen then married William Joseph "Joe" Lara, an actor. They remained together until their death in May.

Elizabeth Shamblin Hannah

Gwen Shamblin Lara's daughter Elizabeth Shamblin Hannah married Brandon Shannon in 2003. They have four children: Grace, Gweneth, Gloria and Charles Grantham.

Part of the Remnant Fellowship Church, they oversaw the youth section of the church for several years.

As seen in The Way Down, Elizabeth Shamblin Hannah took over as the leader of The Remnant Fellowship Church following her mother's death and she remains in the post today. She leads the fellowship alongside her brother, Michael Shamblin.

In a statement released at the time, Michael and Elizabeth said they "intend to continue the dream that Gwen Shamblin Lara had of helping people find a relationship with God."

David Shamblin

David Shamblin is the ex-husband of Gwen Shamblin Lara. As heard in The Way Down, David helped with his Gwen Shamblin Lara's Weigh Down workshops, serving as the CEO.

However, after Gwen Shamblin Lara established The Remnant Fellowship Church he stayed out of the spotlight. He didn't attend The Remnant Fellowship Church services, festivals, and other large events.

The reason why David was absent is unknown, but several people speculate in The Way Down that he stayed in the background as with a man with a Masters in Divinity, he felt uneasy about his wife's teachings on religion and dieting, Bustle reported.

Shamblin continues to remain out of the spotlight today and has spoken very little about The Remnant Fellowship Church.

His whereabouts is unknown today.

When Is Part 2 of 'The Way Down' Out?

There is good news for fans of The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin—Part 2 is on the way.

Part 1 — which consists of three episodes — ended with the message: "To Be Continued..." There is not one, but two more episodes in the series.

At the moment, a release date hasn't been announced, but the next two installments are expected to arrive in early 2022.

Part 1 focused on the harrowing experiences of those who have left The Remnant Fellowship church and the rise of its leader, Gwen Shamblin Lara.

The documentary team was just days from completing its work on the show's third episode when the fatal plane crash occurred.

The death of Gwen Shamblin Lara inevitably altered the path the documentary was taking. As a result, there are an additional two more episodes to come.

Lizzie Fox, senior vice president of nonfiction at HBO Max said in a statement: "There is a fuller story to be told. We just want to make sure that we can allow enough time for the story to progress and the investigation to pursue some answers and give us time to interview all the subjects. With a limited docuseries, if there's ever a chance to have a second part, I think it's something that people tend to get excited about."

The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin is streaming on HBO Max now.

Correction 10/2/21, 3:17 PM ET: The headline has been corrected to indicate that the name of Gwen Shamblin Lara's daughter is 'Elizabeth Hannah,' not 'Hannah Shamblin.'

The Way Down HBO Max
The Way Down on HBO Max HBO Max

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts