Did You Know? Learning Historical Fun Facts about this Church and Ministry

LISTS are fun!  When you set out to document things that are important and/or fun to you, it makes you THINK when you have to make a “Top 10” or “Top 5” list of something…anything.  It could be your top 10 favorite Scripture passages or your top 10 favorite “Gwen quotes.”  Keeping with the Biblical theme, it could be your top 10 favorite people/heroes/Godly men and women of renown.  Moving it forward to today, you could list your favorite “GOD songs” (songs that move you to worship GOD…) or “GOD movies” (movies that inspire you in the battle of good versus evil…) – You get the idea.  It also is both educational and revealing to find out the history behind something that interests you – You might even call these “fun facts” about a person, place, event, or other subject.  Well, this Remnant Fellowship Church and Weigh Down Ministries collective is one of the BEST subjects you can learn a little bit more about!  Check out some of these fun facts that you may or may not have known…

  • Weigh Down and Remnant Fellowship founder Gwen Shamblin was raised in Memphis, Tennessee and attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
  • How does Gwen know so much about the human body and how it processes food?  She studied foods and nutrition, has a Master’s Degree, and is a Registered Dietician!  You probably knew this one…but Gwen saw that GOD was left OUT of the textbooks and classrooms, and as she was called by GOD to teach and write, she was determined to put Him back in His rightful place – as the GOD of ALL foods, ALL science, and the WHOLE human body!
  • Gwen has taught the foundational Weigh Down principles since the mid-1980s.  GOD has lifted her up because of her humility, love for Him, and reverent submission to Him…and He has made her, truly, the “pioneer” of faith-based weight loss.
  • The Weigh Down Diet BookThe “Weigh Down Diet” book was published in 1997 and was a New York Times bestseller, selling over one million copies.
  • Weigh Down started out in Memphis, Tennessee…then moved to Cookeville, Tennessee in the mid-90s…then settled in Nashville, Tennessee after a short time in Cookeville.  The final move to the Franklin area (suburb just south of Nashville) happened officially on June 3rd, 1996.
  • “Desert Oasis” was the name given to Weigh Down’s initial annual national conference, open to participants all around the world.  The event featured several keynote messages from Gwen, lots of testimonies from successful participants, praise and worship music, and plenty of fellowship!  The very first Desert Oasis took place in Nashville on June 28th and 29th in 1996.
  • Gwen and Weigh Down’s ground-breaking video seminar, “Exodus Out of Egypt,” filmed on the sands of Egypt from November 12th through 19th in 1997.
  • The follow-up video seminar to Exodus Out of Egypt was titled “Exodus from Strongholds,” and it was filmed from September 8th through 16th at the old Tennessee State Prison in Nashville.
  • As Gwen continued to teach these truths from GOD through the 80s and 90s, she observed that this message of total love, devotion, and obedience to GOD in ALL things was NOT getting all the way to the top of the churches.  What was going on with the “state of the church” in America?  Well, she opened up the Weigh Down offices to ANYONE who wanted to study the Scriptures and church history…to find out what had happened in the past and how we could all work together to PURIFY the church again.  This started in early 1999.
  • Weigh Down Ministries BuildingThe REMNANT FELLOWSHIP CHURCH was founded in March of 1999.
  • The Remnant Fellowship met in the Weigh Down warehouse, in homes, in local parks, and wherever “two or three were gathered in Jesus’ name.”
  • While word spread about Gwen’s leading from GOD to start a Church, her public announcement and presentation of the small Church happened at Desert Oasis 2000, July 14th and 15th.  She shared a brief video about the Church and spoke from the heart about how difficult the first year of the Church had been…with attacks, false accusals, and even back-biting and undermining her within the office staff taking place daily since the Church had been founded.  She broke down in tears as she delivered the news, but the tears were a combination of pain expressed…mixed with the joy of having DONE what GOD asked her to do…to share this GOOD NEWS about this amazing, life-changing Church with the WORLD!  And we are SO GLAD that she did!
  • Rebuilding the WallThroughout all of the tests, attacks, and early days of the Remnant Fellowship Church, Gwen CONTINUED to speak publicly…holding “Rebuilding the Wall” (symbolizing our efforts to “rebuild” the fallen walls of the modern churches, which had lost their way and had become sin-filled and compromised, for GOD’S glory) Tour dates in cities all over the United States.
  • Our Rebuilding the Wall event in South Bend, Indiana took place on November 10th of 2001.  This was our first scheduled event following the 9/11/2001 New York City and Washington D.C. attacks.  Gwen had a glorious and GODLY perspective on all of it!  She sounded the alarm and warned EVERYONE that TODAY was the day and NOW was the time…to REPENT and be ready to meet GOD.  It was TIME to go all the way and build up GOD’S Church so that humble, seeking, hurting people would have a place to worship GOD in Spirit and in Truth!  All of the Remnant members who traveled to that event were introduced to the visiting audience…to present a picture of what this looked like and to show that lives were being CHANGED for the BETTER at this place.
  • After South Bend, we had our LARGEST number of Remnant satellite locations founded as a result of any one event.
  • The Church grew!  And GOD was bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds.  Our YOUNG PEOPLE also were growing closer to GOD and to each other.  In fact, our first Remnant Fellowship WEDDING took place at Gwen’s home – Ashlawn – on June 22nd of 2002, as Jonathan Walters and Jessica Solomon were united in marriage.  To this day (May of 2014), we now have witnessed nearly 90 Remnant Weddings!
  • Hannah Shamblin WeddingMichael Shamblin and Erin Frisby were united in marriage at Ashlawn on August 31st of 2002…and Brandon Hannah and Elizabeth Shamblin were united in marriage at Ashlawn on April 19th of 2003.
  • As the local Church in Nashville was growing, Gwen and her husband pondered and prayed over a 40-acre piece of beautiful farmland right in the middle of Brentwood, Tennessee.  And by the generosity and mercy of GOD, they felt His leading to DONATE…yes, DONATE…that prime, valuable real estate for the construction of the Remnant Fellowship Church Building!  Construction began in 2003.
  • The Remnant Fellowship Church Building was completed and passed its inspection with the local governing authorities just in the nick of time…for our November 27th, 2004 Church Dedication weekend!
  • There are now, as of May 2014, more than 400 children/youth under the age of 18 in this Church.  Wow!  Talk about GOD blessing us from within!
  • Michael Shamblin’s “HOSANNA Symphony” was recorded and rehearsed during an approximate eight-month window in 2006.  It is a landmark project!

Hosanna SymphonyWe could go on and on…and we certainly can at another time in another setting or article.  But that is a look back and a few historical tidbits that hopefully will help paint a picture of just a SAMPLE of what GOD has done and is continuing to do in this place.  We pray that MUCH more beautiful history is made…for GOD’S glory and for the growth and furthering of His Kingdom…His Church…for His Name’s sake!

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