The Remnant Fellowship is a Christian church begun by Gwen Shamblin, a dietitian, in the 1990s. She has been called prophetic by many Fellowship members. Initially, Shamblin gained popularity with her book, The Weigh Down Diet published in 1997. The book took a spiritual approach toward dieting, suggesting that eating less was in keeping with the self sacrifice of Christ and would allow people to lose weight with much greater success through prayer, and moderation in diet.
Many Christian churches advocated the use of Shamblin’s first book, and she was invited to speaking engagements throughout the country. These soon became her opportunity to proselytize and to form her own church, in 1999, the Remnant Fellowship Church. Since founding the Remnant Fellowship in Tennessee, the church has established over 100 chapters.
The Remnant Fellowship has some controversy surrounding it. It has been accused of being a cult. These accusations have been based on Shamblin’s interpretation of the gospel and how she and other church leaders' allegedly behave toward congregants. The main doctrinal disputes come from those of Christian faiths who believe in the Holy Trinity. They argue that the Remnant Fellowship is an incorrect interpretation of the Trinity, and is specifically non-Trinitarian.
Another complaint in terms of doctrine is the contention by Shamblin and the Remnant Fellowship that people are steeped in sin unless they follow her teachings. She has accused some Christians of being corrupt. Some opponents have pointed out that her speaking engagements at churches prior to her forming her own ministry are not in keeping with Christian beliefs of fair dealing and openness, since she solicited members from other congregations to join her.
Accusations about the behavior of Church leaders center around such things as the excommunication of members for questioning Shamblin's beliefs. Shamblin has said, however, that members choose to leave and that she does not force members to do what she wants. There is also controversy surrounding the Church's support of two members who were accused of murdering their son in 2003. The murder is said to be associated with how the parents, who say they are innocent, disciplined their son.
Shamblin continues to make guest appearances on network news shows and on talk shows. Tyra Banks invited Shamblin to speak on her show in 2007. She has also given interviews on The Today Show and The Early Show. The congregation of the Remnant Fellowship continues to grow in spite of allegations levied against it.