New Information in Investigation of Brentwood Church - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Firm Beliefs

New Information in Investigation of Brentwood Church

(Story created: 5/20/04)

Police are learning more about what may have happened inside the Brentwood-based Remnant Fellowship. Its teachings about the discipline of children were the subject of NewsChannel 5's "Firm Beliefs" investigation.

Remnant Fellowship church was the target of a search warrant by detectives the past two days.

They hauled away boxes of records.

The search stemmed from a murder investigation in Atlanta.

Two members of the church in Atlanta, Joseph and Sonya Smith, were charged with beating their son to death.

Gwen Shamblin, the Christian diet guru who founded the church, defended the Smiths and Remnant's emphasis on strict discipline.

But, in an exclusive interview, Laura Boone said the discipline went too far.

She worked as a babysitter for Remnant two years ago and remembers the Smith's young son, Josef.

Boone said the boy was crying one night when his father prepared to leave. She asked what she should do if the child didn't stop crying. According to her, the father said to hit Josef hard.

Boone refused and quit.

Boone said she was horrified a few months later to learn that Josef had died, allegedly at the hands of his parents.

She then contacted police about what she saw while babysitting. 

Remnant is now part of an investigation by the Franklin Police Department.

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