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Harvest pastor’s son ‘lived life outside the box’

August 01, 2008|By Michael Alexander

Those who came to Harvest Christian Fellowship Friday, or who watched the memorial service online, heard from friends, pastors and family of Christopher Laurie, the son of their pastor Greg Laurie of Newport Beach. They heard music written that weekend in his honor. And they even heard from Christopher Laurie himself.

Projected up on a screen before mourners, video interviews of Christopher Laurie recorded before his death gave them a hint of the Huntington Beach man’s own voice. In that interview, Laurie spoke warmly of his father, his faith and the family he grew up in.

“We love to just hang out and laugh and do nothing,” he said on the video. “We just talk and share always come together in prayer. It’s always been spiritually focused.”

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The pews of the Riverside mega-church were packed by friends, family, and members of the public — who were admitted in a last-minute change to what was planned as a private memorial. Those who spoke called Christopher Laurie a passionate and talented graphic artist using his work on behalf of his father’s ministry — but also someone with humor and vitality.

Christopher Laurie, 33, was killed July 24 in a car crash still being investigated by California Highway Patrol, after he ran into a state-run street-sweeping truck. He was driving to church when it happened, church officials said.

Christopher Laurie’s wife, Brittany, stood up on the stage with her daughter; while she didn’t give a speech, Greg Laurie said she had a deep and special relationship with her late husband.

“They weren’t just man and wife,” he said. “They were like best buddies; they did everything together.”

One way to honor Laurie best would be to show off his work — the bumper stickers for the upcoming Harvest Crusade that he designed — in hopes more will heed its message, Associate Pastor John Collins said.

“He thought about this,” he said, holding up the sticker. “He saw it in his mind’s eye, and he developed it, and now it’s on cars all over Southern California.”

Laurie almost overflowed with energy and loved life, said his friend Levi Lusko, now a pastor in Kalispell, Mont. Even something as simple as a fast-food meal would be jazzed up with “pounds” of Tabasco sauce, he said.

“He was a guy who lived his life outside the box,” he said. “He colored outside the lines — that’s just kind of how he was. There’s a lot of people just trying to imitate him.”

“I’ve been ripping off his hairstyles for years,” Lusko joked.


MICHAEL ALEXANDER may be reached at (714) 966-4618 or at michael.alexander@latimes.com.

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