Evangelist Offers Salvation at Son's Memorial

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Mega-church pastor Greg Laurie called for young people to give their life to God during the memorial service for his son, Friday.

Chris Laurie, 33, was killed on the scene in a California freeway accident last week, involving a state-operated truck.  Thousands attended the service, which was broadcast live on the radio and through the chuch Web site.

During the service, Pastor Laurie assured his congregation that his son was "ready," to die. But he used the moment to make sure those watching and attending Chris' funeral were also ready, reminding them of how short life is.

"My son was young. You don't expect when you're young for something like this to happen... But we don't know how long life will last," Laurie said.

"Everyone [asks], 'What can I do?'" he said. "This is what you can do -- and this would thrill Christopher -- that is to believe in Jesus today."  Click play to hear Greg Laurie speak at his son's memorial service. 

Remembering a 'Great Guy'

Christopher David Laurie, or "Topher" as many called him Friday, was killed instantly when the car he was driving slammed into the back of a street-cleaning truck on the 91 freeway.

During the memorial service, his friend Levi Lusko remembered how Chris always "made everything look easy," from sports, to drawing and even fashion.

"I've been ripping off his hairstyles for years," he joked.

But Lusko, like many others who spoke during the service, admired Chris most for his love for his family.

"He was a passionate father...he was such a good husband to Brittany....[and] he was an amazing brother," Lusko said, choking back tears.

"He told me on more than one occasion how excited he was for Jonathan (his brother) to be walking with the Lord. Jonathan, I know he wants you to run this race with endurance," Lusko said, speaking directly to Chris' younger brother who was sitting with the family.

Chris' former pastor Skip Heitzig, who hosted the service, recalled the days he counseled Chris and his wife shortly before their marriage.

"I saw in Topher a real whole-hearted commitment and love," he said. "Christopher Laurie was a great guy because he believed Jesus Christ to be a great God."

An Outpouring of Love

Since Chris' death, church members and supporters have sent an outpouring of condolences to the family, noted by more than 20,000 responses on Pastor Laurie's blog.

"Sometimes when I get down, I just go to the blog site and it lifts my spirit," Pastor Laurie said during the service.

Laurie pastors the 15,000-member Harvest Christian Church in Riverside, Calif.

Just four days after the accident that claimed his son's life, Laurie assured his congregation that his faith remained firm.

"I still believe," Laurie said. "I couldn't think of any place I'd rather be today than at church, worshipping the Lord."

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