Loss of Greg Laurie's Son Felt Worldwide

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Mega-church pastor Greg Laurie will gather with friends and family, Friday, Aug. 1, to remember the life of his son Chris, who died last week in a car accident.

Stay tuned to CBNNews.com for updated coverage following the service.

Chris Laurie was killed July 24 in a freeway accident involving a state-operated truck. Since his death, church members and supporters have sent an outpouring of condolences to the family, noted by almost 20,000 responses on Pastor Laurie's blog.

Laurie pastors the 15,000-member Harvest Christian Church in Riverside, Calif. In the 1990s, he began holding his popular Harvest Crusades, which has drawn more than 3.6 million people.

Just four days after the accident that claimed his son's life, Laurie assured his congregation that his faith remained firm. Click play to watch excerpts from Pastor Greg Laurie's address to his church about his faith and his son's death, courtesy of Harvest Christian Fellowship.

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

Visitor Brandon Hess said he was inspired by Laurie's comments on Sunday.

"When I heard him the other day a few days after it happened, the first thought that came to mind is the story of Job. I was very encouraged and inspired to hear Preacher Greg maintaining his faith in Jesus Christ. We still believe!" Hess wrote.

Chris Laurie, 33, was driving alone in a carpool lane on the 91 freeway when he ran into the back of a street cleaning truck. California Highway Patrol officials say he was traveling at a "high rate of speed" and didn't have time to stop. The state vehicle had been equipped with flashing lights and warning signs that road work was taking place.

Police records also revealed that Chris had had a history of speeding, and two car-pool lane violations in the area the accident occurred.

Despite his run-ins with the law in the past, Pastor Laurie said his son had "really committed his life to Christ in the last two years of his life" and that "he was using his gifts for God's glory."

Chris had recently started conducting a Bible study in his home and had often helped with stage presentations at the church.

Associate Pastor John Collins remembered Chris as "tender-hearted. He grew into a husband and father and into a fine person and individual," he said.

Collins added that supporters worldwide have flooded the church with e-mails and phone calls, including Rick Warren, author of "the Purpose Driven Life" and pastor of Saddleback Church.

Friend of the family Mark DeMoss said he will always remember the love and support Chris and his father had for one another, despite being under the public eye.

"I have watched many children grow up in the spotlight and shadow of prominent religious leaders; some have not handled it well,'' he said. "Christopher Laurie did and finished his life doing what he and his father loved - working side by side in the church this family has given its life to."

Chris leaves behind his wife, two-year-old daughter, and unborn child. He is also survived by his brother, Jonathan.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register

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