For more than two decades, thousands of people have come to Harvest Crusades held in Anaheim Stadium to hear Pastor Greg Laurie’s evangelistic messages. God has mightily used Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside to speak to all but particularly to broken souls, as he, too, was once.
Greg Laurie was raised by a single mother, a beautiful woman who looked like Marilyn Monroe, who before she turned 25, had already had four marriages and divorces. She ended up having seven! Most were filled with alcohol, conflicts and fighting, leaving little Greg in the care of his aunts and uncles. But in the midst of this series of failed marriages, his mother married a man who was not only stable but also a loving man who adopted Greg Laurie to be his son and gave him his last name, Laurie. Unfortunately, this marriage did not last, either; and once again Greg was yanked out of his home.
Greg Laurie grew up with little proper supervision and love, bringing hurt and bitterness to adulthood but God had mercy on him. At age 17 he came to know Christ, became a changed man, and later went into ministry. He and his wife started a church and were blessed with two sons. But in 2008, he lost his eldest son, age 33, in a car accident. Pastor Greg Laurie said, out of all the hurts he had gone through since childhood, losing his son was the most painful.
His life’s story reminds me of what Paul said to the church in Corinth (1:26), “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.” If I may add, not many were of loving homes and not many had happy childhoods; in fact, many were of hurts and failures, but everyone was called from grace to grace. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved us.