Greg Laurie Unveils the Salvation of an American Icon

Evangelist, Bible teacher, pastor, radio host and the creator of more than 70 books and films, Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Ministries, released his newest book, Steve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon, Tuesday, June 13.

McQueen, who is often referred to as the "King of Cool" and was in his day the No. 1 movie star in the world, is still, nearly 40 years after his death, identified as a point of reference for masculinity and "coolness." 

Kept alive in pop culture's collective consciousness through such films as The Magnificent Seven (re-made in 2016), The Great Escape and Bullitt, McQueen's legendary car chases, death-defying stunts and love for motorcycles continues to inspire an army of modern day fans. In fact, a recent story about the discovery of one of the Bullitt Mustangs driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 classic film went viral, picked up by news outlets all over the world.

"That story was so fascinating to so many because the mystique of Steve McQueen continues to this day," says Laurie. "Steve McQueen wasn't cool because he drove the Bullitt car. The Bullitt car was cool because Steve McQueen drove it."

"Notwithstanding all his fame and wealth, a colossal vacuum lived rent-free in his heart, a yawning chasm," adds Laurie. "A lot of people do not know about McQueen's hardscrabble beginnings. He was born into the home of an alcoholic mother and a father that left him early in life, he found himself on the wrong side of the law more than once. McQueen chased after every pleasure this planet had to offer."

McQueen's search led him through Hollywood, the best and fastest cars money could buy, multiple women, including two divorces, well-documented drug and alcohol abuse, and much more.

Steve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon is co-authored with Marshall Terrill—the acclaimed expert on all things Steve McQueen— who has written five other books about the American icon who died of malignant mesothelioma in 1980 at the age of 50. Together, Laurie and Terrill traveled the country interviewing many of those who knew McQueen best and were with him in his last days.

"In a significant turn toward the end of his life, ironically, just before he found out that he had cancer and while still the top movie star on earth, Steve did something that showed me that he really was 'the coolest of them all.' He put his faith in God and became a believer in Jesus Christ," says Laurie.

While the book charts a virtual road-trip taken by Laurie, everything else in the story is real: From Laurie's own exact replica 1968 Bullitt Mustang to all the facts, personal stories and interviews of those who knew the American icon best. The journey recounts McQueen's troubled early years, his international fame, his tireless search for purpose outside of Hollywood, and ultimately his conversion and early death.

"In many ways, our lives ran in parallel," adds Laurie. "I don't mean to suggest I am on McQueen's level of 'cool' in any way, but we both had troubled early years, fathers that left home, we were both raised by a single mother and we both got into more than a little trouble. Our stories diverge around the age of 20, when I came to faith in Jesus and McQueen went to Hollywood. Ironically, they came back together again when he became a Christian. That's the life-changing story we uncover through this amazing journey, and it's a story McQueen, in his own words, worried he'd never be able to share with the world. Now, almost 40 years after his step into heaven, he'll finally get the chance." 

Pastor Laurie is also currently in production on a documentary film about McQueen by the same title. The film is directed by filmmaker Jon Erwin (Mom's Night Out, Woodlawn, October Baby) and includes on-camera interviews with many of the same characters mentioned in the book as well as current Hollywood icon and avid Steve McQueen fan, Mel Gibson. The film is set to release in September, but you can view the trailer here.

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective