Charlene McDaniel: What Happened to Greg Laurie’s Mother?

Set in the late 60s, ‘Jesus Revolution’ follows the religious movement that started with a hippie and a pastor in Southern California. Pastor Chuck Smith always thought the hippies were people who stayed from the path of the Lord. But when he meets Lonnie Frisbee, he realizes he has been shutting the door on them and preventing them from allowing God into their lives. When their thoughts align, their collective work starts a chain event that spreads across the entire world.

Parallel to Lonnie and Chuck’s story, we follow Greg Laurie, a young man who becomes a part of the movement. He had been living with his mother and searching for meaning in his tumultuous life. Greg finds his calling in the end, but what happens to his mother? Let’s find out.

Greg Laurie’s Mother Charlene McDaniel Passed Away at Age 74

Greg Laurie’s mother, Charlene Edmondson (née McDaniel), died on January 2, 2003, at the age of 74. Sometime before her death, she suffered kidney failure and was on dialysis three times per week, as confirmed by her son Greg. Her health deteriorated over time. The funeral service was held at Pacific View Chapel and was attended by her family members and everyone whose lives the Costa Mesa resident touched with her kindhearted spirit. Charlene was married to Bill Edmondson. Alongside her two stepsons, John and Don Edmondson, she had two sons from previous relationships — Doug Mears and Greg Laurie.

Born in 1928 in Friendship, Arkansas, Charlene grew up in a Christian household. Her parents were members of the local Baptist church, but Charlene never took the religion in the way they wanted. She reportedly led a wild life, which paved the way for tumultuous relationships. As per her son Greg, Charlene got pregnant with her first son during her first marriage but divorced her husband after realizing he was not the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. In her second marriage, Charlene gave birth to a stillborn child; this grief is said to have pushed her further into a wilder life.

The next time Charlene got pregnant was out of wedlock. She kept the baby, who turned out to be Greg Laurie. She married again, but soon after, this marriage broke off too. Greg confirmed that Charlene ended up marrying a total of seven times in her lifetime. Meanwhile, her first son, Doug, lived with her mother, while Greg lived with her. He mentioned that he saw her cycles of relationships, which sometimes turned violent. Greg and Charlene formed a special bond where the boy found it his responsibility to take care of his mother.

Greg Laurie talked about this part of his life and revealed the turbulent nature of his mother’s life. “My mother was beautiful. She literally was a dead ringer for Marylin Monroe. She was married and divorced seven times. She was a raging alcoholic, and when I say alcoholic, she passed out every night. She would get in raging drunken brawls with her husbands and boyfriends in between. So I had to grow up really quick,” he said.

When Greg grew older, he found a different path for himself, leading him away from his mother. He found God’s path and eventually became a church pastor. Meanwhile, he mentioned that Charlene’s life of partying continued, but it also started to take a toll on her. According to Greg, one night, she was driving under the influence and had a terrible accident that disfigured her face. However, the aforementioned tragedy brought her closer to God, and her son noticed she’d started praying before meals.

Sometime later, Charlene suffered kidney failure. Another strike on her health pulled her further toward God. As revealed by Greg, one month before her death, Charlene accepted God into her life after having a long conversation with him about it. She even came to the church, showing that she had a love for God in her heart all along. Her journey showed Pastor Greg Laurie that it’s never too late for anyone to welcome God in their lives and be redeemed, no matter what kind of life they have led.

Read More: Greg Laurie Net Worth: How Rich is the Pastor?