An Interview with

Chris Smith

Born and raised in Central Illinois in the heart of corn and soybean country, Chris graduated from Arthur High School in 1980. Chris’ life in the small, rural town of Arthur, Illinois centered around family, friends, creativity, and athletics. But, one of Chris’ most unique past-times involved setting off firecrackers underneath the Amish horse and buggies that would frequent his home town! Always imagining and building something, Chris intended on a career in Architecture, only to come to Nashville for college, and "getting bit" by the Nashville Music Industry. After studying Music Business at Belmont University, Chris launchaed into what would become a 30- year successful career in Producing, Songwriting, Publishing and Artist Development, representing music by such artists as the Beatles, Elton John, Amy Grant, Third Day and Unspoken. But in 1997, Chris felt a deep inspiration to walk away from it all to build something new. Chris thought it was a company, but of course, it was a church. Eastgate Creative Christian Fellowship was birthed in his and Laura's living room in Dec. 2004.


It was during those 2,872 days between 1997 & 2004 on the journey away from corporate music life to pastoring that Chris Smith really became Chris Smith. He had to rely heavily upon his faith and his creativity and talents as a builder to support his wife and six kids, while journeying into a re-discovery of God’s purpose for his life. Could the fiery trials of reinvention be payback for throwing fire-crackers at those Amish Buggies? He couldn't keep a car in the driveway? Couldn’t keep the electricity on in the house? No running water in the house? God has a sense of humor, but he and Laura learned during that season that a simpler life, dependent upon God, was a life of joy and peace.  


Over the last 20 years, Chris has been ordained in the local church as a Deacon, then as an Elder and currently as a Pastor, giving him a unique equipping to oversee every aspect of God's house both governmentally and pastorally. He has been married to Laura since 1984, and they have six children, Jessica, Julian, Jhason, Jeorgi, Jude, and Jenesis. They currently have eight Grandchildren and are anticipating more from this fruitful clan!


Email: Chris@EastgateCCF.com


What quality/trait do you admire most? 

Confident humility.


Annoyances: 

Selfishness and egos.


Most traumatic experience: 

Drinking bleach when I was 4 years old and having to have my stomach pumped.


Favourite Websites: 

www.Campsmith.net , www.BlueLetterBible.org , www.Google.com


Some of your biggest mistakes: 

Lining up in front of a high school football teammate (275 pounds) as a 95 pound freshman for lineman drills. Shooting bottle rockets at the Police Station at 2am with a buddy the night after High School graduation. You can guess the outcome......


Favourite Vacation Spot: 

London...(are your bags packed, Babe?)


Dream Job: 

Pastoring God's people.


Favourite TV shows, Books or Movies: 

TV: NFL Football & Fox News

Books: Bible, Mere Christianity, Tale Of Three Kings

Movie: Count Of Monte Christo-2002.


Pastimes: 

Writing, playing guitar, building stuff, traveling.


Music: 

Bob Dylan, John Mellancamp, Bruce Springstein, Coldplay, Bruce Coburn.


Favourite Food: 

Pizza, Curry Chicken, Ham & Swiss Sandwiches, anything chocolate.


Email: Chris@EastgateCCF.com

An Interview with 

Laura Harris Smith

"Talks too much" on a report card of all A's should've been a clue.  Being a winner in a writing competition at age 8 with a poem on the Watergate presidential scandal was another one, as was doing her first television commercial at age 3. Add to all that convincing 7 kids to accept Jesus in her front yard at age 13 and there you have it:  Laura Harris Smith's future was all decided by Jr. High school:  Speaker, Author, Actress and Minister.


What she wasn't banking on was selling a pair of blue jeans at age 17 to a young, blue-eyed boy one afternoon in 1982 and becoming the mother of 6 children in what seemed like ten minutes later.


Laura has been on stage and in television for more than 45 years, finally landing at the Shop At Home Network as a TV host in 2006.  They closed their doors in Nashville while Eastgate was in its infancy and so she began to focus her attention on pastoring and writing again.  Her latest book, The 30-Day Faith Detox: Renew Your Mind, Cleanse Your Body, Heal Your Spirit  (2016, Baker Publishing | Chosen Books) has already graced multiple best seller lists and saw its third printing when the book was only 6 months old.  It and her many other books (including Seeing the Voice of God: What God is Telling You Through Dreams and Visions) are available in bookstores or you can also visit her website at www.LauraHarrisSmith.com. Ordained for ministry in 2001, Laura has always had one foot in ministry and one in entertainment, and thoroughly enjoys watching them collide each Sunday at Eastgate. Laura is also a certified nutritionist, a passion she developed after almost losing her life 4 years ago and having to learn to use food as medicine for her full recovery.


After 30 years of marriage to Chris, her greatest passion in life is a "little" thing called CAMPSMITH (what you call a houseful of Smiths), which consists of Jessica, Julian, Jhason, Jeorgi, Jude and Jenesis.  Add to that 8 grandchildren  and there is never a dull moment in life. 





What quality/trait do you admire most?  

Passion, Excellence, and a Teachable Spirit.  One without the other is usually a trainwreck.


Annoyances:  

Wasting time.  Giving up.  Being misjudged.


Most traumatic experience:  

Waking up more than 80 times with people staring at me after horrible convulsions I used to have for years.  Long story.  Educational journey. Happy ending! 


Favourite Websites: 

www.BlueLetterBible.orgwww.PureFormulas.comwww.Facebook.comhttps://www.youtube.com/user/LauraHarrisSmith


Some of your biggest mistakes: 

Almost causing my own death through sleep deprivation due to work. Thank the Lord we discovered in time what I was doing to my body and turned the damage around, saving my life.


Favourite Vacation Spot: 

Top 3  -- London and London and London.

 

Dream Job: 

To own a secular television network and fill up the airtime with the Godly voices the world really needs (there'll be a lot of "Smith" names in the credits both in front of and behind the camera). I'll fund a lot of movies, write some myself, and outlaw cheesy Christian flicks.  On our network, Motherhood will be celebrated, Fatherhood will be mandated and childhood will be protected once again. I'll have my own talk show so be nice to be now to secure your invitation.


Favourite TV shows, Books or Movies:  

TV: Little House on the Prairie.  

Book: James, in the New Testament.   

Movie:  Whatever Julian will create in Hollywood.  

Comedy: What about Bob and Groundhog Day.  

Action: Last of the Mohicans (love the frilly gals in petticoats who pack pistols).

Rock Opera: Jesus Christ Superstar.


Pastimes:  

Work.  I seriously love work.  I love going to sleep with a checked-off to-do list.  Aaaaah, sweet!  


Music: 

Jude Smith, Cold Play, Mozart, Michael Jackson, The Eagles, Journey, Toto, Beatles and of course, worship with Jhason and Brittany Smith.


Favourite Food:  

Love salt.  Hate cheese. I try to let every meal be a colorful one so I can fight off disease with the delicious preventions God gave us on the third day of creation.