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GALLERY

On a Wave and a Prayer

February 04, 1996

At Surfer's Chapel in Huntington Beach, members don't worship surfboards and pray for big waves. But services are Saturday nights instead of Sunday mornings, when surfers would rather be riding waves. And members often bring their surfboards and skateboards with them. The pulpit is shaped like a surfboard. Casual surf clothing is perfectly OK. Some attend services barefoot. Wearing traditional surfer's clothing--an "Old Man's" San Onofre T-shirt--Jim Laughlin, above left, sings praises on high. Pastor Bill White, who founded the church with wife Bonnie in 1993, prays at his pulpit during a service. "The church matches the lifestyle we're trying to reach," he says. But White emphasizes his church's serious purpose. It's a "church first, surfers second." That's why Elyse and Hardy Stewart, left, attend with son Evan.

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