Reverend John Harper:
Rev. Harper was a Baptist pastor from Great Britain who died in the Titanic disaster on the North Atlantic. Rev. Harper was born in the village of Houston, Renfrewshire, Scotland, in 1872. He personally embraced his parents’ Christian Faith at age 14 and began preaching at 18. He supported himself in early adulthood by doing manual labor in a mill until Baptist pastor E.A. Carter of Baptist Pioneer Mission in London heard of his preaching and placed him in ministry work in Govan, Scotland. In 1897, he became the first pastor of Paisley Road Baptist Church in Glasgow, Scotland. Under his Leadership, the church quickly grew from 25 members to over 500 and soon moved to a new location on Plantation Street. In 1922, it moved into its present building on Craigiehall Street and was renamed, “Harper Memorial Baptist Church” in his honor…
At the time of the Titanic disaster, Rev. Harper was 39, a widower with a six—year—old daughter, Annie Jessie (Nana), and pastor of Walworth Road Baptist Church in London. He was traveling with his daughter and sister in—law Jessie W. Leitch to Chicago to preach for several weeks at the Moody Memorial Church, where he had been a guest minister the previous fall, when the ship hit an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912 and was lost early the next morning. His daughter and sister were put on a lifeboat and survived, but Rev. Harper stayed behind and jumped into the water as the ship began to sink. Some who survived told that, “Rev. Harper Preached The Gospel To The End” crying out:
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house…”
First aboard the sinking ship and then afterward to those in the Freezing Water before Dying in it himself…
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