John Harper was born into a Christian family May 29, 1872. He became a Christian 13 years later and had already started preaching by age 17. He received training at the Baptist Pioneer Mission in London, and in 1896 he founded a church, now known as Harper Memorial Church, which began with 25 worshipers but had grown to 500 members at the time he left 13 years later.
In 1912 Harper, the newly called pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, was traveling on the Titanic with his 6 year old daughter. After the ship struck an iceberg and began to sink, he got Nana into a lifeboat but apparently made no effort to follow her. Instead, he ran through the ship yelling, "Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!" Survivors report that he then began witnessing to anyone who would listen. He continued preaching even after he had jumped into the water and was clinging to a piece of wreckage (he had already given his life-jacket to another man).
Harper’s final moments were recounted fours years later at a meeting in Hamilton, Ontario, by a man who said: "I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar that awful night, the tide brought Mr. Harper of Glasgow, also on a piece of wreck, near me. "Man, he said, "are you saved?" "No," I said, "I am not." He replied, ...
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