Titanic Pastor: 'Unsaved to the Lifeboats'
Pastor John Harper -- a Titanic Hero for Jesus.
We have all heard the story of the Titanic disaster, the tragic sinking in 1912 when over 1,500 passengers and crew died in the "unsinkable" ocean liner.
On Sunday, both families of survivors and victims marked the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking by taking part in a special cruise that stopped at the exact place the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912.
Many have seen the movie, and/or heard stories of heroes that emerged when chaos overtook the largest ship ever built at the time. But there is a little known story about a Christian man, Pastor John Harper, who used the final hours of that tragedy to reach the lost and lead them to salvation in Jesus Christ.
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As pastor from London and Glasgow, Harper was on his way to Moody Church in Chicago, founded by the famous evangelist Dwight L. Moody.
When the Titanic began to sink from the strike of an iceberg, Harper, a single father, secured his 6 y/o daughter in a lifeboat but refused to get in himself. He spent his final moments telling passengers about Jesus Christ. Harper, knowing his salavtion was secure, even offered his own life jacket to one man who refused to accept Jesus.
"You need this more than I do," he said.
As the ship continued to sink, Harper cried: "Women, children, and the unsaved to the lifeboats!"
After the ship went down, swimming in the frigid water, Harper fought through his last moments by swimming to as many people as he could, begging them to give their lives to Christ.
One survivor initially rejected the offer, but moments later gave himself to Christ when the preacher swam back to tell him again, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved."
The man was eventually rescued by a lifeboat and shared his story at an Ontario church, telling the crowd, "I am the last convert of John Harper."
John Harper: Hero for Jesus.