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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

John Harper’s Last Convert

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

SPRINGFIELD, MO (ANS) -- One hundred years ago, on Sunday, April 14, 1912, the “unsinkable” ocean liner Titanic sank to the bottom of the ocean after hitting an iceberg. About 700 people survived, but 1,517 people perished in the cold sea because insufficient lifeboats had been placed on the boat.

John Harper with his wife and daughter pictured some time before he perished on the Titanic

Now AG-NEWS has featured a fascinating story about one of the passengers, John Harper, who was among the Titanic passengers who lost their lives, and his “final convert”.

The story said, “Harper served as pastor of Walworth Road Baptist Church in London, England. He was a 39-year-old widower with a six-year-old daughter. Harper was en route to Chicago, where he was slated to preach for several weeks at the Moody Church.

“His daughter and niece accompanied him on the trans-Atlantic voyage. After the Titanic hit the iceberg, his daughter and niece boarded a lifeboat and survived.

“Harper, however, refused to save himself and instead helped others to the crowded lifeboats. According to survivors, Harper preached the Gospel until his dying breath, first on the sinking ship and then in the frigid waters.”

The October 1928 issue of “The Latter Rain Evangel” (published by The Stone Church, a historic Assemblies of God congregation in Chicago), recounted the following story of John Harper’s last convert.

An illustration of the sinking of the Titanic

“Three or four years after the Titanic foundered (1912), a young Scotsman rose in a meeting in Hamilton, Canada, and said: 'I was on the Titanic when she sank. Drifting along on a spar in the icy water on that awful night, a wave brought John Harper of Glasgow near to me. He, too, was holding on to a piece of the wreck. "Man, are you saved?" he shouted. "No, I am not!" was the reply. He answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved".

“The waves bore him away; but strange to say, a little later he was washed back alongside of me. "Are you saved now?" "No!" I replied, "I cannot honestly say that I am." Once more he repeated the verse, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Then losing his hold he sank. And there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water underneath me, I believed. I am John Harper’s last convert.”

To read the full article, “John Harper”s Last Convert,” on page 14 of the October 1928 issue of the “The Latter Rain Evangel” please go to: 

Dan Wooding, 71, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 48 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. He hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on the KWVE Radio Network in Southern California and which is also carried throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK and also in Belize and South Africa. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 192 countries and also provides a regular commentary for Worship Life Radio on KWVE. You can follow Dan Wooding on Facebook under his name there or at ASSIST News Service. Dan has recently received two top media awards -- the "Passion for the Persecuted" award from Open Doors US, and one of the top "Newsmakers of 2011" from Plain Truth magazine. He is the author of some 44 books, one of which is his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel “Red Dagger” which is available this link.

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