Tag Archives: Pastor John Harper

Update: Pastor Harper Letter Auctioned Off

Reverend John Harper
Source: Wikipedia (via Encyclopedia-titanica.org)
Public Domain

The Irish Post reported that the Pastor Harper letter, penned before the ship left Cobh, was auctioned off for $55,803 (£42,000) by Henry Aldridge & Son. The name of the person who won was not revealed. The contents of the letter are as follows:

My Dear Brother Young,

I am penning you this line just before we get to Queenstown to assure you that I have not forgotten you and especially all your kindness while we were north.

I intended sending on Mrs Pratt’s train fares just before I left but in the rush, which was exceptional having had 11 or 12 services for the week-end, I was unable to get it done.

I will send it on from Chicago. We had a great season of blessing during the last few days in Walworth.

I don’t know how I am to thank dear Aunty Mary and yourself for all your kindness. The Lord will repay you for it all. Trust things are going well at Paisley Road. The warriors are with me here and are doing well so far on the journey.

Very kindest love, your loving auld Pastor, John Harper.


Titanic Letter From Hero Pastor Who Sacrificed His Life To Save Others Sells For £42,000 (17 Nov 2020. Irish Post)

Titanic News: Letter from Pastor Who Died on Titanic Surfaces; Diving to Titanic Will Cost You Big Money



Titanic Letter Written By Hero Pastor Who Died In Disaster Surfaces (Fox News,  1 Nov 2020)

A letter written on the Titanic by a hero pastor who died in the ship’s sinking is up for auction in the U.K. The letter was written by John Harper, the pastor of Walworth Road Baptist Church in London, a widower who was traveling with his sister and 6-year-old daughter to preach at the Moody Church in Chicago.

The letter will be auctioned off by Henry Aldridge & Sons on 14 Nov.

Ship Branded The ‘Titanic Of The Great Lakes’ Discovered 110 Years After It Sank (Mirror, 2 Nov 2020)

A ship branded the “Titanic of the Great Lakes” has been found in its watery resting place – 110 years after it mysteriously sank. The Pere Marquette 18 spent the summer giving pleasure cruises in Chicago and was called the “world’s largest pleasure boat” and the “safest ship afloat”. But the vessel sunk with the loss of dozens of lives en-route from Michigan to Wisconsin as it returned to its regular route in September 1910. There were multiple witnesses to the sinking – including another ship, the Pere Marquette 17, which came to the rescue – but the cause of the calamity remains a mystery.

You Could Join A Tour To See The Titanic Wreckage In 2021 – But You’ll Need A Spare £96,000 (Yahoo, 29 Oct 2020)

The expeditions, which will see nine guests set off on an eight-day trip from Canada’s Newfoundland, won’t be cheap. Each of the “mission specialists” (used to describe the guests) will be expected to pay $125,000 (£96,368) for the trip which includes a six to eight-hour dive in the submarine to see the wreckage. Only three guests will join the driver in the submarine at any one time. Rush, who is planning to host the trips from May to September annually, says that 36 people have already booked in for the first six expeditions.


Remembering Reverend John Harper

Reverend John Harper

John Harper (1872-1912), a Baptist pastor from Great Britain, perished when Titanic sank in 1912. He was traveling with his six-year-old daughter Nana and his sister Jessie W. Leitch. He was going to Chicago to preach for several weeks at the Moody Church. He found his faith when he was 14 and began preaching at 18. Another pastor noticed his work and sent him to  Govan, Scotland to begin ministry work. He became the first pastor in 1897 of Paisley Road Baptist Church in Glasgow, Scotland (late renamed Harper Memorial Baptist Church when it moved to Craigiehall Street  in 1922).

His sister and daughter were put aboard a lifeboat while Harper remained aboard Titanic. According to survivors, he went in to the water when the ship sank. One survivor a young man clinging to debris, said Harper tried to lead him to Christ. The man said he did not believe and Harper gave him his life jacket saying he needed it more. Later he swam back and the young man was lead to Christ by Harper according to his account some years later.

A memorial headstone (his body was never recovered) is at the Craigton Cemetery in Glasgow. It says: Called to Higher Service from the decks of the Ill-fated SS Titanic. His former church was renamed for him in 1922. The book, The Titanic’s Last Hero, by Moody Adams is about John Harper.


1. The True Hero Of The Titanic(12 Sep 2013,Speaking Tree (blog)
2. John Harper Encyclopedia Titanica
3. John Harper(pastor) Wikipedia