September 17, 2014
TAYLORS, S.C. (BP) -- It has been 100 years since Titanic, the greatest ship of its time, sank on its maiden voyage, killing more than 1,500 passengers. The "unsinkable ship" had done just that, and on the tragedy's centennial we stand captivated by the story. Many movies, documentaries and books have familiarized us with some of the passengers, such as entrepreneur John Jacob Astor IV or the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown. Yet one of the supreme stories of the Titanic involves a heroic pastor and his passion to save lives and souls.

Rebuffed by a certain man at the offer of salvation Harper gave him his own life vest, saying, 'You need this more than I do.'
When pastor and preacher John Harper and six year old daughter boarded the Titanic it was for the privilege of preaching at one of the greatest churches in America, Moody Church in Chicago, named for its famous founder Dwight L. Moody. The church was anxiously awaiting his arrival not only because of the pending services, but to meet their next pastor, as Harper planned to accept their invitation. Harper was known as an engaging preacher and had pastored two churches in Glasgow and London. His preaching style was suited for an evangelist as testified by the words of another local pastor. "He was a great open-air preacher and could always command large and appreciative audiences. ... He could deal with all kinds of interrupters, his great and intelligent grasp of Bible truths enabling him to successfully combat all assailants."

When the Titanic hit the iceberg, Harper successfully led his daughter to a lifeboat. Being a widower he may have been allowed to join her but instead forsook his own rescue, choosing to provide the masses with one more chance to know Christ. Harper ran person to person, passionately telling others about Christ. As the water began to submerge the "unsinkable" ship, Harper was heard shouting, "women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats." Rebuffed by a certain man at the offer of salvation Harper gave him his own life vest, saying, "You need this more than I do." Up until the last moment on the ship Harper pleaded with people to give their lives to Jesus.

The ship disappeared beneath the deep frigid waters leaving hundreds floundering in its wake with no realistic chance for rescue. Harper struggled through hyperthermia to swim to as many people as he could, still sharing the Gospel. Harper evidentially would lose his battle with hypothermia but not before giving many people one last glorious Gospel witness. Read More
BALTIMORE (BP) -- Baptist Press is live blogging the SBC annual meeting in Baltimore. Updates can be read here, at our Twitter account (, or our Facebook account ( Want more updates? Follow our SBC annual meeting feed at A schedule of the Wednesday meeting can be found at Watch the SBC annual meeting live here. Read More
Richard Land issues open letter of apology for controversial Trayvon Martin comments
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Richard Land has written an open letter of apology for comments he voiced about the infusion of politics into the Trayvon Martin killing. Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, made the apology in a letter to SBC President Bryant Wright on April 16. In response, a prominent African American pastor, Fred Luter Jr. of New Orleans, issued a statement accepting Land's apology. Luter is the SBC's first vice president who will be nominated for SBC president during the convention's June 19-20 annual meeting in New Orleans.
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Intense demonic battle meets Gospel in Asia
CENTRAL ASIA (BP) -- Lizzie Francis* huddled in the back seat and watched as the gang formed around the pickup truck. She clutched her friends' two toddlers as one of the men, flanked by his brothers, got out a gun and waved it at his neighbor, yelling obscenities and threatening to end his life. Read More
Komen still giving to Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Susan G. Komen for the Cure's coffers remain as open as ever for Planned Parenthood, even as they appear to be taking a hit. Read More
Houston Baptist might drop 'Baptist' from name
HOUSTON (BP) -- For seminary student Samantha Williams, the "B" in HBU means more than "Baptist." It represents a time and a place where she came to know Christ and His will for her life. Read More
First Person
Paul Brewster
FIRST-PERSON: The Hilary Rosen controversy & a lesson for Christians
Instead of viewing Hilary Rosen's "mom" comment as a "gotcha" political moment, Christians should evaluate why these ideas that homemaking and childrearing are second-class endeavors are prevalent, says pastor and columnist Paul Brewster.
Kelly Boggs
FIRST-PERSON: Two public examples of the 'pain of regret'
John Edwards and Bobby Petrino know the "pain of regret," says columnist Kelly Boggs, and they have learned a biblical lesson.
Fermín Whittaker
EDITORIAL: Transfomación Espiritual
FRESNO, Calif. (BP) -- Recientemente celebramos el domingo de resurrección. Pasé la semana pensando en el sacrificio de Jesús por mis pecados.

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