From Great Tragedy to Glorious Triumph


Titanic: Tragedy and Triumph
was an excellent seminar just like I thought it would be. The main floor of the Dale Horton Auditorium was almost full! If you didn't get to go this time, make sure that you make it out to the next history seminar! Dr. Reese did an excellent job in telling the whole story of the Titanic from the view point of the second officer, Charles Lightoller. He talked about everything from the detailed construction of the ship to the fatal crash with the iceberg on that cold April night.

My favorite part of the seminar was when Dr. Reese began to tell the stories of all the different heroes on board the ship. These average men and women gave up their lives just so someone else could have a chance to get onto that next lifeboat. Fathers gave up their spots for women and children. Wives offered to stay with their husbands. Crew members waited until every one had the opportunity to climb into the lifeboats. And the band played until the ship was completely buried in the sea.

One of the greatest heroes that Dr. Reese spoke about was a preacher by the name of John Harper. He would not get into a lifeboat. People have said that this preacher ran up and down the deck of the boat telling Christians to give up their life jackets to the lost because the saved didn't need them. He witnessed the whole time the ship was going down, not wanting a single soul to die without Jesus Christ. When the ship went down, Harper went down with it. He survived in the water at least for a small length of time, but Pastor John Harper was never heard from again.

Even though Pastor Harper died when the ship went down that night, he had a lasting influence in at least one person's life. A survivor by the name of George Henry Cavett tells the story of this preacher speaking to him. Pastor Harper called out from the water, "Are you saved?" Cavett answered from lifeboat 15, "No, I'm not." The preacher said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Then these men were separated. A short time later, Cavett heard the preacher still crying out but in a softer voice, "Are you saved?" Cavett again answered, "No, I'm not." Again, the preacher called out, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." The Lord miraculously spared Cavett's life, and he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.

This history seminar really opened my eyes to the story of the Titanic. We may never know why such a man like George Cavett survived the sinking of the Titanic, but God has a purpose in everything He does. Maybe it was just so that Cavett could tell the story of his glorious triumph through this great tragedy.

4 Responses

  1. Joy Chapman

    This was so amazing. I went to the History Seminar and it was such a good story and it was so wonderful hearing about Pastor John Harper and the testimony that he had until the time that the Titanic went down. I praise God that he was still witnessing to lost people even as he was dying.

  2. Deven D

    I agree with Joy, its so inspiring to hear of such true faith in action! I’m ashamed to say that witnessing probably wouldn’t be the first thing that popped into my mind in such a terrifying situation. Definitely going to try to make it to the next seminar tho =)

  3. Jenn J.

    The History seminar was amazing! Dr. Reese did a great job with the presentation of the a Titanic and I learned a lot from going. It was neat seeing how God protected many people through His providence, and how Pastor John Harper didn’t stop witnessing to others. I would recommend attending to a history seminar to anyone!

  4. Ina (pronounced Ena) Yefimov

    You put the part about John Harper so amazingly. I practically started crying.

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