An Astonishing Letter From the 'Captain of the Titanic' 09/07/2016


When the Holy Spirit directed you to do some research on Rev. Harper, and then to write a book about him, you probably never realized how far reaching that story would be. When I think of the thousands of books that have been sold because of my telling that story and those same people passing that message on, along with many ministers preaching about it from the pulpit. It is mind boggling and exciting!

My little story is just one of many thousand. It started for me 18 years ago. A Titanic exhibit was being built in Orlando Florida. And they needed someone to play the part of Capt. EJ Smith. One of the designers called me and said "We have gone through 350 actors here in Orlando trying to find someone that looks like the captain and we can't find him. I told these men, I know someone that can play that part. He's my next-door neighbor."

I went over to Orlando to see what it was all about. When the builders of the exhibit first saw me they said. "Yes. You're it!" It wasn't until I arrived at the souvenir shop that I saw the front page of the New York Times 1912 edition. There on the front page I saw my first picture of Capt. Smith looking right at me. My first thought was that my neighbor had taken my picture and pasted it on the front page of the New York Times. My immediate reaction was, my neighbor should not have done that. That is wrong. On closer look, I could see that it wasn't me. Though there was a striking resemblance.

Was this just a coincidence, or did a sovereign God have something to do with it?!

I accepted Christ into my life at the age of seven. My mother would take my brother and I to the window at night to look out into the heavens just to see if Christ was about to return on a white horse. She would say. "Listen for a trumpet to sound." Then she would say. "Do you see the lights in the houses out there?, Those people don't know about Jesus and it's up to us to tell them.

One day, my wife was in a bookstore looking for something on the Titanic to give to me. She found one book. It was the only book left. It was. The Titanic's last hero.

I immediately thought, thank you Lord for this opportunity. It's a true story about something that happened to a second-class passenger on the Titanic. It's in a book. It's a true story. How can they shut me down?! The owner of the exhibit was an atheist. And he never said don't tell that story.

The owner of the exhibit also had many shares in a company called. RMS Titanic. He was the chief operations officer in charge of giving permission to certain individuals that would be allowed to dive to the wreck site in the year 2000. With a little persuasion, he allowed me to go. There are fewer than 200 people that have ever been down to the wreck site. I was the 109th person to go down. 'WOW!" That opportunity opened up a plethora of situations to work for RMS Titanic in the next 15 years.

RMS Titanic has seven traveling exhibits that tour around the world. In the states and in Canada. They would place these exhibits in science centers for approximately 6 months at a time. They would then fly me to the exhibit to meet with the media for three or four days. Some of these exhibits were at gambling dens like, Las Vegas Nevada, Atlantic City New Jersey, Fox wood at Massachusetts, etc. and at each place I would tell the John Harper story over and over again. People would look at me as if I had worms crawling out of my ear. But they were hearing God's word. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The Holy Spirit does the convicting.

I even told it in Shanghai China for two weeks. I thought they might even throw me in prison. But it would have looked bad to have Capt. Smith behind bars. I even told that story in Singapore and each time they interpreted it. I have told that story on live television and radio all across this land. I've worked in Branson Missouri and pigeon Forge Tennessee at their magnificent Titanic attractions. Every day that I'm there I tell that story to thousands of people every week. There have been 13 people that I know of that have already accepted Christ's at the exhibits.

Approximately 12 years ago I was asked to fly to Massachusetts to be on a radio broadcast. A local radio station was trying to promote the Titanic exhibit and came up with a plan to have a contest which involved 25 people that would win the contest, and they could
have breakfast on board the Titanic with the captain.

I arrived at 5:30 in the morning only to see one man that was doing the weather forecast by remote. When he was through, he took off his headset and I stretched forth my hand and said." How do you do, I'm Capt. EJ Smith" he replied." I'm John Harper" I said." Oh, you're a Rev. are you?" He said." What do you mean by that?" I said." There was a Rev. on board the Titanic by the name of John Harper." "He said is that right?" I said." Yes! In fact, there's a great story about him and I could tell it on the radio this morning if you would like to hear it, and I can say it in a minute and 28 seconds." "Okay, let's do it", I said." When do you have your largest audience?" He said." Around five minutes after eight." I said." How many will be listening?" He said." Approximately 3,000,000." Rev. Harper preached to over 3 million people that day.

About 11 years ago I was at the Titanic exhibit in Branson Missouri. On my down time, I was re-reading your book again. I remember you had quotes from some of the pastors that knew him well and new that he would be preaching on the street corners all night. And he would be on his face agonizing before God and saying, "God give me souls lest I die!!" Some wrote in their chapters by saying." I don't understand it. Why would God take a man who was so earnest on bringing people to Christ at the age of 39? It makes no sense. But God knows.

It all of a sudden hit me. I believe God knew John Harper was serious about reaching people for Christ. And God knew that the technology would be better 100 years later. But knew he was going to take the Titanic. He also knew that the ship was going to sink and that he would lead someone to Christ at the last minute. And that a movie was going to be made. And a book was going to be written. And a tall man with a big booming voice that {just happens} to look like Capt. Smith, who is serious about leading people to Christ is going to be telling that story around the world to millions of people.

I believe John Harper is up in glory with the biggest grin on his face knowing that he is still preaching after 100 years. What a sovereign God we have!

Moody, you play a massive role in all of this. Thanks for your faithfulness.

16 years ago, the atheist that owned the exhibit in Orlando, accepted Christ! He has since turn that exhibit into an evangelistic program. There is a video of me telling the John Harper story every day all day long. Praise the Lord.

Until he makes everything right.

Lowell Lytle

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