The Rev. Robert J. Bateman perished on the Titanic’s maiden voyage when the ship famously struck an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912. But before he died, Bateman handed something very special to his sister-in-law: a Bible.
“Bateman on the night the ship sank handed the Bible over to his sister-in-law, Ada Ball, who he placed on a life boat and then she returned it to her sister, his wife Emily,” Bob Thone, an actor who plays the preacher at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, told WBIR-TV.
His wife later gave the Bible to Dr. Harry Upperman from the Baxter Seminary, according to Thone.
The Bible — the only one to survive the Titanic’s sinking — was dedicated at a special National Day of Prayer ceremony at the museum last week as actors portraying crew members placed rose petals around the holy book, WVLT-TV reported.
“[Bateman] helped his sister in law get off board to a life boat that night and he handed her the Bible so it got saved,” said John Joslyn who owns the Titanic Museum. “Here we are 102 years later and we’re able to display this Bible, it’s a privilege for us.”
Bateman, who was born in the U.K., moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, in the 1890s and later ended up settling in Florida. After spending a few months in the U.K. exploring mission opportunities in 1912, he decided to head back to the U.S. on the Titanic, according to WBIR-TV.
Metro Pulse details Bateman’s history of evangelism as well as his fateful journey on the Titanic.
According to the outlet, he conducted the ship’s only religious service just one day before the Titanic sank. And, like most of the men on the ship, he died and was later discovered in the Atlantic Ocean.
(H/T: Christian Post)