Rev. Edward J. Harper, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, was born in Columbus, Miss., September 13, 1863, but when 5 years of age came to California with his parents. In 1883, he was graduated from the high school at Los Angeles, and from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., in June, 1889. On the 19th of the same month, and in the same city, he was married to Miss Myrtie Roberts, a native of Kentucky, but reared and educated in Nashville.
Mr. Harper was ordained deacon in February, 1889, and was received into the Los Angeles Conference in October of the same year, and ordained elder in October, 1893. His first church service was at San Luis Obispo, where he remained on year, and then was set to San Bernardino for two years. For the next four years he was pastor at Downey, which place he left to serve for one year in Prescott, Ariz. His next appointment was to Redlands, dating from October 14, 1897. Mr. Harper is president of the Epworth League Board and also of the Sunday School Board of the Los Angeles Conference.
The Methodist Episcopal Church South, Redlands, was organized October 20, 1892, by Rev. Wade Hamilton, who served on year. The society met regularly afterward, but were without a pastor until January, 1897, when Rev. G. H. Wilkinson arrived, and supplied the pulpit until a short time previous to the appointment of Rev. Harper. With his advent has come increased interest, and the society are already looking over several plans preparatory to building a house of worship
(Source: Illustrated Redlands, 1897, p. 54)