Robert E. Harper, the eldest of five children, was born in the state of Mississippi and grew up on the southeast side of Chicago, properly known as South Chicago’s Steel Mill District.
He graduated from J. N. Thorp Elementary School and Bowen High School. After High School, he attended Southeast Junior College until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in May 1969.
After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, he was employed by the Chicago Transit Authority, where he worked faithfully for 25 years and received numerous awards. He retired from the C.T.A. on July 25, 1996.
Rev. Harper is married to his childhood sweetheart, Laura. They have two ideal children, Tammy and Marcus, of whom they are very proud and two grandchildren, Marcus II and Justin.
He acknowledged his call to the ministry in 1975 and in January 1981, Rev. Harper was licensed to preach and was ordained in October 1982 by his Pastor, the late, Rev. John Taylor.
In May 1986 Rev, Harper graduated from Moody Bible Institute. He has studied with Dallas Theological Seminary, Baptist Theological Seminary of Georgia and continues his Christian Studies. He has served as secretary of the Pastors’ Conference of Chicago & Vicinity for approximately 12 1/2 years (1982 - 1995), serving under Presidents, Pastor Cooper Hurdle,  Pastor M T Jackson, and Pastor Arthur Taylor.
He has been involved in various community services for over 35 years and works very well with the Alderman’s office of the 8th and 28th wards.  
He has served as the Dean of Education at the Baptist Ministers Alliance of Chicago and Vicinity where Elder Dr. Alfred E. Smith was the President (2009-2015); In June of 2015 was elected as President of The Baptist Ministers Alliance of Chicago & Vicinity
where he currently serves.

He was elected in May 2014 as the 3rd Vice Moderator of Bethlehem District Association of Chicago & Vicinity, where Rev. Clifton Caldwell is Moderator; in June of 2014 he was elected as 2nd Vice Moderator of Baptist State Convention of Illinois, Inc., Rev. Dr. Robert Payton is President.
On March 31, 1997, Rev. Harper was called to pastor Christian Missionary Baptist Church. We have made some great strides, but we can accomplish much more. He looks forward to continuing the work of the Gospel on a grand scale as a servant.

As of March 30, 2020, Rev. Harper has been the pastor of Christian Missionary Baptist Church for twenty-three years!