Born: October 14, 1858, Silarps Mill, Dalum parish, Vestergötland, Sweden.
John was the son of Jesper Carlson and Lisa Samuelson, and husband of Mathilda Sofia Anderson (married 1888).
Emigrating to America in 1873, he graduated from Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, in 1883. In 1885, he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Augustana Theological Seminary.
He was ordained in the Augustana Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and served his first pastorate at the Swedish Lutheran Church in Burlington, Iowa.
In 1888, Jesperson was invited to join the Board of Directors at Augustana College and Theological Seminary. In 1889, he succeeded Erland Carlsson as General Manager, and also became secretary of the college.
After leaving Augustana in 1903, he took a post at the Swedish Lutheran Salem Church in Spokane, Washington.
In 1907, he became president and treasurer of Coeur d’Alene College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, staying there until 1914.
Jesperson also served as Superintendent of the Augustana Inner Mission in Chicago, Illinois, for 15 years, and organized the Svenska Lutherska Kyrko-Brandstods-Bolaget, a fire insurance association.
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