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The Upper Room Celebrates Pentecost

June 4, 2019 by Kathryn Kimball

Every day at The Upper Room is Pentecost. It’s the event that continues to shape our ministry.

When the first daily devotional guide was ready to go to press in 1935, it was missing a critical element—a name for the magazine. Dr. Grover Emmons, the founding editor, surely had this on his mind while attending a worship service in Richmond, Virginia. The sermon was about the power of God descending on Jesus’ disciples as they prayed in the biblical upper room. Dr. Emmons was inspired and sent a telegraph to the daily devotional’s staff: “Call it The Upper Room. The Holy Spirit will influence the lives of the readers by the witness of the writers in these pages.” 

When The Upper Room Chapel opened in 1953, a nearly life-sized woodcarving of The Last Supper graced the altar wall. Six years later, the World Christian Fellowship stained glass window was installed on the opposite wall, displaying in brilliant color the Pentecost story. Twenty feet high and eight feet wide and comprised of over 9,000 pieces of glass, the window represents witnesses from the early disciples to the 20th century. Through the World Christian Fellowship stained glass window, these heroes of faith tell the stories of God’s love for people all over the world.

Today, The Upper Room daily devotional is available in over 100 countries and in 35 languages.  Every day, millions of Christians around the world are reading the same meditation and praying the same prayer – truly a modern-day Pentecost.

Kathryn Kimball is the Museum Collections Manager of The Upper Room’s Christian Art Museum.

Over 4.5 million people have visited The Upper Room Chapel. Services are held each Wednesday at 10:45. All are welcomed. Attached to The Upper Room Chapel is The Christian Art Museum, which boasts a small but marvelous collection of 11th to 21st century art and artifacts. Admission to the chapel and museum is free. Chapel and museum hours are Monday–Thursday, 8:00–4:30, and Friday, 8:00–12:30.

1908 Grand Ave. Nashville, TN 


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Emmaus helped me laugh again, and it brought joy back to my life after the loss of my child. I am now stronger than ever in my walk with the Lord. And to this day, I continue to sponsor pilgrims to The Walk to Emmaus. In my local church, I have led our discipleship team and have had the opportunity to start new Sunday school classes and various women’s ministries. ¡De Colores!”

View ways to get involved with Emmaus Ministries in 2020.