The Upper Room® is a global ministry dedicated to supporting the spiritual formation of Christians seeking to know and experience God more fully. From its beginnings as a daily devotional guide, Upper Room Ministries® has grown to include publications, programs, prayer support, and other resources to help believers of all ages and denominations move to a deeper level of faith and service.
Upper Room Ministries® began as a daily devotional guide, which remains at the heart of its ministry. During the 1930s, a group of women in San Antonio, Texas discerned through prayer that families needed a time of worship and Bible study to sustain them through the stress of the economic depression. They asked their church for a devotional guide — a request that inspired the Board of Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to “publish a quarterly devotional booklet to be sold in the local church.”
Dr. Grover Carleton Emmons, the first editor of the guide, determined the one-page meditation format and decided that the devotions would be written by various Christians, both lay and clergy, from around the world. The final decision, the name of the guide, came to him as he heard a speaker describe the outpouring of spiritual power among Jesus’ disciples gathered in an upper room on the day of Pentecost. He quickly telegraphed those who were typesetting the first issue, and in April 1935, the first issue of The Upper Room daily devotional guide rolled off the presses.