Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
We derive our name from the first chapter of the book of Acts in the Bible. There we are told that under Jesus’ direction, His disciples went to the upper part of a building in Jerusalem, called the upper room, to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit. After many days of prayer, when the day of Pentecost had come, the Holy Spirit came upon them in power. The Christian Church was born on that day.
Our own fellowship had a similar beginning. The Upper Room Christian Fellowship began as a small gathering of faculty and students from Purdue University in 1972, who actually met in the upper room of a building on campus. At that time, a revival was taking place at Purdue and in the surrounding community and many people were coming into a relationship with Jesus Christ. From the beginning of our meeting together, God impressed upon us His desire that we live as the Body of Christ, caring for one another as the early Christians did in Acts 2:42-47. We also felt strongly that God wanted us to continue to meet in West Lafayette, near the campus of Purdue University.
The Upper Room Christian Fellowship is not affiliated with any specific denomination. The Bible, which is the inspired and inerrant Word of God, is the foundation for our common belief. Our leaders meet regularly with leaders of other nondenominational fellowships throughout Indiana for prayer, Bible study, and mutual encouragement and counsel. The Upper Room is also a member of Tippecanoe Evangelical Association of Ministers and Ministries (TEAMM), a group of Christian churches and ministries in the greater Lafayette area who are committed to partnering together in unity to see God’s kingdom advanced in our community.
The Bible and the Holy Spirit
The Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God upon which we base our beliefs and daily conduct. The Bible tells us the good news that Jesus gave Himself for us as an atoning sacrifice that we might be acceptable to God and have an intimate, personal relationship with Him. In the Bible, God is revealed as a loving and righteous God who commands all men to turn completely away from selfishness and hatred. He leaves us with the decision to either live for ourselves in sin and rebellion, or to live for Him in loving obedience to the Lord Jesus. We believe that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is available today and is granted to all believers who ask for it. This baptism is distinct from and follows our acceptance of Christ as Savior, as was the experience of the New Testament Christians. Baptism in the Holy Spirit gives every believer the power and love necessary for Christian living and service. We believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit as outlined in 1 Corinthians 12 are manifest today in the lives of believers, as are the Fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23.
The Body of Christ
The Sunday morning service is only one part of the fellowship within Christ’s Body at the Upper Room. God has presented a challenge to us as believers not just to “go to church,” but rather to be the Church, which is His Body, “Now you are the Body of Christ, and each of you is part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). Many in the Church are beginning to recognize that the Lord Jesus has something far greater in mind for us than simply being “a pile of stones.” His plan is to build us together, as stones, into a temple for His habitation. Another way of saying this is that our heavenly Father wants a family that knows how to relate to Him and to each other in love. The Upper Room provides various activities through which this can be accomplished. We have home groups, regular times of prayer and intercession during the week and Baptism and Communion services. Several times a year we organize retreats. We regularly share our faith in the community. We strongly suggest that those who come to the Upper Room on a regular basis commit themselves to the Lord and His people, thus fulfilling the call that the Lord has on their lives.